NBA Finals Game 6: Heat comeback in fourth, win in overtime to force Game 7

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That was a great game.

And Game 7 sets up to be something special.

For three quarters San Antonio’s execution was too much for Miami and the Spurs entered the fourth up 10 (75-65) and just 12 minutes away from a title. Tim Duncan had been a force, with countermoves spinning Chris Bosh around and Duncan had 30 points (and he finished with 17 boards on a monster night).

But the fourth quarter belonged to LeBron James — he had 16 points in the quarter, cranked up his defensive pressure, hist teammates followed along and they forced overtime thanks to an amazing Ray Allen three pointer with 5 seconds left. Miami won the fourth 30-20 and their season still was on the line (and Duncan did not score in the fourth).

Ray Allen had 4 points in the overtime, Manu Ginobili had the last of his 8 turnovers on the night — and got jobbed on a foul call late that will go down as an Allen steal.  Chris Bosh made some key offensive rebounds and had two key late blocked shots. All of it was enough to give Miami a dramatic 8-5 win in the OT and a 103-100 win in Game 7.

Check out PBT for more details out of the game… and be back here Thursday night for what should be one heck of a contest.

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Here is the live blog from tonight:

END OF OVERTIME Chris Bosh bocks Danny Green and the Heat hang on for the win. Heat forces Game 7 Thursday night.

:02 Overtime: Wade misses jumper, but Ginobili gets board and tries to go coast to coast, he gets fouled by Ray Allen but no call made late. Ray Allen gets ball and is fouled, hits both. 103-100 Heat, Spurs get one last shot to tie.

:31 Overtime: On switch Tony Parker tries pull up over Bosh, but Bosh blocks it. Spurs can get stop and get lost shot.

:40 Overtime: Spurs going to try and get 2-1 possessions at the end, they want the last shot. 101-100 Heat.

:40 Overtime: Ginobili drives baseline and makes terrible kickout pass right to LeBron, so LeBron drives in transition and Danny Green makes a great transition defensive play to strip ball, out off LeBron. Spurs get ball and can retake lead.

:55 Overtime: Parker sits out one possession, Spurs get stop with LeBron missing jump hook over Ginobili.

1:18 Overtime: Time out, Spurs look a little tired and like they need it.

1:18 Overtime: James floater in lane gives Heat 101-100 lead. Spurs then have 24 second violation.

2:42 Overtime: Tony Parker gets the steal, is fouled hard (but fairly) in transition. hits 1-2 free throws. 100-97 Spurs.

3:01 Overtime: Leonard with another little jumper in the lane, 99-97 Spurs.

3:33 Overtime: Chris Bosh outruns all the Spurs in transition, gets a long pass from LeBron and gets fouled and makes bucket. Misses and-1, 97-97.

4:20 Overtime: Leonard makes first bucket of OT in the lane, 97-95 Spurs.

END OF REGULATION: Tim Duncan has 30 points and 16 rebounds to lead Heat in regulation. LeBron has 40 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists.

END OF REGULATION: Heat got two key late game offensive boards, in both cases Tim Duncan was on the bench.

END OF REGULATION: Tony Parker misses a leaner and we are headed to overtime…. WHAT A GREAT GAME!!

:05 Fourth Quarter: Ray Allen ties the game with a three. James missed the first attempt but Chris Bosh got the offensive rebound. Spurs get one last shot, or we are going to OT.

:19 Fourth Quarter: Leonard misses first, hits second, three point game.

:20 Fourth Quarter: This is where it is nice to have Popovich drawing inbounds plays. Gets it in, Leonard fouled.

:20 Fourth Quarter: LeBron misses first three, out of timeout, but Heat get offensive rebound and pass it out to LeBron and hit hits it. 94-92 Spurs. Heat need steal on inbounds and if not must foul. Both teams out of timeouts.

:28 Fourth Quarter: LeBron tries shot up and under in the lane and airballs. Ginobili gets ball and is fouled again, hits 1-2, 94-89 Spurs.

:37 Fourth Quarter: LeBron tries to back down Tony Parker, loses ball and it is Spurs in transition, Ginobili fouled by Allen, hits both 93-89 Spurs. Spurs on 7-0 run.

:58 Fourth Quarter: Tony Parker gets in the lane, hits floater and it is 91-89 Spurs with the lead again. San Antonio executes in the clutch, can the Heat?

1:27 Fourth Quarter: Tony Parker with step-back three and ties it 89-89.

1:46 Fourth Quarter: Ginobili missed a wild three, but on LeBron tip out Spurs get loose ball.

2:09 Fourth Quarter: Wade cuts baseline, gets ball and draws foul. He hits both. 89-86 Heat.

2:22 Fourth Quarter: Ginobili layup makes it a 1 point Heat lead.

2:57 Fourth Quarter: Finally a close game again at the end. This has been a great series but the fourth of every game but the first has been a blowout. This is a lot of fun.

3:18 Fourth Quarter: Ducan missed, Tony Parker 4-of-16 on the night. Spurs have just 9 points this quarter, lucky to be down just 87-84.

3:48 Fourth Quarter: Wade re-enters the game after a short rest.

5:05 Fourth Quarter: Great run by the Heat but a Leonard runner makes it a one-point game. Then LeBron’s 12th point of the quarter makes it 3 again. 87-84.

5:28 Fourth Quarter: LeBron goes to line with chance to extend 84-82 lead. This all started because Miller and Chalmers hit some outside shots — the Spurs had packed the paint but had to adjust when the Heat shooters started knocking down shots. Created room for LeBron to attack.

6:03 Fourth Quarter: Heat on 19-7 run to start fourth quarter.

6:03 Fourth Quarter: LeBron with block of Duncan them up-and-under bucket on the other end, then a Ray Allen reverse puts the Heat ahead 84-82 Heat.

7:08 Fourth Quarter: Birdman gets fouled on another good baseline cut, two free throws make it 82-80 Spurs.

8:44 Fourth Quarter: Heat defensive intensity up, but Spurs still making plays. Even broken plays. 82-77 Spurs.

9:57 Fourth Quarter: Splitter with a bucket, LeBron with a dunk to pump the crowd. Four point game.

11:01 Fourth Quarter: Heat open fourth with Chalmers three, bucket in the paint, Miller three with one shoe off. 77-73 Heat. Here comes the run.

END OF THIRD QUARTER: 75-65 Spurs. The Spurs simply are executing better at both ends, packing the paint and making the Heat jump shooters, and getting the looks they like at the other end. San Antonio one quarter away from the title.

:10 Third Quarter: Heat shooting 8-22 in the lane, 9-22 from the midrange.

1:08 Third Quarter: Heat trying to drive and finding no room and getting no calls as Spurs pack the paint. Meanwhile, Spurs just score. 75-63 Spurs.

2:19 Third Quarter: Wade elbow jumper cuts lead to 71-63.

3:30 Third Quarter: San Antonio is packing the lane and the Heat are not making them pay with open outside shots. 71-58 Spurs.

4:27 Third Quarter: After lead got to 1 Spurs go off on 11-0 run, capped by Tim Duncan and-1. 68-56 Spurs. They are pulling away and we’ll see if the Heat have a run in them.

4:54 Third Quarter: Leonard with the steal and he goes end to end to get the and-1 and the lead up to 9. And that’s four fouls on Wade.

5:08 Third Quarter: The Spurs do not wilt like other teams when Miami makes a run. It’s the difference in this series. Heat got lead down to 1, now it is 6.

5:10 Third Quarter: Chris Andersen picks up his fourth foul in 8 minutes of play. He is a foul sponge. 62-56 Spurs.

5:40 Third Quarter: Mike Miller picks up his fourth foul battling Tim Duncan for a rebound. Then on the next possession Tony Parker with the crazy and-1 from Tony Parker. Miami had a run but Spurs still lead 60-56.

6:15 Third Quarter: Mike Miller’s glacial drive gets to the rim and makes it a 1-point game, a sign the Spurs are not sharp on their rotations. Popovich calls a timeout.

6:50 Third Quarter: Wade knocks down elbow jumper, 57-54 Spurs.

7:37 Third Quarter: Ginobili with another turnover, his fifth. Then he Euro-fouls LeBron at half court to prevent breakaway, but that puts Miami in penalty already. 55-52 Spurs.

8:12 Third Quarter: The Spurs defensive rotations are sharp, Heat not able to get any easy buckets.

9:01 Third Quarter: LeBron is trying to assert himself to start the second half. But will the Heat defend well and will anyone help him from the Heat. 55-50 Spurs.

10:17 Third Quarter: Ray Allen started the second half was Wade was late from the locker room. No report why yet.

11:23 Third Quarter: On first Heat possession, LeBron put his head down, got to the rim and was fouled. Expect a lot of that. 53-45 Spurs.

HALFTIME: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh a combined 9-24 shooting in first half.

HALFTIME: Heat shot 41.5 percent and are only this close because they grabbed 8 offensive rebounds and forced 8 Spurs turnovers. Mario Chalmers leads the Heat with 14 points. LeBron James with 9 points on 3-of-9 shooting and he’s not getting to the rim again, but does have 5 assists. Wade and Bosh each with six points and more missed shots than made.

HALFTIME: Tim Duncan has 25 of Spurs 50 points on 11-13 shooting. Read that sentence again, that is insane. Bosh has defended Duncan pretty well on the block but Duncan has counter moves for everything and just can’t miss. Kawhi Leonard has 10 points, Tony Parker is setting it all up with 6 assists. Spurs shot 58.3 percent in the first half. So much for all that talk from the Heat about defense.

HALFTIME 50-44 Spurs at the break, Spurs end on 8-0 run and 17-4 run total.

1:50 Second Quarter Bosh defends Duncan well, but fade away can’t be stopped. Then dunk on next possession, Duncan has 13 straight for Spurs, 46-44 Spurs now.

2:34 Second Quarter Ginobili with another turnover, that is four already. He is a mess again. 44-42 Heat.

2:47 Second Quarter LeBron really has trouble scoring consistently when bigs like Diaw or Duncan are on him. 44-42 Heat.

3:32 Second Quarter Birdman picks up his third foul on Duncan in the block, and Timmy hits both. 21 points for Duncan, 44-42 Heat.

4:32 Second Quarter LeBron draws a shooting foul, blocking foul on Duncan 44-39 Heat.

5:59 Second Quarter Tim Duncan 8-8 for 16 points.

5:59 Second Quarter Andersen picks a couple quick fouls battling Duncan in the post. 40-37 Heat.

7:35 Second Quarter Chalmers scores on the floater, he has 14 points. So does Duncan, 40-35 Heat.

8:46 Second Quarter It looks like the Birdman got all Haslem’s minutes in this game. At least to start.

8:46 Second Quarter 36-30 Heat after a Wade midrange jumper falls. Spurs will live with him taking that shot all night long.

9:20 Second Quarter Manu Ginobili not the same player so far, 0-2 shooting to start. 34-28 Heat.

10:17 Second Quarter Miami 5-7 from three to start after a Battier one (set up by a 5th Heat offensive board). 32-28 Heat.

START OF SECOND QUARATER: From Tom Haberstroh of ESPN: With 4 of his 5 assists leading to 3s, LeBron has accounted for 24 of the Heat’s 27 points in the first quarter.

END OF FIRST QUARATER: Spurs shoot 61.1 percent in first quarter, Heat shoot 50 percent (they got to the line more, grabbed some offensive boards). First team to get a string of stops could win this thing.

END OF FIRST QUARATER: 27-25 Heat after one, with the quarter ending on Boris Diaw blocking LeBron James. Don’t see that every day.

:55 First Quarter Danny Green misses a three, Mario Chalmers makes one. 10 points for Chalmers 27-24 Heat.

1:41 First Quarter Shane Battier banks in a three and we are tied 24-24. Don’t think he missed it so bad he made it. Battier called bank. We all heard him, right?

2:40 First Quarter Make that 6-6 for Duncan, he scores over Battier on a switch. So the Birdman is coming in. 24-19 Spurs.

3:55 First Quarter Tim Duncan starts game 5-5 shooting, he has just been amazing. His counter moves are killing Bosh, who has played solid defense. 22-19 Spurs.

5:17 First Quarter Boris Diaw in with the first subs for the Spurs, and in the Spurs first offensive possession Diaw gets the ball, goes hard at LeBron and scores right over him. 20-17 Spurs.

5:56 First Quarter Leonard has 8 early points after that dunk, 18-16 Spurs. So much for all the defensive talk from the Heat, Spurs are making the plays.

5:56 First Quarter Kawhi Leonard just dunked all over Mike Miller. All over him.

7:14 First Quarter If both teams keep this pace, they will end regulation tied 117-117.

7:14 First Quarter LeBron and Parker each with three early assists. Both teams are shooting great to start.

7:42 First Quarter Wade attacks, bangs knees with Ginobili and is clearly in some pain (he got the charging call, too). We’ll be watching him. 14-14.

8:17 First Quarter Both teams start 5-7 shooting. 12-12 tie.

9:31 First Quarter Kawhi Leonard gets a fortunate foul on LeBron in transition (there was no foul there) and got the and-1. He hits a corner three next time down. 12-10 Spurs.

10:10 First Quarter LeBron got his wish, a three from Mike Miller early on. Bosh and Duncan each with a couple more 7-6 Heat.

11:20 First Quarter Same starting lineups, game opens with a Chris Bosh and Tim Dunan midrange make. 2-2.

12:00 First Quarter Julia Dale sure can sing.

12:00 First Quarter We are 6 minutes away from the start of introductions and I’ll note this: People hate the Heat, they don’t hate the Spurs. I did Miami Radio on Tuesday (the Big O show) and he said as much, you can’t hate the Spurs. The teams have been respectful in a way you don’t normally see six games into a hard-fought series.

12:00 First Quarter Two pregame notes: The Heat talked a whole lot about defense leading up to this one. With reason — if the Spurs shoot 60 percent and score 114 points again, there will a parade down the River Walk in a few days. The other thing, expect to see some Birdman in this game. Miami went small and Chris Andersen has been glued to the bench, expect that to change a little.

It is elimination game time — welcome to the PBT Live Blog for Game 6 of the NBA Finals. San Antonio has the 3-2 series lead now they have a chance to close it out on the road, do that and it builds the legacy of a Spurs team that will challenge the Lakers for best of this era. And if the Heat lose… that is a whole lot of looming questions.

I’m Kurt, your host and agent provocateur for the evening. I will be updating you on the score, what is going on in the game, making snide remarks and generally just having some fun. This has been a very entertaining, generally well played series and I’m hoping that we finally have a close game that goes down to the wire.

Kevin Durant gets into Twitter debate with reporter over White House comments

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Kevin Durant became the latest Warrior — joining Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, and Shaun Livingston, that we know of — to say he would not visit President Donald Trump’s White House as NBA champion. Which is all kind of moot because it’s unlikely the White House invites them and outspoken Trump critic/Warriors coach Steve Kerr and his players any way. (The White House’s biggest concern should be that Kerr accepts the invitation and uses that platform to challenge the president’s policies and style in front of him.)

Durant’s comments led to plenty of talk on sports talk radio and around the sports world online about whether a player or team should decline an invitation from the president. It’s not a new debate, Tom Brady denied that politics is why he didn’t visit Barack Obama’s White House (although I’m not sure many believed him), but KD’s on a big stage now so it became a talking point.

Former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry questioned a player not visiting the White House, and Durant responded, leading to a little Twitter back-and-forth.

Durant had previously Tweeted in response “by doing the opposite, I am inspiring more people” but that Tweet was deleted.

There is no one correct way to protest a person/policy/action, McHenry may see things differently, but Durant has chosen to stay away. That’s valid — traditionally these “champions to the White House” things are tedious photo ops with a few bad jokes thrown in. Having a hoops fan/player in Obama in the White House made the NBA visits more entertaining the past eight years, there was some trash talk, but still, they are largely just a public relations moment. If KD doesn’t want to play the PR game with Trump, that’s a legitimate response.

This has all been a tempest in a teapot. Until/unless the White House actually invites the Warriors to come, it’s all kind of moot.

Dwight Howard on Hornets’ coach Clifford: “It’s a great feeling when somebody believes in you”

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Dwight Howard‘s game is much better than his reputation among fans.

He’s not the Defensive Player of the Year/All-NBA/MVP candidate level player he was back in Orlando, but Howard is still one of the best rebounders in the game, he’s strong defensively, and he’s an efficient scorer inside. He’s a quality center, if he plays within himself and is used well. His perception as a guy who does not take the game seriously and held back Houston and Atlanta in recent years has validity (he plays better in pick-and-roll than on the move, but wants the ball in the post), but the idea he is trash is flat-out wrong. He’s still good.

Howard wants to change his reputation, rewrite the final chapters of his career, and told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN that Steve Clifford’s Charlotte Hornets are the place that is going to happen.

“The other places I was, the coaches didn’t really know who I am,” Howard told ESPN. “I think that they had perception of me and ran with it. Cliff knows my game. He knows all the things that I can do. I’m very determined to get back to the top. It’s a great feeling when somebody believes in you. They aren’t just saying it; they believe it. It really just pushed me to the limit in workouts: running, training, everything. I want to do more.

“In Orlando, I was getting 13-15 shots a game. Last season, in Atlanta, it was six shot attempts. It looks like I’m not involved in the game. And if I miss a shot, it sticks out because I am not getting very many of them. But I think it’s all opportunity, the system. I haven’t had a system where I can be who I am since I was in Orlando.”

Howard averaged 8.3 field goal attempts per game in Atlanta, which is about five a game below his peak. Last season 75 percent of Howard’s shots came within three feet of the rim — is is not there to space the floor, however, he can still move fairly well off the roll and is a good passer for a big.

Last season, 28 percent of Howard’s possessions came on post ups, and he averaged a pedestrian 0.84 points per possession on those. On the 21 percent of shots he got on a cut, he averaged a very good 1.36 PPP. When he got the ball back as a roll man (again on the move), it was 1.18 PPP. The challenge long has been Howard is better on the move but doesn’t feel involved unless he gets post touches, and if he doesn’t feel involved and engaged he’s not the same player.

Maybe Clifford can make this all work with some older plays where Howard feels comfortable.

Charlotte, with Howard in the paint and on the boards, should get back to being a top 10 NBA defensive team, not the middle of the pack as they were last season. Clifford is better than that as a coach, and Howard is an upgrade in the paint (on both ends). Charlotte should be a playoff team again in the East.

But it all will come back to Howard. Fair or not. And Wojnarowski is right, this is Howard’s last best chance to write the ending he wants to his career.

Friday afternoon fun: Watch James Harden’s 10 best plays from last season

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James Harden had a historic season in Houston.

Since it’s Friday afternoon and your sports viewing options consist of watching guys about to be cut from NFL rosters try to impress, why not check out Harden’s best plays from last season. It’s worth a couple minutes of your time.

Mavericks sign Jeff Withey to one-year contract

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Jeff Withey‘s ex-fiancée accused him of domestic violence, but he was not charged.

That frees him to continue his basketball career, which he’ll do in Dallas.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Mavericks could use another center, even if they re-sign Nerlens Noel. Salah Mejri is the only other true center, though Dirk Nowitzki will now play the position.

Withey is a good rim protector. Just don’t ask him to do anything away from the basket.

Dallas annually brings excess players to training camp and has them compete for regular-season roster spots. Whether or not his salary is guaranteed, Withey will likely fall into that competition.