Spurs guard Tony Parker shoots over the Cavaliers' Sasha Pavlovic in Game 4. Parker, MVP of the finals, scored 24 points.
Tony Dejak / AP Enlarge
CLEVELAND - In the finals, the Cavaliers offered nothing to witness.
Cleveland's first appearance in the NBA finals ended quickly. Game 4 ended with San Antonio beating the Cavs 83-82 last night, completing the four-game sweep for the eighth time in league history.
Tony Parker scored 24 points and was named most valuable player, and Manu Ginobili had 13 fourth-quarter points to push the Spurs past the surging Cavs.
In the Spurs' previous three titles, in 1999, 2003, and 2005, they had never accomplished a sweep, only strengthening talk of a dynasty.
The Cavaliers will likely spend the offseason feeling like they didn't give the Spurs their best shot. After winning four straight games to get to the finals, the Cavs lost four straight and looked overmatched.
"I thought throughout the course of the series, especially in the last two ballgames, we had our opportunities," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "We just could never get over the hump. But a lot of that you've got to give credit to the Spurs."
LeBron James ended his first series without ever finding his shooting touch. He shot 36 percent for the series, possibly showing some end-of-season fatigue after carrying his team on his back all season.
James got no sleep Wednesday night because of the birth of his second son, and it showed for most of the game. James scored 24 points and had 10 assists last night at Quicken Loans Arena, but he made just 10-of-30 shots and had six turnovers.
"I've got a lot of things to work on to get better for next year," James said. "I have to be 10 times better. Our team has to be 10 times better."
Parker regained his reign in the lane last night. Tim Duncan didn't make his first basket until the third quarter, but Parker made up for it by making almost all of his.
He made his first six shot attempts and was 10-for-14 in the game. Parker averaged 24.5 points and shot nearly 57 percent in the series.
"He's come a long way, and it's very satisfying to have been able to watch that progress in him," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
The Cavs nearly pulled out a victory in Game 4 despite their poor shooting. With Cleveland down eight to start the fourth, Donyell Marshall made two baskets, the second a tip-in off a miss by James. He hit one of two free throws to close it to three.
James then hit a pull-up jumper and completed a finger roll to give the Cavs their first lead of the second half. The Cavs then went up 63-60 on Daniel Gibson's layup. The Spurs didn't score for the first six minutes of the period, but then they started their run.
San Antonio went back ahead on a Ginobili layup with 5:24 to play. The Cavs answered, tying the score at 66 on an Anderson Varejao dunk.
The Spurs finally knocked the Cavs out, first with a Ginobili 3-pointer and then with Fabricio Oberto's 3-point play with
2:29 to play that came after the Spurs got three straight offensive rebounds.
Oberto came back with another layup to put the Spurs up eight with two minutes left.
"Probably ran out of a little bit of gas, that was part of it," Brown said.
After the Cavs had cut it to six, Damon Jones was fouled from behind the line with 7.5 seconds left and made all three free throws. But Ginobili made two free throws to ice the championship. Jones' 3 at the buzzer was meaningless.
"Every time you've got an opportunity to finish a team, you've got to take it," Ginobili said.
Early in the game James fell into a trap of hoisting jumpers, and the Spurs didn't mind. Cleveland scored 14 points in the second quarter and 18 points in the third.
It got even uglier in the third. The Cavs missed nine of their first 12 shots in the third and fell down by 10 with five minutes left in the period.
Gibson's 3-pointer near the end of the quarter cut the deficit to single digits, but it wasn't enough to avoid the sweep.
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