The Norman Transcript

National Sports

June 7, 2014

Spurs prepared for James and any conditions in Finals

SAN ANTONIO — When the air conditioning went out in San Antonio, many of the Spurs felt right at home — their native homelands.

They are a roster loaded with foreign players, accustomed to playing in places where air conditioning not only isn’t optional, it’s not even available.

“It gets crazy sometimes,” forward Boris Diaw from France said Friday. “It goes to 95, 96.”

It wasn’t quite that bad inside the AT&T Center during Game 1 of the NBA Finals, where the temperature hovered around 90 degrees and the thermometer got as much attention as the scoreboard in the Spurs’ 110-95 victory.

The Spurs weren’t immune to the steamy arena, they just handled it better.

They have nine players born outside of the United States, representing an NBA-record seven countries, and even Danny Green, one of their few Americans, played internationally earlier in his career when he couldn’t stick in the NBA. And while Diaw said it was the hottest NBA game he could remember, all the Spurs said they had faced worse.

They probably won’t have to endure it again, at least not in this series.

The teams were already scheduled to work out Friday and today at the Spurs’ training facility, and Spurs officials announced just before practice began that the air conditioning system was “fully operational.”

Commissioner Adam Silver said a breaker about the size of a car battery failed and workers couldn’t replace it because they didn’t know what effect that would have on the rest of the power to arena. Silver said workers from the facility and league, along with an outside expert, checked it out and are confident everything is repaired and will be fine for Game 2 on Sunday night.

They have developed a mental toughness, the kind it will take to bounce back from last year’s gut-wrenching NBA Finals loss to the Heat and get it done this year.

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