Before we reached overtime, this was about to be the story of how LeBron James messed up in the clutch, and Tony Parker coming out of nowhere. But James hit one big three to take the Miami Heat out of the grave, and Ray Allen hit a game tying three pointer to send the game into overtime. In it, it came down to playing good defense, and Chris Bosh with two huge clutch blocks on Tony Parker and Danny Green.
We have a game 7, and that’s what we deserve from this series. For long minutes during game 6 it looked like the better team, the one that plays like a team, the San Antonio Spurs, would have just about enough to clinch the NBA title.
Tim Duncan was simply unstoppable in the first half, finishing with 25 points, but he cooled off and got tired in the second, finishing with 30 points and 17 rebounds, but most of them coming way too soon for the Spurs. He got a lot of help from Kawhi Leonard, showing once again how athletic and special he is, adding 22 points, 11 rebounds and 3 steals in another excellent defensive performance.
But there were the bad. Manu Ginobili, who Gregg Popovich continues to believe in, putting him at crunch time in overtime, ending up with two turnovers in overtime, left to complain about being fouled on the final play. He finished with 9 points (2-of-5 from the field), but turning the ball over 8 times, and headed towards two more days of never ending criticism.
Tony Parker? He had one minute of complete clutch in the fourth quarter, hitting a huge three pointer and another shot that put the Spurs back in the lead. But he also missed the final shot of the game, as LeBron James and Ray Allen enjoyed two offensive rebounds by Mike Miller and Chris Bosh, sending the game into overtime.
There was Mario Chalmers, having his best game of the NBA finals, scoring 20 points in one of those games that reminds everyone that he’s a big-time player, once in a while, and the Miami Heat need one more of that from him. Dwyane Wade was banged up from the first moment, not even starting in the second half, but he had his big plays during the game, including a great 1-2 combo with James in overtime that put Miami in the lead (101-100) for one final time.
There was Chris Bosh, abused by Tim Duncan throughout the first half, but ended up getting his two biggest blocks of the season, adding 11 rebounds, including three huge ones offensively, making the most of Tim Duncan not being on the floor at the end of regulation.
And there was LeBron James, with so many highs & lows during the game, ending up playing 50 minutes, scoring 32 points, ending up with the triple double, adding 10 rebounds and 11 assists. He finally got things going once he lost his headband, scoring 10 points on 5-of-6 in the fourth quarter before turning the ball over twice in what looked like the end for him and the Heat’s season.
Then he got a second chance. He missed, bricked, a desperate three pointer, and hit the gift Mike Miller handed to him. In overtime, he started with two turnovers (finishing with six in the game), but had one big basket and a couple of great defensive plays. He’s not Michael Jordan, and he’ll make plenty of mistakes along the way, but he’s great enough to make up for them, and step aside to allow others to help him.