It looked over. The jokes and criticisms were already being generated about LeBron James and the Heat as they found themselves down five with 28 seconds to go.
The narrative had seemed written just a few plays earlier; down 10 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the headband-less James and his team rallied back to take an 89-86 lead with 1:47 to go. Tony Parker had to go and fuck it all up, hitting a deep tying three and then another shot to take the lead after Mario Chalmers turned over the ball. After a couple intentional fouls, the San Antonio Spurs looked like they had sealed up the title.
Then, some ridiculous shit happened. How else do you describe it? James made a three-pointer, and the game had some life in it. After Kawhi Leonard missed one of his free throws, the Heat had a life preserver to grab on to.
Miami took advantage, although not gracefully. James took another three; it didn't go. But Chris Bosh was in the right place, grabbing it and giving his team just one more try. Bosh immediately dished it to an open Ray Allen backing up behind the arc, not fully set, but sinking it like he has so many times before. The Heat had five more minutes to save their season.
In overtime, with the Spurs up 100-97, Allen cut the lead to one. James put the Heat up by one with 1:43 left, and San Antonio wouldn't score again. Manu Ginobili's last-second shot (seen above) was a turnover or foul, depending on who you ask. Either way, it Allen sunk his free throws, and a Game Seven was necessary.
Let's go back to Bosh though, the butt of so many jokes. He came up with two vital plays in Miami's comeback. Bosh grabbed the offensive board to allow Ray Allen to tie the game at 95 and send it to overtime. Then, with 31.3 seconds left in overtime, he blocked Tony Parker's shot to prevent the Spurs from taking the lead. For good measure, he absolutely stuffed Danny Green's last-chance three-pointer, sending Green into the bench of his now-gloomy teammates.
Speaking of the unbelievable trey-maker, Green was a resident of clank city tonight, shooting an awful 1-of-7, his only points being a three. Bosh had said Green "won't be open tonight" before the game, and Bosh didn't lie.
All of this overshadows what a night Tim Duncan had. Zach Harper of CBS Sports pointed out that ten years ago, when Duncan was in an NBA Finals closeout game, he posted a line of 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists and eight blocks. Tonight, a 10-years-older Duncan logged 30 points on 21 shots and 17 rebounds. It was a great stat line, but Duncan scored 25 in the first two quarters. What happened in the second half?
How do you follow up one of the craziest games in NBA Finals history? It is a Game 7, for a start.