Heat fans who streamed out of AmericanAirlines Arena early during Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs missed an incredible finish as Miami came back to win in overtime.
There will be a Game 7 in Miami Thursday night. The Miami Heat saved their season and won Game 6 of the NBA Finals in overtime, beating the San Antonio Spurs 103-100.
Ray Allen hit a 3-pointer with 5.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter, then iced the game with two free throws in overtime.
"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."
LeBron James came back from a brutal first half to lead the Heat with 32 points, 16 of which came in the final period. He added 10 points and 11 rebounds for his second triple-double of the series (the first was in Game 1), despite missing 9 of his first 12 shots from the field.
"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.
The ending was so wild that the fact Mike Miller made a 3-pointer while wearing only one shoe was largely forgotten by game's end.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only five other players have recorded a triple-double in an elimination game, and they are all in the Hall of Fame: Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Wes Unseld, Jerry West and Bill Russell.
Mario Chalmers scored 20 points and Dwyane Wade scored 14. Chris Bosh added 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
The Heat were rolling early, hitting shots from all over the floor to open up a 7-point lead midway through the second quarter. Then, as they had done so many times in the series, the Spurs went on a huge run to shift momentum. They outscored the Heat 17-4 in the final minutes of the quarter to take a 50-44 lead at halftime.
In a sequence reminiscent of their big runs in Game 5, San Antonio extended their lead to 13 points in the third quarter. Miami pulled within a point, then the Spurs went on a 15-2 run and looked like they may just pull away with the championship.
But the Heat regrouped, and down 75-65 with a quarter remaining went on a 20-7 run to take a 87-84 lead with five and half minutes left. Miami continued to cling to a lead, but with two minutes remaining very nearly collapsed.
Parker tied the game with 1:27 remianing on a step-back three-pointer, then stole a Chalmers pass and converted on the other end to give the Spurs the lead again. Two straight James turnovers turned into three made free throws by the Spurs, and all of a sudden the Heat were down 94-89 with 28 seconds left.
Miami promptly went on a 6-1 run to force overtime, just as it seemed they had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. James hit a 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go to pull within two points, then the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard missed one of two free throws when he was fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass. This gave Miami a chance to tie the game with a 3-pointer.
A James attempt clanged off the rim, but Bosh rebounded it and passed it to Allen, who promptly stepped back and tied the game with 5.1 seconds to go. Parker could not make an off-balance jumper at the baseline as time expired, sending the game to overtime.
"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."
Watch video of the shot below:
Neither team led by more than three-points in overtime, but the Heat were able to hold on for the win thanks to some timely stops in the final seconds. Bosh made both his blocks in the Spurs' final three possessions, one on the last play of the game as Danny Green was attempting a game-tying three-pointer.
And it was Allen who scored the final two points of the game. The Spurs' Danny Green broke his record for the most three-pointers in a Finals, but Allen may have gotten the last laugh with his shots in Game 6.
Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 30 points and 17 rebounds, but did not score in the fourth quarter or overtime. Parker scored 19, Kawhi Leonard scored 22.
Game 7 will be played Thursday night in Miami.