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Heat top Spurs, force Finals Game 7
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On June 19, 2013 @ 12:55 am In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI — For three quarters, it was not LeBron James’ finest night.
The Miami Heat superstar entered Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs averaging 31.5 points, 10 rebounds and 6.4 assists in 11 elimination games. But entering the fourth quarter Tuesday night, James had missed nine of 12 shots, and the Heat trailed by 10 points.
With Miami’s season on the line and another premature referendum on James’ legacy up for discussion, James delivered with 16-fourth quarter points and two in overtime, leading the Heat to a 103-100 victory and forcing one more game.
“I had a couple turnovers, couple mistakes,” James said afterward. “I can live with those mistakes knowing I gave my all tonight. Live to see another day.”
James and Ray Allen hit consecutive threes in the final 20.3 seconds of the fourth quarter, tying the score at 95-95 and producing the first overtime game of the series.
James’ basket with 1:01 left in overtime put Miami ahead 101-100, and Allen made two free throws with 1.9 seconds left, making it 103-100.
“Until time runs out we have an opportunity to win this game,” Allen said.
Chris Bosh came out with two outstanding defensive plays, blocking a Tony Parker jumper with 32.2 seconds left and Danny Green’s three-point attempt as time expired in overtime.
Bring on Game 7 Thursday (9 p.m. ET, ABC). It is the NBA’s first Game 7 in the Finals since 2010 and the sixth Game 7 in the Finals since 1980.
“One game, that’s it,” said Allen, who played in the 2010 Finals’ Game 7 with the Boston Celtics. “We gotta go out here and do our best and leave it out on the floor.”
James finished with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists and kept Miami’s hopes alive for a second consecutive NBA championship. It was his 11th playoff triple-double and his fourth Finals triple-double, including his second this series.
The pattern of lopsided results ended — the past four games had been determined by more than 10 points — but the trend of win-loss, win-loss extended. No team has won consecutive games in this series, and … [For more on Miami Heat top San Antonio Spurs, force Finals Game 7, click here.]
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