Miami, who hadn’t lost back to back games since January were poised to keep their season alive. This situation was similar to their run to 2011 NBA Finals. They returned from Texas down in the series 3-2. But in that series, the Heat would crumble as the Dallas Mavericks celebrated on South Beach.
He was able to get high percentage shots on offense and a rebounding machine in the paint.
Duncan helped his team get a 50-44 advantage going into halftime scoring 25 points going in to halftime, outscoring the Heat’s Big Three by four points.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were just 9 for 24 in the first half. The trio would need a big turnaround if they wanted to win this game to extend their season.
San Antonio came out in the third quarter and expanded their lead to double figures. Duncan, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard were able to attack the Heat’s defense and create opportunities to take over the game. Duncan put the Spurs ahead by 11 points after getting fouled making a dunk attempt midway through the third quarter.
Things started looking bleak for Miami, down double digits heading into the final quarter could be too deep of a hole to climb out of.
Early in the fourth quarter, James lost his headband and that began the furious rally to save their season. After going 3 for 12 in the first three quarters, James had to put the team on his back down the stretch scoring 15 of 32 points in the fourth. Chalmers hit a three and then James found Mike Miller who lost his shoe on the previous possession for a wide open 3-pointer to make it a 77-73 game.
James was not done in the fourth quarter as he showed off his will to win on both ends even with Wade and Bosh on the bench. He got dunks on back to back possessions to bring the Heat within three.
A layup by James tied the game at 82 and moments later, Ray Allen scored on driving layup to get Miami an 84-82 lead. Game 7 was looking more promising after reclaiming the lead. Miami just had to play defense and not allow a late game breakdown.
The Spurs capitalized on Miami’s mistakes late in the game and took a 94-89 lead with 28 seconds left. The preparation for a Spurs celebration was being setup and that didn’t sit too well with the Heat’s players.
James hit a 3-pointer to make it 94-92 with 20 seconds left. Leonard had a chance to ice the game but split a pair of free throws in his trip to the line, leaving the Heat only down three points.
Coming out of the timeout, the Heat needed a three and James would take and miss the tying 3-pointer but Bosh moved in to get the rebound tapped out to Allen, the all-time leader in 3-pointers made, who nailed the game-tying shot from long range to send the game into overtime at 95.
The Heat couldn’t let the triple-double effort of James go to waste with their season. After going up by three in overtime, San Antonio could not finish off the Heat. Allen cut to the basket and James found him for a layup and on the next possession it was a basket by James that gave the Heat life for Game 7.
Bosh came up with a huge block on Danny Green’s 3-pointer as time expired giving Miami an elimination game to claim back-to-back titles.
The Heat would go on to win Game 7 of the NBA Finals and are ready to work toward a rare three-peat but this game epitomized what it takes to be a champion. James continued to create his legacy especially in Game 6 where he would have been heavily scrutinized with a loss. He rallied his teammates to achieve their ultimate goal of winning an NBA title. It may not have happened if it weren’t for the late game heroics in Game 6.
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