Following a classic Game 6, it was hard to imagine Game 7 somehow not being a bit of a letdown.
Instead, the NBA’s two best teams gave the world a hell of a show on the last night of the 2012-’13 season, with the Miami Heat taking down the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 to claim their second straight title.
LeBron James carried his team once again — registering 37 points and 12 rebounds — and was named NBA Finals MVP for the second year in a row. LBJ has defied all critics and naysayers, and now rests comfortably and firmly as one of the League’s all-time greatest winners.
Per the AP:
Capping their best season in franchise history – and perhaps the three-superstar system they used to build it – the Heat ran off with the second straight thriller in the NBA’s first championship series to go the distance since 2010. Two nights after his Game 6 save when the Heat were almost eliminated, James continued his unparalleled run through the basketball world, with two titles and an Olympic gold medal in the last 12 months. “I work on my game a lot throughout the offseason,” said James, who was MVP for the second straight finals. “I put a lot of work into it and to be able to come out here and (have) the results happen out on the floor is the ultimate. The ultimate. I’m at a loss for words.” He made five 3-pointers, defended Tony Parker when he had to, and did everything else that could ever be expected from the best player in the game.
“It took everything we had as a team,” Dwyane Wade said. “Credit to the San Antonio Spurs, they’re an unbelievable team, an unbelievable franchise. This is the hardest series we ever had to play. But we’re a resilient team and we did whatever it took.” Players and coaches hugged afterward – their respect for each other was obvious from the opening tipoff of Game 1 through the final buzzer. A whisker away from a fifth title two nights earlier, the Spurs couldn’t find a way to win it all in what was perhaps the last shot for Tim Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili to grab another ring together.
While this may be the end of the road for the San Antonio Spurs as we know them, the opposite holds true for the South Beach super team.
Having averted disaster numerous times this postseason to become champions once again, it certainly feels like the Miami Heat’s reign is nowhere near its conclusion.