Game Six of the 2013 NBA Finals was an instant classic. The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs battled for four quarters and one overtime, as the defending champs forced a Game Seven.
Tuesday’s game stands out as one of the best in recent memory. It featured two great teams, historic individual performances, and clutch shots down the stretch that will be replayed for years to come. Was Game Six the greatest NBA Finals game of all time?
"It's by far the best game I've ever been a part of," said LeBron James, who has played 902 games in his professional career. The MVP recorded the first triple-double in the Finals in two decades, when Charles Barkley did it. James scored 32 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and doled out 11 assists in the victory. He led the Miami charge in the fourth quarter, helping the Heat come back from a 10-point deficit.
A legendary performance by a player on the losing team helped make Game Six one for the ages, as well. At 37 years old, Tim Duncan had one of his best ever Finals performances. He scored 30 points and recorded 17 rebounds, making 13 of his first 16 shot attempts. The future Hall of Famer was dominant in the first two quarters, scoring half of the Spurs' points.
Miami’s comeback at the end of regulation may be what sets the game apart from recent classics. The Heat’s final surge to send the game into overtime was so unexpected that thousands of fans left the contest early. Ray Allen’s three-pointer with 5.2 seconds left tied the game up, but Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports estimated that about 2,000 Heat fans headed for the exits with 30 seconds remaining.
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Once the fans found out there would be at least five more minutes of basketball, they tried to re-enter the arena. However, those who left weren’t allowed back in. Fans who left early were banging on the doors, asking to go back to their seats. The cops had to bee called in to resolve the situation.
Below are highlights from Game Six as well as videos of fans exiting in the fourth quarter. Manu Ginboli’s free throw that gave the Spurs a 94-89 lead with 28.2 seconds to go seemed to be the last straw for many of the Miami faithful.