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LeBron James, Heat hope to make history in NBA Finals

Marc J. Spears
Yahoo Sports
Miami Heat forward LeBron James listens to a question during a media availability for the NBA basketball finals on Saturday, June 14, 2014, in San Antonio. Miami plays Game 5 against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday
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Miami Heat forward LeBron James listens to a question during a media availability for the NBA basketball finals on Saturday, June 14, 2014, in San Antonio. Miami plays Game 5 against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

LeBron James had a question for all the NBA Finals history buffs and Miami Heat naysayers:

"Why not us?" James said. "History is broken all the time."

No NBA team has rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win the Finals – the same hole the Heat are in entering Game 5 against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. James and the Heat hope to become the first.

"Two championships helps that," James said during the team's media availability in San Antonio on Saturday. "It helps it, for sure. But understanding what means a lot to me. Understanding what's important and understanding what's not important allows me to kind of just live in the moment and not focus on what's happened in the past.

"I can't control the past. I can't redo it. I can live in the present, try to affect the future and live with the results while I'm in it."

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Dwyane Wade and the Heat are trying to win a third straight NBA championship. (AP)

Dwyane Wade and the Heat are trying to win a third straight NBA championship. (AP)

The Heat have already proven they can win in San Antonio, beating the Spurs in their last meeting there, 98-96 in Game 2. James had 35 points and 10 rebounds to spark Miami's lone win in the series so far. If the Heat win Game 5, they would force a Game 6 in Miami under the new 2-2-1-1-1 format in the Finals.

"Well, just we need to win one game," James said. "That's all we can think about. We can't think about forcing a Game 7. We have to win one game. Game 5, being [in San Antonio] in a hostile environment, we know if we lose, the season is over.

"For me, it's like you either don't make the playoffs or you win a championship. There's no in between."

James has done his part in these Finals while averaging 27.5 points. The rest of the Heat have offered no consistency.

Point guard Mario Chalmers has not scored in double-figures in 13 straight games. Dwyane Wade is coming off his worst Finals game after missing 10 of 13 shots in Game 4. The Spurs have won the past two games by an average of 20 points after strong starts. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said he will consider using veteran power forward Udonis Haslem more in Game 5.

"It's elite competition, so you have to figure out how you're going to win the next competition," Spoelstra said. "The next competition is [Sunday] night. We're not compounding it."

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LeBron James is averaging 27.5 points in the first four games of the NBA Finals. (AP)

LeBron James is averaging 27.5 points in the first four games of the NBA Finals. (AP)

Said Wade: "None of us have played well enough. We're not singling out anybody on our team. We as a team, the Miami Heat, we haven't played well enough."

Adding to the Heat's challenge is the Spurs have extra motivation to end the series immediately after a title slipped out of their hands a year ago.

The Spurs were one win away from a fifth title entering Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals. Miami was down five points with 28 seconds left before a remarkable comeback led to an overtime win. Miami went on to win Game 7 and the championship.

"This is the No. 1 team in the league that they'll make you pay when you're right on top of what they're doing, and they'll make you pay when you make a mistake," James said. "And we have to limit the times that we're making mistakes when we're on defense."

Whether the Heat's season ends in Game 5 of these Finals or later, the big question is what will happen to their star trio of James, Wade and Chris Bosh. All three can opt out of their contracts after the season to become free agents.

"I don't need any motivation about the summertime or whatever something that's going on after the fact," James said. "I live too much in the moment. I can't worry about what goes on after this series is over with. Win, lose or draw, I live now and worry about the future once it's upon me."

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