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 Knox won over Knicks and now expects to win over their fans

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GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) — Kevin Knox took a call from someone who knew exactly what he experienced on draft night.

New Yorkers didn’t welcome Kristaps Porzingis with open arms, either.

“He asked me how the fans reacted and I told him I got the same amount of boos as he got,” Knox said Friday. “He just laughed and he said it’s all motivation and fuel to the fire, and he said just work and he said sooner or later they’ll be cheering for you.”

That’s what happened with Porzingis, who quickly won over those who loudly booed his selection in 2015 with his talent, competitiveness and work ethic.

The Knicks see the same traits in Knox, convincing them that the Kentucky freshman was not only the player to take with the No. 9 pick but that he’s ready to start and match up with the NBA’s best small forwards next season.

That’s why they decided a day before the draft they were taking Knox if he was available and didn’t waver from that even when Michael Porter Jr. was still on the board – disappointing some at Barclays Center who chanted for Porter and then booed Knox.

“I love the fact that he wanted to be at Kentucky, that he wanted to be a Knick,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said. “Says a lot about that kid that he wants challenges and so I think he’s going to fit exactly the way we want to build our culture.”

Beyond the 15.6 points he averaged last season while sharing SEC Freshman of the Year honors with Collin Sexton – drafted one pick earlier by Cleveland – Knox impressed the Knicks with his confidence. He chose to play at Kentucky out of Tampa Catholic in Florida and compete for playing time with the other talented players in Lexington, then agreed to play 3-on-3 in workouts when many top prospects prefer to do them individually.

And the annual outsized expectations faced by John Calipari’s teams should help Knox prepare for the pressure of New York, perhaps giving him a quicker adjustment period than Frank Ntilikina, the Knicks’ lottery pick last season, had after coming to the U.S. from France.

“That actually is going to be up to Kevin, what the learning curve is and how long the adjustment takes,” team president Steve Mills said. “But what I will say is that while all college basketball programs prepare guys to play in the NBA, the sort of pressure and the limelight and the spotlight you’re under when you make a decision to play at Kentucky I think does prepare you in a different way to play in a place like New York. So I think some of the things that are tougher for rookies to make adjustments to are some things that he’s already been through.”

The adjustment is likely much longer for 7-footer Mitchell Robinson, who the Knicks took with the No. 36 pick. A high school All-American in 2016-17, he enrolled at Western Kentucky but never played, instead leaving school and opting to train for the draft. He said he worked out daily, but hasn’t played competitively in a year so it’s unknown how soon he could contribute.

But Fizdale sounds ready to put Knox on the court right away on a team that used Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee as undersized small forwards last season.

“They’re both 6-5 and he’s got to guard LeBron and (Kevin) Durant and those are the 3s in our league,” Fizdale said. “So I feel like it’s a very good opportunity to have a chance to start.”

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

As expected, Denver’s Wilson Chandler to opt into $12.8 million next season

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Wilson Chandler played a workmanlike role for the Nuggets last season — more than 30 minutes a game (in 74 games), 10 points a night, shot 35.8 percent from three. His efficiency and value slipped from previous seasons but he still played a role for the team.

Not the kind of role that’s going to earn him a big payday as a free agent, so he will opt into the $12.8 million for next season, a story broken by Chris Haynes of ESPN.

Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler will exercise his player option for the 2018-19 season, league sources tell ESPN.

Chandler, 31, is opting into a $12.8 million salary instead of entering free agency this summer. Denver was notified of his decision on Friday.

Chandler’s name has come up in trade discussions in recent years, and no doubt the Nuggets would be happy to move his salary now, too. However, in a tight financial market it’s unlikely that’s happening without Denver throwing in a sweetener, and that’s not likely either. So it will be another season of Chandler in Denver.

Deandre Ayton arrives as symbol that Suns are on the rise

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PHOENIX (AP) — Since the heady days of Steve Nash came to an end, there have been few signs of joy from a dwindling fan base that watched the Phoenix Suns tumble to the bottom of the NBA standings and miss the playoffs for the eighth year in a row.

Then came the announcement that Deandre Ayton would go to the Suns with the first overall pick. A huge cheer went up from the several thousand fans at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Thursday night for the draft party. General manager Ryan McDonough, owner Robert Sarver and coach Igor Kokoskov came out of their meeting room to watch and bask in that rare moment of sheer joy from the fans.

“It was a pretty special moment for our franchise,” McDonough said.

Not only that, but McDonough engineered a last-minute trade for swingman Mikal Bridges of Villanova, the 10th pick. It was a spendy move because Philadelphia demanded and got Miami’s unprotected 2021 first-round pick. But the Suns are weary of stockpiling assets. It’s time to cash in, they figured, and did it with that trade.

“We weighed the pros and cons of trading it heavily and carefully,” McDonough said. “We were only going to put it in play if we had a chance to get a special player and that’s how we feel about McKell.”

All four of the Suns’ picks showed up on a crowded dais in Phoenix on Friday – Ayton, Bridges, French point guard Elie Okobo (chosen 31st) and forward George King of Colorado (the 59th selection).

The 7-foot-1 Ayton towered over the others, in a white unbuttoned collared shirt and a sharp blue suit, but he looked and sounded a bit weary from the whirlwind of being the No. 1 draft pick. His only sleep lately, he said, was a couple of hours on the plane ride from New York on Tuesday.

“I’m just excited to finally get a jersey on and be able to play five-on-five again,” Ayton said.

Ayton had been the frontrunner for the No. 1 pick ever since the draft lottery and any doubts were erased when he went through an individual workout with the Suns, the only team which he did so.

McDonough said that Ayton’s workout “in and of itself was as impressive as I’ve ever seen in my 16 drafts in the NBA.”

Ayton is seen as strictly a center, so how does he fit in the modern style of the NBA, when center plays is diminished and players are essentially interchangeable, is a question. Ayton replied that he’s no ordinary center.

“I don’t like it when people think I’m just a guy down low,” he said. “They haven’t watched me shoot the basketball.”

Ayton and Bridges say they got to know each other well at the college awards ceremony in Los Angeles but never figured they’d be on the same team.

“It’s like I’ve known him my whole life,” Bridges said.

Now comes the hard work, molding a team with Ayton, Devin Booker and Josh Jackson. A billboard of those three already has been erected downtown.

The Suns, so bad for so long, seem on the brink of being relevant.

“We’re very hungry,” Ayton said. “I think the great team chemistry and the work ethic that we have, especially us guys coming in, we’re going to bring it to the next level. We’ve got young lets. We can run all day. … We can really start a winning legacy.”

And Ayton is the reason for the sudden leap in optimism, even though he won’t turn 20 until next month.

“I embrace it a lot,” he said of the expectations placed upon him. “Through my career I’ve always had that on my shoulder, the expectations. I represent a whole nation (Bahamas) I just do that the best that I can and just help this community start over and be the best player I can possibly be. I just want to be the best great player.”

Kokoskov says Ayton possesses “a unique talent for the decades.”

Ayton said he wants “to be the best person on and off the court.”

Now the Suns move on to the next phase. Free agency starts July 1 and McDonough wants some veteran players to add to this very young core. He said the team should have $15 million to $20 million to spend.

“We were aggressive last night with the picks and the trade up to get Mikal,” McDonough said. “We’re going to continue to be aggressive for the next couple of weeks in free agency. We’ve got some money to spend and we’re looking to spend it on the best players we can get.”

Hornets GM Kupchak: Kemba Walker focal point of franchise going forward

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — General manager Mitch Kupchak wants point guard Kemba Walker to end his NBA career right where it started — with the Charlotte Hornets.

Kupchak said Friday that Walker is “revered” in the Charlotte community, and that he and owner Michael Jordan look at the two-time All-Star as “the focal point of this franchise going forward.”

The 28-year-old Walker has been the subject of possible NBA trade talks as he prepares to enter the final year of his contract with the Hornets. That speculation has amped up recently because it is a practical impossibility for Charlotte to sign Walker to an extension before he becomes a free agent in July of 2019 since the Hornets are so tight under the salary cap.

“I think everybody is aware of the situation, if you follow basketball a little bit, it is unique that he is on an extension that may make it a challenge going forward to figure out before he becomes a free agent,” Kupchak said.

At $12 million per year, Walker well underpaid when compared to the other top point guards in the league.

But that doesn’t mean Kupchak is giving up hope the team can keep Walker in Charlotte.

“I don’t think it is anybody’s goal to lose him in free agency,” Kupchak said. “But going forward, in the community, in the franchise, this is a player that we hope is with us – not only for the next couple of years, but ends his career here.”

The Hornets don’t have much experience behind Walker at point guard.

They have last year’s first-round draft pick Malik Monk and drafted Devonte Graham from Kansas in the second round on Thursday night.

Graham said he is excited to pick Walker’s brain when it comes to basketball.

“I have never met him, but I remember watching him play when he was at UConn though,” Graham said. “I’m just excited man to learn from someone like that and just be around someone like that who is winner, and knows how to win and compete. I am looking forward to being able to learn from him.”