NBA Finals: Heat top Spurs in OT, force Game 7
Heat rally in fourth quarter to edge Spurs in tense OT battle.
Published: June 18, 2013 11:54PM
Updated: December 7, 2013 11:33PM
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LeBron James

Miami • LeBron James led a title-saving charge, and now his crown will be on the line one more time in Game 7.

James powered Miami to a frantic fourth-quarter rally and overtime escape as the Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs 103-100 on Tuesday night to extend the NBA Finals as far as they can go and keep Miami’s repeat chances alive.

Losing his headband but keeping his cool while playing the entire second half and overtime, James finished with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, making the go-ahead basket with 1:43 remaining in the extra period.

“If we were going to go down tonight, we’re going to go down with me leaving every little bit of energy that I had on the floor,” James said.

Tim Duncan scored 30 points for the Spurs, his most in an NBA Finals game since Game 1 in 2003, but was shut out after the third quarter. He added 17 rebounds.

Game 7 will be here Thursday, the NBA’s first do-or-die game to determine its champion since the Lakers beat the Celtics in 2010.

“They’re the best two words in sports: Game 7,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

And two the Spurs were oh so close to avoiding.

They looked headed to a fifth title in five chances when they built a 13-point lead with under 4 minutes left in the third quarter, then grabbed a five-point edge late in regulation after blowing the lead.

But James hit a 3-pointer and Ray Allen tied it with another. Just 5.2 seconds remained in regulation. The Heat were that close to the edge.

“It’s a tough moment. We were a few seconds away from winning the championship and we let it go,” Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili said. “A couple rebounds we didn’t catch, a tough 3 by Ray and a couple missed free throws. It’s a very tough moment.”

James was just 3 of 12 after three quarters, the Heat trailing by 10 and frustration apparent among the players and panic setting in among the fans.

Nothing to worry. Not with James playing like this.

He finished 11 of 26, even making a steal after his basket had given Miami a 101-100 edge in the OT.

Before that, he was 12 minutes from hearing the familiar criticisms about not being able to get it done, from having to watch a team celebrate on his home floor again.

Then he changed the game and erased that story.

The Heat, who haven’t lost consecutive games since Jan. 8 and 10, had too much defense and way too much James for the Spurs in the final 17 minutes. They are trying to become fourth team to win the final two games at home since the NBA went to the 2-3-2 format for the finals in 1985.

James came in averaging 31.5 points in elimination games, highest in NBA history, according to a stat provided through the NBA by the Elias Sports Bureau.

This wasn’t quite the 45-point performance in Game 6 of last year’s Eastern Conference finals in Boston, but given the higher stakes may go down as more important — if the Heat follow it with another victory Thursday.

Highlights

O Miami erases a 13-point deficit to tie the game in the last seconds of regulation, and the Heat hold off the Spurs for the Game 6 victory.

Heat 103, Spurs 100 (OT)

FG FT Reb

S.A. Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

Ginobili 34:41 2-5 4-6 1-4 3 4 9

Leonard 45:48 9-14 3-4 2-11 0 3 22

Duncan 44:26 13-21 4-5 5-17 0 2 30

Parker 42:39 6-23 6-7 1-3 8 1 19

Green 41:29 1-7 0-0 2-4 0 4 3

Neal 24:15 2-7 0-0 0-1 0 2 5

Diaw 23:18 2-6 3-4 1-4 2 2 7

Splitter 8:13 2-2 1-2 0-1 0 3 5

Bonner 0:10 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 265:00 37-85 21-28 12-45 13 21 100

Percentages: FG .435, FT .750. 3-Point Goals: 5-18, .278 (Ginobili 1-3, Leonard 1-3, Neal 1-3, Parker 1-3, Green 1-5, Diaw 0-1). Team Rebounds: 13. Team Turnovers: 15 (12 PTS). Blocked Shots: 2 (Green 2). Turnovers: 13 (Ginobili 8, Duncan 2, Green, Neal, Splitter). Steals: 8 (Leonard 3, Parker 2, Duncan, Ginobili, Green). Technical Fouls: None.

FG FT Reb

Miami Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

Miller 29:34 3-4 0-0 1-7 2 5 8

James 49:46 11-26 9-12 4-10 11 3 32

Bosh 38:31 5-12 0-1 3-11 2 0 10

Chalmers 42:53 7-11 2-2 0-4 2 2 20

Wade 36:36 6-15 2-2 2-4 4 4 14

Allen 40:46 3-8 2-2 0-1 2 5 9

Battier 12:34 3-4 0-0 1-1 0 3 9

Andersen 14:20 0-1 1-2 1-4 0 4 1

Totals 265:00 38-81 16-21 12-42 23 26 103

Percentages: FG .469, FT .762. 3-Point Goals: 11-19, .579 (Chalmers 4-5, Battier 3-4, Miller 2-2, Allen 1-3, James 1-5). Team Rebounds: 3. Team Turnovers: 15 (17 PTS). Blocked Shots: 6 (Bosh 2, Wade 2, James, Miller). Turnovers: 15 (James 6, Chalmers 3, Wade 3, Allen 2, Bosh). Steals: 10 (Andersen 3, Bosh 3, James 3, Allen). Technical Fouls: None.

San Antonio 25 25 25 20 5 — 100

Miami 27 17 21 30 8 — 103

Attendance • 19,900

Time • 3:04.

Officials • Joe Crawford, Mike Callahan, Ken Mauer.