The San Antonio Spurs paid the ultimate price for blowing their chance to clinch the 2013 NBA Finals in Game 6, losing Game 7 Thursday to the Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena 95-88.
Miami repeats as NBA champion, while the Spurs will be left to wonder what could have been.
Heat forward LeBron James, who scored a Game 7-high 37 points on 12 of 23 shooting, was named the NBA Finals MVP for a second straight year. Dwyane Wade recorded 23 points on 11 of 21 shooting, connecting regularly, like James, with his mid-range jumper.
The other member of Miami’s “Big 3,” Chris Bosh—who got the key offensive rebound that led to Ray Allen’s game-tying 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in Game 6—got into foul trouble early in Thursday’s winner-take-all matchup and failed to record a single point. His lack of offense, however, would be more than made up for by Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers. Battier (18 points) hit six 3-pointers in as many attempts and Chalmers added 14 points and two steals.
Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (24 points, 12 rebounds) had a chance to tie the game at 90 with less than one minute left to play, but he missed his field goal attempt in the paint and watched San Antonio’s deficit increase to four points (92-88) when James hit a mid-range jumper in Miami’s subsequent possession with 27.9 seconds remaining.
What hurt the Spurs as much as anything in Game 7 was the Heat’s neutralization of Tony Parker and Danny Green. Parker was held to 10 points on 3 of 12 shooting; Green had just five points on 1 of 12 shooting.