It should have been easy to predict around 11 p.m. ET Tuesday night that we were all about to see something amazing.
One hour later, things still hadn't been decided. Another five minutes is what it took to reach a Miami Heat Game 6 victory. Miami took down the San Antonio Spurs 103-100 in overtime.
If Tim Duncan owned the night up until the fourth quarter, LeBron James stole it from him in the most vicious way possible. James destroyed everything in the fourth quarter, getting whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted it.
But then, there was the little guy waiting for the moment to get bigger. Tony Parker picked his moment and ripped whatever James had stolen from Duncan back into a black and silver uniform—with five straight points, and a steal in between, inside two minutes to push San Antonio ahead.
Of course, Ray Allen couldn't let the series go by without being heard from. His contested three from the right corner tied things at 95 and sent Game 6 to overtime.
Then in the extra period, Allen was able to rip the ball away from Manu Ginobili on his game-winning attempt. Two freebies at the other end put the Heat out of reach. Allen scored seven of Miami's final 11 points, including four in overtime.
Lost in the wild night was another James triple-double. The MVP had 32 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds on the night. At times, he seemed completely unstoppable, but in the end, he enjoyed the team effort needed to win.
James was joined by Mario Chalmers' 20 points, most coming early while the Heat were treading water. Chris Bosh came up huge with some late-game defensive stands. He also registered a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Duncan's game was not an exaggeration. He had his way with Bosh and the Heat in the first half, and he finished with 30 points and 17 rebounds. Unfortunately, he was silenced after the third quarter, as 44 minutes caught up with him.
Kawhi Leonard posted 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Parker finished with 19 points and eight assists.
The Heat didn't score in the final four minutes and 30 seconds of the first half, allowing the Spurs to ride a 11-0 run into the half. Duncan, who finished the half with 25 points on 11-of-13 shooting, scored seven of those points. He helped his team to a 50-44 lead at the break.
When the third quarter buzzer sounded, James was just 3-of-12 from the field. He and the Heat spent a lot more time worrying about the referees in the quarter than the Spurs. However, it was San Antonio, not the officials, that was beating them 75-65 with a quarter to play.
Less than one minute into the final quarter, the Heat cut the lead to five. An immediate Chalmers trey—his fourth of the game—followed by a James layup got them there. Shortly after, with 10:26 remaining, Mike Miller hit a three with one shoe off to bring Miami within 77-73.
James had a hand in the first 14 points Miami scored in the fourth quarter. He made four baskets of his own and assisted on both Chalmers' and Miller's threes. His defense-to-offense layup with 6:45 to go knotted things up at 82. James blocked Duncan's attempt at one end and penetrated for the bucket at the other.
Parker scored five straight points, starting with a long three from the top of the key to tie the game at 89. He followed it up by stealing a pass and coming down to hit a spinning jumper in the paint. The Spurs were up 91-89 with 58 seconds to glory.
After four Ginobili freebies, James got two chances at a three. Thanks to a huge offensive board by Miller, he hit the second one. That pulled the Heat to within 94-92 with 20 seconds left on the clock.
Bosh came up with an offensive board and found the guy he needed to. Allen netted a corner three with five seconds remaining, which tied the game at 95.
Leonard scored the first four Spurs points of overtime, giving his team a 99-97 lead with 3:08 remaining.
Ball movement got the Heat back into the lead. Numerous passes flurried about, with Wade's handoff to James the final move. James lofted it in for the 101-100 lead with 1:01 to go. James assisted on the first two baskets of overtime, as well.
Some great individual defense at both ends by Danny Green and Bosh kept the score the same inside the 20-second mark. With the Heat up 103-100, Bosh snuffed out Green's buzzer-beating attempt from the corner.
That sealed the deal for one more night of amazing.
Thursday. Game 7. Miami hosts San Antonio for the 2013 NBA championship.