For most of the game, Tim Duncan was on a rampage and it looked like the San Antonio Spurs were going to win the 2013 NBA Finals in six games. However, the Miami Heat won because the Spurs failed to get key defensive rebounds and sink key free throws.
San Antonio was leading by 10 points heading into the fourth quarter, but a headband-less Lebron James took over the game and Miami was winning before Tony Parker rescued his team. Yet, San Antonio could not hold on to their lead.
For some reason, coach Gregg Popovich decided to sit Duncan when he needed to be on the court. Duncan is a great rebounder, yet he was on the bench. This decision ended up being costly because the Spurs could not come down with the defensive rebounds when needed.
Guess what, on one of those missed rebounds, Ray Allen hit the second-chance 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.
If the lack of rebounding was bad enough, San Antonio couldn’t sink their free throws down the stretch. Game 6 would not have gone to overtime if the Spurs hit just one more free throw then they did. There were ample chances to hit just one more free throw, but Manu Ginobli and Kawhi Leonard both missed one of their two free throws.
I understand there is great pressure in this situation, but free throws need to be made.
San Antonio and Miami are now heading to a Game 7 instead of the Spurs celebrating as NBA champions as a result of these missed opportunities. It’s simple for the Spurs in Game 7 – make free throws and dominate the boards when it matters most.