The Heat took Game 7 from the San Antonio Spurs with a 95-88 victory. In a hard fought battle, Miami came out more aggressive and leaned on two of their superstars to finish off San Antonio. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade led the attack and finally hit the open jump shots that the Spurs were giving them all series. The defense on the Spurs was able to limit the damage from Tony Parker and the perimeter players that had been getting good looks from 3-point range. When it was all said and done, Miami was at center court celebrating with the Larry O'Brien Trophy as they captured back-to-back NBA Championships.
For the first time since the Los Angeles Lakers repeated as champions in 2009 and 2010, The Heat joined an elite group in winning consecutive titles and the third for the franchise. James was named NBA Finals MVP for the second time and joined Michael Jordan and Bill Russell as the only players to win the regular season and Finals MVP honors in consecutive seasons.
James finished with 37 points and 12 rebounds including a big jumper with 27 seconds left in the closeout game to lead the Heat. The MVP came up big with a playoff career high of five 3-pointers made. Wade delivered in a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds in the elimination game. Shane Battier finally got his number called and stepped up to the challenge getting all of his 18 points via the 3-pointer. Mario Chalmers ended with 14 points. Chris Bosh got into foul trouble and did not record a single in the series clinching game.
San Antonio was led by Tim Duncan who had another good shooting performance on his way to 24 points and 12 rebounds. Second year player, Kawhi Leonard continued to impress with his ability to rebound and finish his shots around the hoop in getting 19 points and bringing in 16 rebounds. Manu Ginobili bounced back from a horrific Game 6, getting 18 points and five assists. Tony Parker was not as aggressive in Game 7 and was held in check getting 10 points.
After winning Game 6 in such a dramatic fashion, the Heat started out slow in front of their home fans. In the lowest scoring opening quarter of the series, Miami had an 18-16 edge meaning both teams were playing strong defense. The Heat shot 36 percent and the Spurs made just 31 percent from the field. It had the feeling of a game that was going to go down to the wire.
James and Wade took over in the second quarter and infected the team with energy and the offense to keep the Heat in the game. They scored 21 of the last 23 points of the second quarter. Wade scored as many points in the first half of this game as he did in all of Game 6. James did not shy away from his jumper and it looked as if the Spurs were giving him the open looks to test him. The shots just started falling for the both of them carrying a 46-44 lead into halftime.
In the second half, the Heat were on the verge of taking control of the game but could not get any separation. Clinging to 64-60 lead, Miami gave up a 7-0 run to San Antonio to trail 67-64. Boris Diaw hit a 3-pointer and found Duncan for a nice pass to puts the Spurs ahead. James stepped in with a jumper to end the run. Gary Neat hit a layup. Shane Battier continued his sharpshooting in the second half hitting a 3-pointer to tie the game. Mario Chalmers raced down the court to nail another 3-pointer to give the Heat the lead as time expired in the third quarter to put Miami up 72-71.
The nerves and fatigued had set in by the fourth quarter and the Heat were determined to hold off the Spurs from stealing another game on their home floor. Having outscored San Antonio 23-17 in the quarter, Miami clamped down on defense taking away the passing lanes which allowed them to dominate in the final frame. The Heat would not give up the lead in the fourth quarter and fought to hold on for the series clinching win.
San Antonio just ran out of gas down the stretch and could not keep up with Miami. They did have multiple opportunities to tie the game but the closest they could get was to bring it to within two after Leonard nailed a 3-pointer late to make it a 90-88 game. Miami answered by scoring the final five points of the game to secure the most important Miami Heat victory of the season.
This Game 7 saw the Heat persevere and overcome a 3-2 series deficit to win the final two games on their home floor in order to call the team champions again. Since James, Wade and Bosh joined the Heat they are now 3-0 in Game 7's and they have often carried the team in those games. James was the MVP of the Finals and was the main reason his team was able to stay alive after coming back from Texas. Wade played with more bursts of energy throughout the series but saved arguably his best game of the series for last. In the end, Miami survives another long and grueling seven-game series to win back-to-championships.Tags: Basketball, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Miami, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Championship, San Antonio Spurs, Shane Battier, Spurs, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker
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