The word ‘thrilling’ was invented for bad Jason Statham movies and basketball games like last night’s between the Spurs and Heat.
Outside of a riveting game one, this season’s NBA Finals had yet to produce much in the way of late-game drama… before last night’s game six that is.
It was a game brimming with big runs, huge shots, such as the Ray Allen slippery fading corner trey that sent the game to OT and the clutch Lebron James three that preceded it, and remarkable performances including those of Tim Duncan and Lebron.
Timmy D was big time all night, scrapping for 17 rebounds and seemingly hitting every shot he threw up near the rim en route to 30 points.
‘Bron meanwhile had his ups and downs, turning the ball over far too much on ill-advised attempts to penetrate the Spurs’ D and missing a number of makable shots, but he was still dominant at times, got to the line plenty, finished with a triple double, and hit that enormous three near the end.
Manu Ginobili was also remarkable in the game…remarkably bad! He spent the better part of the game dishing turnovers to the Heat like Matt Harvey dishes out strikeouts (Harvey sat down 13 Braves yesterday by way of the K), and finished with a +/- of -21.
Still, despite Manu’s struggles, the Spurs appeared to have the game, and series, in hand late. After Manu drained a pair of free throws (he did do some positive things) with just 28 ticks left on the game clock, the Spurs led by 5. I was getting ready to scream “GAME. SET. MATCH. SEASON. CHAMPIONSHIP!” at my cat, who likely would have scampered out of the room. But the Heat prevented such yelling from occurring, thanks to the threes from Lebron and Allen and the two offensive rebounds that made each of them possible.
Sugar Ray’s three ball tied the score at 95 all and so the game headed to overtime. In OT, the Spurs offense sputtered, failing to score in the final two and a half minutes of the session (Manu committed two of his eight turnovers during that stretch, and he was only in the game for half of it).
The Heat escaped with a 103-100 win in an absolute barnburner of a game. Which leaves us with one more game, this Thursday night, to decide an NBA Champion.
If game seven is half as much fun as game six was, it’ll be worth watching.