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The NBA Finals are heading to a seventh and deciding game for only the second time since 1994 after the Miami Heat stunned the basketball world, stealing Game 6 at home in overtime 103-100.
While LeBron James played one of the better fourth quarters you’re likely to see, it was a Chris Bosh rebound and a Ray Allen triple that kept the Heat’s season alive. The Heat collapsed towards the end of regulation before some missed free throws from San Antonio gave them the glimmer of hope they required.
A number of the Miami crowd left the building with 28 seconds remaining as the Heat trailed by five and looked to have ended their season. Those people were not welcomed back which is hilarious and although they did try, all they ultimately produced was additional ammunition for rival fan bases.
Let’s take a look at what else happened in Game 5…
- LeBron James stuffed 32 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, three steals, a block and a non-stop defensive effort on Tony Parker into his game-high 50 minutes.
- Five different Miami players combined to shoot 11 of 16 from beyond the arc.
- Mario Chalmers punched at least one meme in the nuts for one game.
- San Antonio’s “best team free throw shooting percentage in 13 seasons” stat became instantly meaningless. Gotta feel for young Kawhi Leonard:-
- Chris Bosh earned his entire $17.5m salary with one rebound and a block and should probably never pay for a drink in South Beach again, especially if the Heat win Game 7.
- Tony Parker struggled mightily on his way to 19 points and eight assists. Parker shot a woeful 6 for 23 from the field and was played very well by LeBron James throughout.
- Ray Allen’s nickname of Jesus has never been more appropriate than it was today, for Miami fans at least. Maybe another nickname is more suitable in Texas.
- Manu Ginobili looked shattered after the game and then confirmed as much in the post-game press conference.
- After banging his left knee into Ginobili’s right knee, Dwyane Wade again looked 75 years old.
- Tim Duncan scored 30 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to produce one of his best games of the season. Not bad for his 89th game in 230 days at 37 years and 54 days old.
- LeBron played without a headband for the last part of regulation and OT… and far too many people LOST THEIR DAMN MINDS! Also, more than a few Twitter handles were created. Ah, the Internet.
- Mike Miller hit a three-point shot with only one shoe on. Seriously.
- The Birdman made a return to the court, posting a deceivingly impressive one point, four rebounds, three steals and four fouls in 15 minutes of action.
So this series comes down to one game, in Miami, for the championship. Two great teams and 48 minutes of hell for both supporter bases.
The easy assumption to make here is that the Heat feel confident after this epic jailbreak of a performance while the Spurs feel broken and downright dejected. If this was any other team than the Spurs in this situation, it would probably be a reasonable hypothesis.
San Antonio will be ready come Game 7 and the Heat will need to be sharp to repeat as champions.
The two most exciting words in sports, “Game Seven” become a reality on Friday (AU time) and will be televised live on ESPN – Channel 508.
Can. Not. Wait.