LeBron: ‘Best game I’ve ever been a part of’
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI — LeBron James went from goat to hero to goat to hero in the span of 50 exhilarating and exhausting minutes against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday.
It was a microcosm of James’ NBA Finals performance against the San Antonio Spurs: great one game, not great enough the next.
It was difficult to tell which way it would go for James in Game 6.
After a rugged first three quarters, James produced when Miami needed it most, with its season slipping away into disappointment. He scored 16 of his game-high 32 points in the fourth quarter as the Miami Heat outlasted the San Antonio Spurs 103-100 in a back-and-forth overtime affair, forcing a winner-take-all Game 7 in Miami on Thursday (9 p.m. ET, ABC).
“It was by far the best game I’ve ever been a part of,” James said of Game 6. “The ups and downs, the roller coaster, the emotions, good and bad throughout the whole game. To be a part of something like this is something you would never be able to recreate once you’re done playing the game. And I’m blessed to be a part of something like this.
“And I’m happy about the way we dug down and was able to get a win. It didn’t look like we could muster up at some point in the game.”
James also had 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his second-triple double of the series, his fourth Finals triple-double and his 11th postseason triple-double.
His three-pointer with 20.1 seconds left cut San Antonio’s lead to 94-92, and after Kawhi Leonard made 1 of 2 free throws, Heat guard Ray Allen made a three with 5.2 seconds left to force overtime.
James’ 7-foot floater in the lane with 1:43 left in overtime proved to be the winning shot.
“Everything we do starts with him,” Allen said. “If he has great energy, if he has bad energy, we feel it, the rest of the team. So one thing I always try to make sure I do with him is to make sure he understands how his aura, … [For more on LeBron James: 'Best game I've ever been a part of', click here.]