By Ian Parfrey @Ianparfrey
The Miami Heat’s season was in the hands of Chris Bosh and Ray Allen, and the Heat’s third and fourth bananas delivered.
Miami was trailing 95-92 in the closing seconds of regulation when Chris Bosh rebounded a LeBron James miss, and kicked it out to Ray Allen for a right-corner three that tied the game. Tony Parker missed a tough fadeaway at the buzzer, and the game went into overtime.
Bosh and Allen made key plays in the extra period, with Bosh blocking two shots in the final 32 seconds, and Allen stripping Manu Ginobili as he drove the lane, and then making a pair of free throws on the other end to give the Heat a 103-100 win.
The Spurs held a 75-65 lead after three quarters, but LeBron James scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, including a huge three-pointer with 20 seconds left, to lead Miami’s comeback.
San Antonio seemed to have their fifth championship in the Tim Duncan era sewn up, when James committed turnovers on consecutive plays in the final minute. But Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard each split a pair of free throws, allowing the Heat to erase a 5-point deficit in the final 28 seconds.
San Antonio failed to score over the final 2:42 of overtime, with Tony Parker missing two shots, and Manu Ginobili (9 points, 8 turnovers) coughing it up twice.
After Ray Allen’s free throws gave the Heat a 103-100 lead with 1.9 seconds left, Danny Green’s desperation three from the right corner was blocked by Chris Bosh.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made several questionable decisions down the stretch. He started the fourth quarter with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan both on the bench, which allowed the Heat to climb back into the game. Duncan was on the bench for the Spurs’ final two defensive possessions in regulation, both of which resulted in offensive rebounds leading to three-point makes. And Parker sat for the final 30 seconds of overtime.
LeBron James led Miami with 32 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists. Mario Chalmers added 20 points. For the Spurs, Tim Duncan had 30 points and 17 rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard had 22 points and 11 rebounds.
The championship will be decided Thursday night in Miami.