MIAMI (AP) -- The Miami Heat were so close to elimination from the NBA championships that the team noticed officials bringing yellow tape out to block off the court for the Spurs' trophy presentation. But a couple of big 3-pointers later and powered by LeBron James' fourth-quarter surge, the defending champions stayed alive, edging San Antonio 103-100 in overtime. Game 7 is in Miami on Thursday, the NBA's first do-or-die game to determine its champion since the Lakers beat the Celtics in 2010. Here are some of the best images from Game 6:
The Heat changed the course of NBA history. Here was San Antonio, on the brink of another Tim Duncan era championship and these strong, sure Spurs crumpled to the court. They had the Heat, had them done, and let it all slip away.
You?ll have to excuses ESPN for not mentioning LeBron James achieving a triple-double during the Heat?s 103-100 win over the Spurs until Game 6 ended. LeBron grabbed his 10th rebound ? capping a 32-point, 11-assist, 10-rebound, three-steal game ? on Chris Bosh?s block of Tony Parker?s jumper with 31 seconds left, setting off a whirlwind?
San Antonio Spurs fans are likely licking their wounds right about now, still stinging from an NBA Finals Game 6 that saw the boys in black and grey snatch defeat from the jaws of victory thanks to some late-game errors and some timely shooting by a Miami Heat team desperate to save its season. But some Spurs supporters might be sour at one particular play late in Game 6's overtime session on which they might feel their favorite squad got the short end of the stick:
With 31.3 seconds left in overtime and the Heat leading 101-100, Miami inbounds the ball, rags some clock and, after a couple of Heat screens, Dwyane Wade looks away from Ray Allen coming open off a curl to take a stepback 21-footer that misses. (Naturally.) Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard rebounds the miss with 12 seconds left and bowls it up the floor to Manu Ginobili. San Antonio had a timeout, but coach Gregg Popovich elected not to use it to get point guard Tony Parker (who appeared to be totally exhausted) back on the floor.
Instead, Ginobili ? who'd had a rough go of it to that point, with seven turnovers in 34 1/2 minutes ? is free to attack Allen off the dribble, and he does, crossing left to get to the middle of the floor and toward the paint ahead of a back-checking Wade. Ginobili gathers, launches into a sea of white jerseys ... and loses the ball, with Allen gaining possession and forcing San Antonio to foul with 1.9 seconds left. Allen would go on to make his two free throws, putting Miami up three; the Spurs' try for the tie came up empty when Chris Bosh made his game-sealing block on Danny Green to close Game 6. (Spurs fans might not be thrilled about that play, either.)