SAN ANTONIO (KCBS) – The San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat in the first game of the NBA Finals Thursday night after sweltering conditions sidelined Heat star LeBron James through the final stretch.

“A lot of people are on (James) for getting cramps and not playing, but if you get cramps you can’t play,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew.

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The NBA decided to play the game despite an air conditioning failure at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. Some observers said pro basketball players should be able to handle the conditions.

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“If you knew it was going to be that way, then you could hydrate,” Madden said. “In pro sports, if someone is close to dehydration or isn’t completely hydrated, they can do it with an IV. And LeBron James didn’t even have a chance for an IV. The big thing is the unknown. If you know you’re going to go out and play outside on a playground, you hydrate. You know you’re going to play outside in a football game and it’s going to be hot, you hydrate. You’re playing inside in an air-conditioned building, you don’t expect it to be over 90 degrees.” (6:50)

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(Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.)