Much like the heavy rainfall that pounded the American Airlines Arena prior to San Antonio's 92-88 win over Miami on Thursday, Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was drowned with praise for the job he did defensively on LeBron James.

That is, by everyone except Leonard.

James didn't score a lot, but the impact of the league's reigning MVP was still impressive as he tallied his 10th career playoff triple-double which moved him into a tie with a pair of Celtics, Rajon Rondo and Hall of Famer Larry Bird.

But numbers do lie as James' stat line - 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists - while impressive, still lacked the kind of impact that James often makes that usually catapults the Heat to victory.

"I missed some shots. I missed some really good looks," said James who was 7-for-16 shooting from the field. "As far as being efficient, I'm not worried about that. I also had 18 rebounds and 10 assists as well. I'm not too much worried about what I do as far as scoring."

Leonard said his approach to defending James was to stay close to him, contest all his shots and try not to give him any easy looks at the basket.

And while his teammates felt he did just that, Leonard saw plenty of room for improvement.

"He (James) had a great game," Leonard said. "He had a triple-double. I have to come out more aggressive next game.

Leonard added, "You have to compete every possession with him."

You have to get some help at times, too.

"They (Spurs) did a good job of putting two guys on the ball," James said. "When I got the ball, they kind of shrunk the floor and set a guy at the elbow and dared me to pass the ball."

And he did. But far too often, those passes led to missed shots. And ultimately those missed shots added up to a blown opportunity to win.

"That's a very good defensive team all year," said Miami's Dwyane Wade. "But I think we missed some opportunities that we could have capitalized on."

But heading into Game 2, there will be even more attention paid to the James-Leonard matchup which wasn't quite as lopsided as some might have anticipated.

James tallied his 10th triple-double in Game 1 while Leonard wasn't too shabby in finishing with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

"He's fearless and he's playing well and staying confident," Spurs guard Danny Green said of Leonard. "We're going to need him to keep being aggressive and attack and continue to play that defense. I'm sure that LeBron is going to come out next game with a different attitude."

James is a never-ending challenge for all teams. But coming off a loss at home, he becomes even more motivated to find a path to victory.