Miami • For years, Ray Allen’s routine has not changed. Show up for work hours earlier than just about everyone else, go onto the court and take hundreds of jump shots.
It paid off for him on Tuesday.
And he’ll be back out there on Thursday — since the Miami Heat season still has one game remaining.
Allen’s 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter capped a huge Miami rally plus essentially took the championship trophy out of San Antonio’s hands, and the Heat found a way in overtime to hold off the Spurs for a 103-100 win.
“Ray did what he’s done for so many years,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team trailed by 13 in the second half and was down by 10 entering the final quarter. “And we’ve seen it on the other side so many times.”
A pair of free throws by Allen with 1.9 seconds left in overtime sealed it, and on the last play of the game, Danny Green — who took Allen’s 3-point Finals record earlier in this series — had no chance at getting a potentially tying shot anywhere near the rim, the play snuffed out by Miami’s Chris Bosh.
So Allen lost his record in these NBA Finals.
He still has a chance at what he wants most: A second championship. It’s why he came to Miami.
“There’s a lot of shots that I’ve made in my career,” Allen said. “But this will go, you know, high up in the ranks, because of the situation.”
And without him, Game 7 probably wouldn’t be happening for Miami.
“This is the reason why we wanted him, in games like this,” Miami’s LeBron James said.
One of the subtle moves that set up Allen’s game-winner came with 19.4 seconds left. Leonard made the second to push the Spurs’ lead to three, and James took a 3-pointer that would have tied it for Miami.
James shot missed and Bosh got the rebound. Allen took several steps backward, both getting ready to receive the pass and getting his feet ready for the shot that only would potentially decide Miami’s season. He caught the ball, as James stood alone at the top of the key, both arms raised, wanting the shot.
“If it’s not me, I have no problem with Ray taking that shot, man,” James said. “He’s got ice water in his veins. Like I’ve said before, Ray can be 0 for 99 in a game. And if he gets an open look late in a game, it’s going down.”
Sure enough, the shot went down. Allen never thought about passing the ball — shaking his head no, somewhat comically, when asked if shipping the ball to James was an option. He shot, waited and then saw the ball drop with a swish.