The phrase “instant classic” gets thrown around a lot nowadays but Game 6 of the NBA Finals deserves it after Miami pulled out an overtime victory from the jaws of defeat. Now the defending champs will host San Antonio for all the marbles in Game 7 on Thursday night. The Heat are again a six-point favorite on the NBA odds but will the Spurs be again the choice of the night on the spread?
San Antonio Spurs @ Miami Heat
Odds: Heat -6
LeBron James put the Heat on his back as they were down 10 in the fourth quarter, while Ray Allen’s three-pointer with 5.2 seconds left to force overtime as Miami eventually held off the Spurs for a 103-100 win on Tuesday. James wound up with 32 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his second triple-double of the Finals and while he wasn’t perfect with a couple of sloppy turnovers down the stretch, the four-time MVP willed his team back into the game and got a hand from Allen, who also hit free throws in overtime to seal it. Mario Chalmers added 20 for the Heat, who were manhandled in the paint by a score of 60-36, but when you hit 11 of your 19 three-point attempts, that doesn’t seem to matter much.
Tim Duncan had a throwback game with 30 points and 17 rebounds, but 25 of those points came in the first half and he lost his touch after halftime, although Chris Bosh did play improved defense on the 37-year-old future Hall of Famer. Kawhi Leonard put up 22 points 11 rebounds for the Spurs, but he may be left to rue a missed free throw late in regulation that may have finished off the Heat, which is a tough burden for a young man that has played so well in this series, especially with his defense on James. After breaking out in Game 5, Manu Ginobili shot himself in the foot with eight of San Antonio’s 13 turnovers. The Spurs were the better team for most of Game 6 and they did let it slip away, but this is a veteran team that has seen it all and they’re not going to dwell on that…or will they?
The Heat are favored by six points on the basketball betting spread to repeat as champions and win what has been a fascinating series. In five Game 7’s in the Finals since 1978, the home team has won all five meetings. These franchises have both played seven Game 7’s, with the Heat winning four of their games, and the Spurs have won three times, so there isn’t a lot to choose from.
This will be another close game and while the Heat should come away with the win straight up, San Antonio has too much pride and experience to let it get out of hand. It’s a shame because they wasted potentially the last great night of Duncan’s career, and there have been whispers that Ginobili is retiring as well, so the Spurs will leave it all out on the floor and do enough to cover the spread.
Pick: Spurs +6