The Game: 2013 Finals, Game 6
The Series Situation: San Antonio Spurs lead Miami Heat, 3-2
The Play: With the Heat down three and the shot clock off, LeBron James missed a 3-pointer to tie from the left wing. Chris Bosh then out-jumped two Spurs to grab the offensive rebound. He quickly got the ball to Ray Allen, who was backpedaling to the right corner. Allen didn’t hesitate and drained the game-tying three with 5.2 seconds left on the clock. Miami went on to win Game 6 in overtime and then take Game 7 for its second straight championship.
The Significance: Never has an NBA championship turned so significantly on a four-second sequence. The Spurs led by five with less than 30 seconds to go and the yellow rope for their trophy presentation had been placed around the court. Then it all came crashing down in a sequence that culminated in the biggest shot in NBA history. And after an ugly final few minutes of regulation (which included two brutal turnovers), James was saved by the man they called Jesus.
This was also a rare time when the decision-making of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was questioned. For the final defensive possession in regulation, he left Tim Duncan on the bench so his team could switch all screens. But Duncan’s presence was missed on the glass as Bosh grabbed the rebound that would change the course of basketball history. Of course, the moment (and the two free throws they missed leading up to it) would motivate the Spurs through the following year’s Finals, where they played the best team basketball we’ve ever seen and thumped the Heat in five games.
— John Schuhmann
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