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Heat force a Finals Game 7 with thrilling overtime win over Spurs

Jun 19, 2013, 1:53 AM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - Game 6 Getty Images

MIAMI — The Spurs were on the brink of winning a championship. With 28 seconds remaining in the fourth, they held a five-point lead, were on a 10-2 run over the last four minutes, and fans were heading for the exits while arena staffers lined the court to rope off the crowd in preparation for the trophy presentation.

But it wasn’t over yet.

The Heat had it back to a single-possession game with 19 seconds left, and Ray Allen made an incredibly difficult shot to send it into overtime, where Miami was able to prevent the Spurs’ championship celebration with a thrilling 103-100 victory that forces a Game 7 on Thursday.

Erik Spoelstra said he wasn’t aware of the machine that was in process, in terms of the building readying to crown the Spurs as champions.

“Come on,” Spoelstra said with a smile. “At that time I don’t think anybody noticed. That’s probably the best way to live in life is in the moment, and that will guarantee you’re in the moment.”

The Heat’s head coach may not have noticed, but key players on his team told a different story.

Chris Bosh said it “pissed him off” seeing all that happening before the game was officially decided, and LeBron James echoed that sentiment.

“Yeah, I noticed it,” James said. “It kind of did the same to all of us. There’s a few guys in the locker room that talked about it. We seen the championship board already out there, the yellow tape. And you know, that’s why you play the game, to the final buzzer.”

Before we got to that point, and due to the way that it finished, this game was an all-time classic.

Miami got out to a lead of as many as seven points in the second quarter, thanks to some early Spurs turnovers and some hot three-point shooting. James was in facilitator mode for the Heat, and consistently found his open shooters. But his offense was lacking, and when the Spurs made their push from the end of the first half on through to the start of the fourth, it was a problem as the Heat struggled with an offense that was tentative overall.

Through three quarters, James had 14 points on just 3-of-12 shooting, the Spurs held a 10-point lead, and Miami appeared to be on the ropes.

LeBron wasn’t going to go out like that, however, and his aggression in the final period was the reason the Heat were able to bring themselves back. He had 16 points in the fourth on 7-of-11 shooting, and attacked, attacked, attacked, finally forcing a Spurs team that was so effective defensively into impossible situations.

James finished with a triple-double line of 32 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, while playing 50 of the game’s 53 minutes.

Before Allen’s clutch game-tying shot, there were two big ones from Tony Parker — a fadeaway three-pointer, followed by a 12-foot jumper — that turned a three-point Spurs deficit into a two-point San Antonio lead with under a minute to play. The Spurs played stifling defense on the next couple of possessions to force two James turnovers, and free throws pushed the lead to five that began to put the plans in motion for the Spurs and the title celebration that was anticipated.

The Heat rallied, and the big-time three from Allen — which came after James missed a three to tie, and Chris Bosh secured the offensive rebound — got them five more minutes to stave off elimination. He took us through that crazy sequence near the end of regulation.

“Well, LeBron took the shot, and I knew we had time, I had to go,” Allen said. “I went into the paint to try to get the ball and make something happen. At that point there’s no guarantee who is going to get the ball or what may happen, and when I seen CB get the ball, I just backpedaled right to the three‑point line, and I was hoping I was where I needed to be — but I wasn’t quite sure. But just from years of shooting, I got to my spot.”

The overtime session featured two teams that were completely gassed from the intensity of the first 48 minutes. The Spurs trailed by three with just over a second left, and while Danny Green received the ball and rose up to try to tie it, Chris Bosh was there to block his shot as time expired.

We got this far without even mentioning Tim Duncan, who was on track to post one of the greatest games of his career, and one of the best in Finals history. He dominated early with 25 first half points on 11-of-13 shooting, and finished with 30 to go along with 17 rebounds. Had the Spurs held off the late Heat comeback, Duncan’s performance might have netted him the Finals MVP.

But talking about the Spurs and their title prematurely was not a good idea on this night, and the early arena prep may just have given the Heat the little extra push they needed to turn things around.

“It was a helluva game,” Gregg Popovich said afterward. “It was a helluva game. It was an overtime game. It’s a game of mistakes, and they ended up on the winning side.”

LeBron took it a step further, after just competing in one of the greatest games we’ve seen in recent Finals history.

“It was by far the best game I’ve ever been a part of,” James said. “The ups and downs, the roller coaster, the emotions, good and bad throughout the whole game.  To be a part of something like this is something you would never be able to recreate once you’re done playing the game. And I’m blessed to be a part of something like this.”

  1. dolphindubs - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    CANT WAIT!!!

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 19, 2013 at 7:27 AM

      I doubt the Timmy, Tony and Manu were hanging championship banners and
      decorating the Heat stadium.

      I saw the new LeBrons were delivered yesterday, the package declaring him
      as a two time champ.
      hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

      stop with this nonsense!

    • WatchThis - Jun 19, 2013 at 8:37 AM

      So, does anyone else think there’s an NBA conspiracy that wanted the Heat to win since they were preparing to crown the Spurs??

    • acdc363 - Jun 19, 2013 at 9:54 AM

      Bart Scott always makes me LOL !

    • daviddmsvcp - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      I can’t wait, either.

  2. canehouse - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    whether you hate the HEAT or loathe LEBRON… you have had to flat out enjoy that game. Can’t wait for more on Thursday!

    • zapainhurtzalot - Jun 19, 2013 at 9:10 AM

      Absolutely fantastic game! An absolute proof that it’s not over until the clock reads all zeros.

      However, throughout the series LeBron is trying to avoid the image of being a ball hog and passing it. As you may have noticed, when LeBron is in attack mode, he’s practically unstoppable. If he want’s a championship, he needs to take a page out of Micheal Jordan’s book and quit passing the ball (as much) and take it to the rack, score 40+ points and get it over with! I admire the fact he’s a team player and is a great passer, but damn boy, your the best in the game nowadays. Take the ball to the rack and shove it down Duncan’s throat every time!!!

  3. livingsacrifice86 - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    I would like to get others thoughts on the runs the Heat put together with wade and bosh on the bench. Happened in game 2 and here tonight. Obviously, you want wade out there, but I feel the offense is so iso heavy when he’s out there and ends up taking a 18 ft jump shot. Idk, the chalmers-Allen-miller-James-Andersen lineup is very good together

    • borderline1988 - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      I completely agree. Incredibly, that’s their best offensive lineup.

      Defensively though, that lineup should get killed. The Spurs just didn’t get the ball to Duncan in good position in the second half, but he should be able to toy with that lineup.

      I’m happy Norris Cole was glued to the bench. Chalmers is a better player in every aspect of the game (maybe besides for his play in the open court).

  4. rickyspanish - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    LeBron has become clutch. All that “LeChoke” nonsense is a bunch of hooey. A triple double in an elimination game when you’re down by double digits is ultra clutch. If the Heat win or lose, I’ll look back at this series and be happy. A seven game series is as good as an Arnold Palmer on a sunny day. ¡Viva Los Finals!

  5. norvturnersneck - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    Regardless of who wins, Wade or Bosh will be traded next year. My question is, “Which one?”

    • WatchThis - Jun 19, 2013 at 8:38 AM

      No they won’t.

  6. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    Congratulations Marty Barrett, 1986 World Series MVP.

    Stay with me, lets just breathe.

    Gotta admit, For a second there I thought it was over. But this is a once in a lifetime team. Incredible. Amazing. Wonderful. Horrible. Insane. Beautiful.

    1

    PS. Making a PBT announcement tomorrow. Still haven’t been able to get my bodily functions under control to do it now.

  7. jjones314 - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:30 AM

    Stop with the excuses.

    When the Heat lose = No excuse. They lost. LeBron is a quitter and a failure. He is the worst player in nba history.

    But when the Heat win and LBJ has a good game = Excuse after excuse after excuse after excuse after excuse

    Stop

  8. mojoquasi - Jun 19, 2013 at 7:48 AM

    My my, a game 7. Now who woulda thunk it. Wayta go guys. Milk it for all it’s worth.

  9. BigBeachBall - Jun 19, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    Wonder how much adderall Spoelstra snorts in a day…

    • WatchThis - Jun 19, 2013 at 8:39 AM

      Scoreboard.

    • fpstratton - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      I don’t know, but Spoelstra is a way better coach than people give him credit for. His adjustments in the fourth quarter, such as putting James on Parker, were outstanding. He may be the most likeable person in that organization.

  10. boycottnba2013 - Jun 19, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    It Was An Exciting Spurs Game But Anybody With Any NBA Basketball Wisdom Knows David Sterns Miami Heat Will Win Ref Calls IfThe Opposing Team IS Under 10. The NBA Has Lost Its appeal And Should Be Boycotted. Its About Greed And Money.

    • hehateme2 - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      So… does that mean we won’t be seeing any more of your pointless dribble? Let’s hope so!

  11. reedme16 - Jun 19, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    @livingsacrofice86

    I believe the answer is not having Wade and Lebron on the court at the same time for extended stretches. That lineup works because Lebron has more space to operate. Well Wade is more aggressive attacking the rim than Lebron. So if Spo wasn’t a complete idiot he would let Wade play with this lineup also.

    But I agree that this lineup has been deadly all playoffs but Spo has been too afraid to stick with it. I would have rode this lineup the whole 4th. But I would have put Bosh back in

  12. florida727 - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Have to love how the officials swallow their whistles at the most critical point in the game.

    Would Manu have made the free throws? Who knows? He should have shot them though.

  13. fpstratton - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    I was rooting for the Spurs and am not a Miami or LeBron James fan, but all the credit in the world goes to the Heat. Enough about conspiracies and how Popovich blew the game and how the Spurs choked. The fact is, San Antonio pushed Miami into performing at a higher level than they had previously. Ray Allen’s 3-point shot, considering the situation, is one of the finest I have ever seen. LeBron James’ fourth quarter was a thing of beauty. The Heat stared into the abyss and literally extricated themselves from an off-season full of questions and doubts. For those criticizing Popovich, how many coaches could push this great Heat team to seven games? For those criticizing the officiating, the Spurs got a lot of favorable calls earlier in the game. The Heat got favorable calls very late. That’s basketball. Two outstanding teams. A great series. Let’s appreciate!

    • hehateme2 - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      Well said.

  14. trimaster1 - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Whoever wins this series will be a true champion. Both teams will wear the trophy and title well:

    The Spurs will have won their 5th championship. Tim Duncan (who’s already a great and well respected) will just build on his lagacy even more. Tony Parker has shown he is a true point guard and a clutch player. Coach Pop is the coach who kept his team together for over a decade and they STILL play at the highest level.

    The Heat won 27 games in a row, Lebron got another regular season MVP and (probably) another Finals MVP. VERY TOUGH playoff run, but when the dust settles, they are back to back world champions.

    Both storylines are fantastic.

    Game 7 MIGHT be epic, but I think the Heat will win. That was a tough loss for the Spurs. Can they recover? The Heat fans will be INSANE. But this is why teams fight for the home court.

    • fpstratton - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      I agree. The Heat may have well survived (albeit just barely) the Spurs’ best punch, but the Spurs’ focus and resolve shouldn’t be underestimated. Heat by five.

  15. bbk1000 - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Wow, it appears the Heat repeatedly are on the upside of the calls or the no calls by NBA refs.

    So now the NBA gets a game seven, which you know they want, with a team you know they want to market…yea, whatever….

    The Spurs have no chance…

  16. BigBeachBall - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    August 14 Chicago Bears W 25–10
    September 19 Jacksonville Jaguars W 38–13

  17. BigBeachBall - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    2009
    August 22 at Arizona Cardinals W 17–6
    September 4 San Francisco 49ers W 26–7
    September 14 at Oakland Raiders W 24–20
    September 27 Miami Dolphins W 23–13
    October 25 at Kansas City Chiefs W 37–7
    November 1 Oakland Raiders W 24–16
    November 8 at New York Giants W 21–20
    November 15 Philadelphia Eagles W 31–23
    November 22 at Denver Broncos W 32–3
    November 29 Kansas City Chiefs W 43–14
    December 6 at Cleveland Browns W 30–23
    December 13 at Dallas Cowboys W 20–17
    December 20 Cincinnati Bengals W 27–24
    December 25 at Tennessee Titans W 42–17
    January 3 Washington Redskins W 23–20

    2010
    August 14 Chicago Bears W 25–10
    September 19 Jacksonville Jaguars W 38–13
    October 3 Arizona Cardinals W 41–10
    October 31 Tennessee Titans W 33–25
    November 7 at Houston Texans W 29–23
    November 22 Denver Broncos W 35–14
    November 28 at Indianapolis Colts W 36–14
    December 12 Kansas City Chiefs W 31–0
    December 16 San Francisco 49ers W 34–7
    January 2 at Denver Broncos W 33–28

    2011
    August 21 at Dallas Cowboys W 20–7
    August 27 at Arizona Cardinals W 34–31
    September 11 Minnesota Vikings W 24–17
    September 25 Kansas City Chiefs W 20–17
    October 2 Miami Dolphins W 26–16
    October 9 at Denver Broncos W 29–24
    December 5 at Jacksonville Jaguars W 38–14
    December 11 Buffalo Bills W 37–10
    December 18 Baltimore Ravens W 34–14
    January 1 at Oakland Raiders W 38–26

    2012
    August 9 Green Bay Packers W 21–13
    August 18 Dallas Cowboys W 28–20
    August 24 at Minnesota Vikings W 12–10
    September 10 at Oakland Raiders W 22–14
    September 16 Tennessee Titans W 38–10
    September 30 at Kansas City Chiefs W 37–20
    November 1 Kansas City Chiefs W 31–13
    December 9 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 34–24
    December 23 at New York Jets W 27–17
    December 30 Oakland Raiders W 24–21

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