Spurs: AC back up and running

ByRoyce Young ESPN logo
Saturday, June 7, 2014

SAN ANTONIO -- The electrical failure that caused the air-conditioning outage at the AT&T Center during Game 1 of the NBA Finals has been repaired, the San Antonio Spurs announced Friday.

"The AC system has been tested, is fully operational and will continue to be monitored," the team said in a statement. "The upcoming events at the AT&T Center, including the Romeo Santos concert tonight, the Stars game on Saturday night and Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, will go on as scheduled. We apologize for the conditions in the arena during last night's game."

Temperatures reached as high as 90 degrees in the arena with uncomfortable conditions affecting both teams. Players were using cold towels and ice packs on the bench, as fans rolled up programs to fan themselves throughout the game.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he was satisfied the air-conditioning issues have been cleared up and will not affect play come Sunday.

"We learn something new all the time," Silver told The Associated Press on Friday at an NBA Cares event. "The league checklist continues to get longer, the things that we need to ensure are functioning properly before games."

Miami Heat forward LeBron James was affected most by the situation, as he dealt with severe cramping that caused him to miss the final 3:59 of the game as the Spurs won 110-95 and took a 1-0 series lead.

"My body just shut down. Basically, my body said, 'OK, enough jumping for you for the night. You've had enough,'" James said. "Nothing I could do about it."

The Spurs were able to withstand the heat -- and the Heat -- by closing the game on a 31-9 run as guard Danny Green scored 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting in the fourth quarter. However, the storyline after the game centered on the warmth in the arena and, obviously, how it affected the four-time MVP.

"I want the AC to come back, I want to play the real Miami Heat, the two-time champs, with LeBron back," Spurs guard Tony Parker said. "I hope it's not bad. And I hope he's going to be 100 percent on Sunday. Because as a competitor you want to play against the best, and that's how I feel."

While arena and league officials say the expectation for Sunday's Game 2 is that the air conditioning should function properly, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said if there are issues again, there should be repercussions.

"It was an extreme, unfortunate situation for both teams," Spoelstra said. "It probably won't happen again, ever. Now, we might have to deal with the absolute opposite in Game 7, who knows. It will be 55 degrees in the arena, unless they don't get it fixed -- which, if they don't, there should be a fine."

Spoelstra said he had to instruct his team to stop talking about the uncomfortable environment, feeling it was focusing too much on the steamy situation rather than on the Spurs.

"I think our best quarter was probably the third quarter fighting through it, and I think the biggest thing was stop talking about it," he said. "The first half it was on all of our minds, but those were the circumstances. Both teams need to deal with it, we needed to deal with it. Stop letting it become something in our minds."

The unusual is fairly standard in San Antonio, with past incidents including a bat flying around the arena and a snake being found in the visiting locker room. With James' history of cramping and the outcome of Thursday's Game 1, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked whether he had any inclination to turn the dial on the thermostat a little bit for Game 2.

"All I know is I saw all the air-conditioning people on my way out [of the arena] last night, and I sent them home," Popovich said jokingly.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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