Final, Heat 95-88: The Spurs had a chance to respond to LeBron James’ big shot, but instead Manu Ginobili made a pair of costly mistakes.
First, Ginobili turned the ball over, and then after a pair of free throws by James, he threw up an errant 3-pointer.
Miami was then able to run out the clock and put the finishing touches on its second straight NBA championship.
Also for a second straight year, James was named the Most Valuable Player.
James recorded a double-double with a game-high 37 points along with 12 rebounds. Dwyane Wade also notched a double-double. But the Heat could not have won another title without Shane Battier’s 18 clutch points in Game 7.
The Spurs, meanwhile, were led by Tim Duncan’s 24 points.
Fourth Quarter, 27.9 seconds, Heat 92-88: Any question that LeBron James is the best in basketball right now?
James just stepped up and hit a jumper like it was Game 7 of the regular season, not the final seconds of Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
Big moment. Bigger shot.
Fourth quarter, 39 seconds, Heat 90-88: Tim Duncan just had a chance to tie the game, but he couldn’t get a lay-in to fall.
So the Heat are still up thanks to a Dwyane Wade lay-in. Kawhi Leonard then answered with a big 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two.
Miami had a chance to go up by more, but Mario Chalmers missed two free throws.
Fourth quarter, 3:06, Heat 88-85: This game is coming down to the wire, as both teams just made a flurry of shots during the last three minutes.
First, Tim Duncan made a pair of free throws. Then Lebron James made a jumper. Manu Ginobili followed with a high-arching 3-pointer.
The Spurs looked like they would have another opportunity to score after Duncan grabbed a rebound, but he turned the ball over, and Shane Battier hit another three at the other end. Duncan made up for his mistake, though, with an incredibly difficult shot off the glass and in, plus the foul.
Fourth quarter, 5:37, Heat 83-77: Manu Ginobili did not have a good three minutes.
He was able to make a tough driving lay in, but he was involved in two costly turnovers as well. First, he took his eye off the ball and let a pass from Tony Parker go right through his hands. Then he just threw one away.
LeBron James answered with a big jumper to give Miami a six-point edge, forcing San Antonio to take a timeout.
Fourth quarter, 8:34, Heat 77-75: If the Heat win this game, they will need to give Shane Battier a big pat on the back.
Battier hit another 3-pointer and now has 15 points.
The Spurs were able to pull to within two thanks to a tough pass by Tony Parker to Tim Duncan for an easy layup. Parker was covered by multiple defenders and had to heave the pass up to Duncan as he was fading away.
End of third quarter, Heat 72-71: Only one quarter remains in a game that has truly lived up to the hype so far.
The Heat have a slim lead heading into the final quarter thanks to a deep shot by Mario Chalmers, which banked off the glass and in as time expired.
Just seconds before that shot, Manu Ginobili drove to the basket and made a lay in with 5.2 seconds remaining.
Shane Battier also continued to come up big for Miami with his fourth 3-pointer of the night.
Third quarter, 2:33, Spurs 65-64: LeBron James is on fire right now. James just hit a pair of 3-pointers and he now has 26 points.
The incredible thing, though, is that the Spurs are in the lead once again after being down by five points just under a minute ago. San Antonio was able to regain the lead thanks to a 3-pointer by Boris Diaw, a behind-the-back lay in, plus a foul for Kawhi Leonard and a lay in by Tim Duncan.
Third quarter, 6:48, Tied 54-54: Tim Duncan hit a step-back jumper to pull the Spurs even with the Heat.
San Antonio then called a short timeout.
Third quarter, 8:02, Heat 54-52: Both teams have had their sloppy moments in the first four minutes of the third quarter, but the Heat still lead.
Two Top-10 moments happened during this stretch including a pretty scoop shot by Manu Ginobili, and a touch pass from LeBron James to Dwyane Wade for a dunk after a steal on the other end.
End of second quarter, Heat 46-44: As time winded down in the second quarter, it was Dwyane Wade, not LeBron James, with the ball in his hands, and he delivered.
Wade hit a jumper with .8 seconds left in the first half, giving Miami the lead at the break. He has already matched his total points in Game 6 with 14 in just the first half.
He isn’t the only one producing offensively for the Heat, though, as James has awoken as well with a game-high 15 points after a slow start.
The Spurs are also being led by their stars offensively as Tim Duncan leads the team with 13, while Tony Parker is right behind him with 10.
One of the big reasons why the Heat are up at the break, though, is the play of one of their role players, Shane Battier, who scored nine big points while his teammates were struggling to score.
One thing to keep an eye on in the second half is foul troubles for both teams. Chris Bosh has failed to score a single point so far but that is largely due to his three fouls already. Manu Ginobili picked up two early fouls for the Spurs but hasn’t committed one since. Duncan and Mario Chalmers each have two personals as well.
Second quarter, 3:02, Heat 37-34: So much for LeBron James’ early shooting woes.
James scored six straight points with an old fashioned 3-point play and then with the more conventional 3-pointer. Danny Green gave James way too much room on that three and it came back to haunt him.
His 3-pointer, though, was one-upped by Gary Neal’s miracle shot off the glass as the shot clock expired.
Second quarter, 6:40, Tied 27-27: So, how are the Miami stars doing so far?
Chris Bosh is having some foul trouble with three personals.
Dwyane Wade looks like he has broken out of his slump with eight points.
And LeBron James looks like he is being frustrated by the Spurs defense and only has four points so far.
Second quarter, 9:55, Heat 21-20: Someone on San Antonio might want to guard Shane Battier.
Battier is on fire so far with three 3-pointers and a game-high nine points.
The Spurs were able to respond, though, with five straight points, forcing Erik Spoelstra to burn a timeout.
End of first quarter, Heat 18-16: The Heat took the lead for the first time thanks to an 8-0 run at the end of the first quarter.
It wasn’t LeBron James who propelled the run, but instead it was Shane Battier with a pair of 3-pointers and Chris Andersen with a tip-in.
Battier leads all scorers now with six points.
First quarter, 2:12, Spurs 15-10: Manu Ginobili already has two fouls for the Spurs, but after sitting him for a few minutes, Gregg Popovich elected to put him back in the game.
Both coaches have started to insert bench players into the equation, including Chris Andersen, who came up with a big block for Miami.
As for Lebron James and Dwyane Wade, they each have four points.
First quarter, 6:18, Spurs 11-6: After a sloppy first minute, the Spurs settled in and are now up 11-6.
Manu Ginobili hit a 3-pointer during the early going, which is huge for San Antonio after his tough Game 6. There was also a rare steal and a coast-to-coast dunk by Tim Duncan.
9:11 p.m.: Game 7 between the Heat and Spurs is officially underway. Time to make some history.
8:30 p.m.: Both teams have a bit of history on their side as they enter Game 7 of the NBA Finals, as the New York Times points out.
There have been 17 Game 7s in NBA Finals history, and the home team has won 14 of them. This is good news for the Heat, who will be playing at the friendly confines of AmericanAirlines Arena.
However, only three teams have won both Games 6 and 7 at home when trailing 3-2 since the NBA went to a 2-3-2 format in 1985 for the finals. This favors the Spurs, who held a 3-2 lead before falling in Game 6 to Miami. Celtics fans will remember all too well the last time this was successfully done as their team was on the losing end of a Lakers comeback in 2010. Ray Allen was on that Boston team, and now he hopes to be on the right side of history.
The players aren’t the only ones ready for history to be made tonight, though. President Barack Obama is also excited for the big game.
Nothing better than a Game 7 for all the marbles. Will you be watching tonight? #NBAFinals—
Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 20, 2013
Here are the projected starting lineups for Game 7.
6:30 p.m.: After the Heat came from behind to defeat the Spurs in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra told everyone to get ready for the best two words in sports: Game 7.
However, those two words looked in serious jeopardy after San Antonio took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter and a 5-point lead with 23 seconds remaining in Game 6. But some late-game heroics by Ray Allen helped the Heat send the game into overtime where they prevailed 103-100.
This series has been tight the entire way with neither team winning two games in a row. San Antonio came out on top in Games 1, 3 and 5, while Miami won Games 2 and 4 in addition to its win on Tuesday.
So the stage is now set for a decisive Game 7 at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. The Spurs are looking for a fifth championship, while the Heat are vying for a second-straight title and third overall.
San Antonio will have to come back from a heartbreaking defeat in Game 6 if it’s to win another title. Duncan had a monster game with 30 points and 17 rebounds, but Manu Ginobili struggled with just nine points and a whopping eight turnovers. Meanwhile, Miami will look to carry over momentum on its home court behind its big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Join us throughout the game for updates. Tip off is scheduled for approximately 9 p.m. ET.