Friday, June 21, 2013
MIAMI -- Miami Heat is victorious in Game 7 that gave another crown to the Lebron James solidifying the team and its leader their place as among the NBA's greats.
The San Antonio Spurs just let this championships slip away in game 6. James led the Heat to their second straight title, scoring 37 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a 95-88 victory on Thursday night in a close game that was tight until Miami pulled away in the final minute.
"I work on my game a lot throughout the offseason," said James, who was MVP for the second consecutive Finals. "I put a lot of work into it and to be able to come out here and (have) the results happen out on the floor is the ultimate. The ultimate. I'm at a loss for words."
James made five 3-pointers, defended Tony Parker when he had to, and did everything else that could be expected from the best player in the game.
The Heat became the NBA's first repeat champions since the Lakers in 2009-10, and the first team to beat the Spurs in the NBA Finals.
"It took everything we had as a team," Dwyane Wade said. "Credit to the San Antonio Spurs, they're an unbelievable team, an unbelievable franchise. This is the hardest series we ever had to play. But we're a resilient team and we did whatever it took."
Players and coaches hugged afterward -- their respect for each other was obvious from the opening tipoff of Game 1 through the final buzzer.
A whisker away from a fifth title two nights earlier, the Spurs couldn't find a way to win it all in what was perhaps the last shot for Tim Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili to grab another ring together.
"In my case, I still have Game 6 in my head," Ginobili said. "Today, we played an OK game. They just made more shots than us. LeBron got hot. Shane (Battier), too. Those things can happen. But being so close and feeling that you are about to grab that trophy, and seeing it vanish is very hard."
They were trying to become the first team to win a Game 7 on the road since Washington beat Seattle in 1978, but those old guys ran out of gas just before the finish.
Duncan had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs, but missed a shot and follow attempt under the basket with about 50 seconds left and the Spurs trailing by two.
James followed with a jumper -- the shot the Spurs were daring him to take earlier in the series -- to make it 92-88, sending San Antonio to a timeout as Glenn Frey's "The Heat Is On" blared over the arena's sound system.
He then came up with a steal and made two free throws for a six-point lead, and after Ginobili missed, James stalked toward the sideline, knowing it was over and that he was, once again, the last one standing.
Wade had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who overcame a scoreless Chris Bosh by getting six 3-pointers and 18 points from Shane Battier.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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 103-101.
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 San Antonio Spurs can finish Miami off Tuesday night in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, establishing themselves as one of the league's greatest franchises. If that happens the Heat's Big Three once again go from celebrated to devastated.
Lebron James needs to play his best in game 6 both offensively and defensively, he needs to will it for his struggling teammates. James needs to attack instead of shoot jumpers. For the Heat to be able to win Game 6 they need the same performance of Game 4 from their bigs.
Game 5 was dominated by the Spurs leading as much as 20 points. Spurs big three Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili had a great performance for San Antonio. Danny Green hit his shots and defended Lebron well.
San Antonio Spurs will play in South Beach with a 3-2 lead, Miami Heat should be tough to defeat the Spurs. Will the Spurs hold momentum and secure the crown in game 6 for the fifth time, or will LeBron and the Heat stay alive Game 6 – Tonight: 9:00 pm ET (2am Wednesday BST)