Our sixth entry is the big one — Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals. The Heat were down 3-2 in the Finals to the San Antonio Spurs. In the last year of the Finals’ 2-3-2 format, Miami could win it all with two home wins — something the Heat failed to do against the Dallas Mavericks two years earlier.
The Heat went into the fourth quarter down 10, 75-65. But Mario Chalmers made a 3-pointer to open the period. Mike Miller made one a little later with just one shoe on to cut the deficit to four. At the 8:59 mark, LeBron caught an airball from Chalmers and slammed it home. He lost his headband on that play, but never put it back on. Miami was just down three.
After struggling through the first three quarters, the headband-less LeBron was a man possessed. At the 6:44 mark, he blocked a point-blank attempt from Tim Duncan and then eluded Duncan to make a layup of his own. The Heat had tied the game.
With 3:48 left and the Heat up three, Wade checked into the game for Miller. Throughout the series, some asserted that Miami was better without Wade, instead surrounding LeBron with 3-point shooters. But Erik Spoelstra decided to play Wade down the stretch.
Questions about Wade seemed secondary, though, when Tony Parker made a step-back 3 over LeBron to tie the game. Parker stole the ball from Chalmers on the other end and made a nice layup in semi-transition to grab the lead back to the Spurs. Only 58 seconds remained.
LeBron turned the ball over on Miami’s next two possessions. While Manu Ginobili attempted two free throws with 28.2 seconds left, fans exited the arena. Officials began to rope off the court in anticipation of a Spurs championship celebration. But Ginobili split the pair. Spoelstra called his final timeout with the Heat down 94-89.
A first 3-point attempt from LeBron was way off, but Wade and Kawhi Leonard fought for the offensive rebound. Miller scooped the ball up and passed to LeBron, who made a second 3. Miami was down just two. Miller fouled Leonard, who also split the pair. Miami was down just three with 19.4 seconds left.
Parker couldn’t win at the buzzer, so the game went to overtime. And with the Heat up 101-100 with just 40 seconds left, Chris Bosh switched onto Parker. Parker tried a step-back jumper, but Bosh blocked it. The Heat gained possession.
Wade missed a jumper on the other end, and the Spurs pushed the ball. But Allen grabbed the ball (a bit of arm) from Ginobili, who was raced toward the basket. Ginobili lost the ball, and Boris Diaw fouled Allen with just 1.9 seconds left. Gregg Popovich was furious with the no-call. Allen made both free throws, and the Heat went up by three.
The Spurs called a timeout to advance the ball. On the in-bounds pass, Bosh ran to meet Danny Green in the corner. He blocked the shot, and the game was over. Miami survived to force Game 7.
As well as LeBron played to get the Heat back, and as amazing as Allen’s shot was, Bosh’s clutch play on both ends also deserves recognition. He grabbed the offensive rebound that gave Allen the chance to tie and came up with two blocks in the final minute of the overtime period.