It was a classic Spurs victory — doing whatever they could to survive multiple Heat runs before pulling away late in the din of American Airlines Arena to steal Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The usual suspects carried the load, with Tim Duncan drawing and converting a pair of key free throws while Tony Parker scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, including a miraculous jumper that barely beat the shot clock before banking in with 5.2 seconds left.

“It was a crazy play,” Parker said. “I thought I lost the ball three or four times. And it didn’t work out like I wanted it to. At the end I was just trying to get a shot up. It felt good when it left my hand. I was happy it went in.”

Said LeBron James, who was defending Parker on the play, “Tony did everything wrong and everything right in the same possession.”

Every bit as important, Parker had no turnovers in 40 minutes to set the tone for a disciplined performance by the Spurs. Defensively, the Spurs could not have reasonably guarded James much better, holding him to just eight points in the second half and 18 overall. Kawhi Leonard was the first line of defense, while the rest of his teammates, rarely more than a few steps away from the paint, were ready to collapse at a moment’s notice.

Player of the game

The Spurs couldn’t have survived without Parker and Leonard. But, in a game where hanging around was much of the battle, Duncan was the key, scoring 12 of his 20 points in the second quarter to keep the Spurs alive as Miami, shooting 50 percent for most of the half, threatened to run away. The All-NBA center added 14 rebounds, four assists and three blocks to serve as a hub on both ends. At 37, Duncan was older than anyone in history not named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to have a 20/14 game in the Finals.

Key stretch

The Spurs trailed from midway through the first quarter until finally making their move in the fourth. They did so in large part through their defense, inducing the Heat to miss 13 of their final 18 shots, including all five 3-pointers, with five turnovers. The Heat went more than four minutes without a field goal at one point, allowing the Spurs to race from three down to seven up before holding on late.

“What one can do is continue to play D, continue to rebound and just hang and hang and hang,” Gregg Popovich said. “It’s a 48-minute game. In the NBA things go back and forth many, many times. The ability to move on to the next play is what’s really important, if a team wants to be really good.”