Just when we all thought the game was over, a vintage Ray Allen 3-pointer with 5.2 second left in regulation, catapults the game into overtime where the Miami Heat defeat the San Antonio Spurs 103-100; forces a Game 7 (Friday June 21 11:00am, AEST).
However, if you were to look up the word ‘vintage’ in the dictionary, there would be a picture of Tim Duncan and his first half performance. At the mid-way point, Duncan had 25 points (11/13 FGs), 8 rebounds, and was 3 of 4 at the free throw line.
Tim finished with a team-high 30 points (13/21 FGs), 17 rebounds (5 offensive) and 1 steal.
After another slow start (3/12 FGs), LeBron James finished the elimination game with 32 points (11/26 FGS), 10 rebounds, 11 assists, 3 steals and 1 block; James also had a game-high 50 minutes.
James joined Charles Barkley, James Worthy, and Jerry West, as the only players in NBA history to have at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in an NBA Finals game.
Down by 10 to start the fourth, Miami rallied back with an 8-2 run; this was fueled by LeBron’s 16 points in the last quarter.
Mario Chalmers was critical scoring 20 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists (4/5 3FGs).
Tony Parker wasn’t his normal efficient-self, he was a horrible 6/23 from the floor with 19 points, 3 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals and 0 turnovers. Parker did manage to get to the line 7 times and connected on 6 of them.
After banking his first 3, Shane Battier came alive; he had 9 points on 3 of 4 from deep.
Dywane Wade floated in and out of the game, he wasn’t as effective as he was in Games 4 and 5; with just 14 points (6/15 FGS), 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks).
Kawhi Leonard was again unreal, 22 points (9/14 FGs), 11 rebounds and 3 steals.
Chris Bosh added 10 points and 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Bosh had the clutch offensive rebound that led to Ray Allen’s massive corner 3; not to mention his two vital blocks in overtime on Parker and Green.
Manu Ginobili didn’t play like he did in Game 5. He finished the night with 9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 8 turnovers. He was devastated after the loss, particularly with his career-high turnovers.
Both teams exploded out of the blocks. Each side ran a signature play to open their scoring; Chris Bosh at the elbow, and Tim Duncan nailing a bank shot.
In the first quarter they traded buckets and both teams showed off with some highlight plays.
Leonard and Duncan carried the Spurs offensively in the first quarter. The 21-year old Leonard delivered 8 points in the first 6:10. This consisted of a 3-point play and a 3-pointer; yet none better than his dunk on Mike Miller.
Tim Duncan showed viewers he was hungry for his 5th NBA title. Duncan was 6/6 from the floor, with 12 points and 3 rebounds at the end of the first.
LeBron James was busy early with 5 points and 5 assists in the first 4 minutes. However, it was Mario Chalmers who kept Miami rolling as Duncan and Leonard were getting it down in the paint. Mario had just 13 points in games 3, 4 and 5; in Game 6 he had 10 points in the first quarter, and shot 4/5 from the floor.
Even though the Spurs shot 61% in the opening quarter Miami had a 27-25 lead thanks to 4, second chance shots.
Duncan continued his clinic in the second quarter, and finished the half with a career-high in NBA Finals for points in a half; he unleashed bank shots, dunks, half-court post-ups, semi-transition post-ups, offensive put backs, you name it. Even with Miami hitting 5 of their first 7 shots from deep, the Spurs closed the half on a 17-4 run, with Timmy D scoring the last 13 straight for San Antonio.
The Heat were scoreless for the last 4:30 minutes of the half which meant the Spurs had a 50 – 44 lead at the main break.
Miami came out and attacked the rim in the second half. The Heat were able to make two runs, however Miami’s inability to handle some of the referees calls allowed the Spurs counteract their two runs with two of their own.
Tony Parker had 9 points in the quarter and James missed 6 consecutive field goals by the end of the third.
James had just 3 combined field goals over the first three quarters; the Spurs had a 75 – 65 lead at the end of the third.
Miami needed to start the fourth well if they had any chance of catching San Antonio, and that they did.
LeBron James happened; and without a headband. He was phenomenal. Some reporters and analysts are saying that LeBron’s fourth quarter, was the best they have seen him perform, ever.
With just one minute gone on the clock, the Heat had already achieved a quick 5-0 run via a Chalmers 3 and a LeBron lay-up.
Mike Miller joined the party (with only one shoe on), and stretched it to an 8-2 run.
The Spurs lost their composure as LeBron scored 16 in the final quarter.
With 6:47 remaining, LeBron came up with a block on Tim Duncan, and on the very next play James scored the game- tying lay-up.
After San Antonio looked gone, they managed to re-group and Tiago Splitter came up huge with two massive buckets. Then with 1:40 remaining Tony Parker tied the game with just his second 3-pointer of the series; an extremely difficult, gorgeous, step-back with James in his face.
After that play, Parker grabbed a steal on the defensive end and pulled this off:
The Spurs were the closest any team has come to winning a title, without actually winning it. The trophy was being wheeled out and the staff at the AmericanAirlines Arena were preparing for a San Antonio Championship celebration on their floor. The Miami fans were even leaving the stadium!
The Spurs were up 4 points with 28 seconds left, had possession, and were heading to the line for two free throws. A team wins that game 99.9% of the time.
Two offensive rebounds off LeBron misses, a LeBron 3-pointer, and an amazing, corner 3 from Ray ‘Clutch’ Allen, and overtime was happening.
Ray Allen holds the record for most 3-pointer in NBA history; this was no doubt his greatest and the most important one of his career.
Ray hit nothing but net.
(Norris Cole, on the bench, is already celebrating before it drops)
The Spurs went up by three in overtime, however Allen and James led the charge.
Bosh came up with two massive blocks; one on Tony Parker when the Heat were up 1, and another on Danny Green as the siren sounded.
Miami outscore the Spurs 8-5 in overtime.
- Miami shot 57.9% from 3-point territory (11/19). The shot Spurs only 27.8% (5/18).
- Danny Green was a non-factor. Miami didn’t allow him and open shots from deep. He had 3 points (1/7FGs), 4 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocks.
- Points in the paint: Spurs 60 – Heat 36.
- The two offensive rebound Miami got late in the game, Gregg Popovich had Tim Duncan on the bench, their best rebounder.
- Last time the Spurs big 3 (Duncan, Parker and Ginobili) lost consecutive games was way back in December.
- No team in this series has won back-to-back games.
Game 7: Friday June 21, 11:00am (AEST).