Ray of light: Aging Allen helps Heat force Game 7 NBA Finals .... Game 6

His late three deprives Spurs of title, leads to Miami win in overtime
2013-06-19T00:00:00Z 2013-06-19T00:17:30Z Ray of light: Aging Allen helps Heat force Game 7 NBA Finals .... Game 6The Associated Press The Associated Press
June 19, 2013 12:00 am  • 

MIAMI - For years, Ray Allen's routine has not changed. Show up for work hours earlier than most players, go onto the court and take hundreds of jump shots.

It paid off for him Tuesday.

And Allen, who turns 38 next month, will be back out there on Thursday - since the Miami Heat season still has one game left.

Allen's three-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter capped a huge Miami rally. It took the championship trophy out of San Antonio's hands, and the Heat found a way in overtime to hold off the Spurs for a 103-100 win behind LeBron James' 32 points.

"There's a lot of shots that I've made in my career," said Allen, whose team trailed by 13 in the second half and was down by 10 entering the final quarter. "But this will go, you know, high up in the ranks, because of the situation."

A pair of free throws by Allen with 1.9 seconds left in overtime sealed it, and on the last play of the game, Danny Green - who took Allen's three-point finals record earlier in this series - had no chance at getting a tying shot near the rim, the attempt snuffed out by Miami's Chris Bosh.

Losing his headband but keeping his cool while playing the entire second half and overtime, James added 10 rebounds and 11 assists and made the go-ahead basket with 1:43 left in overtime.

"If we were going to go down tonight, we're going to go down with me leaving every little bit of energy that I had on the floor," James said.

Tim Duncan scored 30 points for the Spurs, his most in an NBA Finals game since Game 1 in 2003, but was shut out after the third quarter. He added 17 rebounds.

Thursday's Game 7 will be the NBA's first do-or-die game to determine its champion since the Lakers beat the Celtics in 2010.

"They're the best two words in sports: Game 7," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Allen lost his three-point Finals record, but he has a chance for what he wants most: a second NBA title.

The Spurs were up 95-92, and workers were surrounding the perimeter of the court with yellow rope in anticipation of the trophy-awarding celebration. When time expired, those workers were to use the rope to keep fans from getting on the floor for the Spurs' party.

The Heat had other ideas.

One of the subtle moves that set up Allen's game-winner came with 19.4 seconds left, after the Spurs' Kawhi Leonard missed a free throw and Spoelstra inserted Bosh back into the game in place of Mike Miller. Leonard made the second fto push the Spurs' lead to three, and James took a three that missed.

But Bosh got the rebound and passed to Allen in the right corner. Allen took several steps backward and set his feet for the shot that might decide Miami's season. James stood alone at the top of the key, both arms raised, wanting the ball, but Allen never thought about passing. He shot and waited.

All net.

Referees reviewed it, but there was no question that the shot was a three.

"Bad. Very bad," the Spurs' Manu Ginobili said. "It's a tough moment. We were a few seconds away from winning the championship and we let it go."

The Heat talked Allen out of taking a longer, more lucrative deal to stay with Boston and lured him to Miami. He had only nine points and two assists Tuesday, but when time expired, he skipped toward midcourt and let out a scream.

Allen had been the best three-point shooter in Finals history, making 22 of them in the 2008 series with the Celtics. Green took his record in Game 5, and now has 26 heading into Game 7.

"I have no clue how we're going to get re-energized," Ginobili said. "I'm devastated. But we have to. There's no Game 8."

what's next

• Who: Spurs at Heat; series tied 3-3

• When: 6 p.m. Thursday

• TV; radio: Ch. 9, 1490-AM

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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