NBA: Ranking the 10 most important games from the last 10 years

NBA former Heat forward LeBron James (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
NBA former Heat forward LeBron James (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images) /
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3. 2013 NBA Finals – Game 6: Heat vs. Spurs

Proof that no one wins a championship without having a little luck on their side.

The Spurs had so many chances to put this game away. They held a five-point lead in a close-out game with 20 seconds remaining. The trophy was already being brought out, the ropes were set up, and the hometown Miami fans were leaving the arena.

And then the chaos happened.

A missed LeBron James 3-point attempt gets fumbled to Mike Miller who returns it James for a second chance – he drills it and cuts the lead to two points. They foul Kawhi Leonard to extend the game and he splits his free throws, keeping the Heat within one possession.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich then takes Tim Duncan out of the game for the ensuing defensive possession and replaces him with Boris Diaw…a move that, even at the time, felt like a giant mistake.

And then we all know what happened next. LeBron misses the tying 3-pointer, Chris Bosh is free to sky above everyone else in the Tim Duncan-less lane for the rebound, and kicks it out to a backpedaling Ray Allen in the corner who hits the 3 and sends the game to overtime.

With a combination of the moment and degree of difficulty, it can be argued that it was the greatest shot in NBA history. It saved Miami’s season and they never looked back. They won the game in overtime and closed out the Spurs in a back and forth Game 7.

Escaping Game 6 gave the Heat the second chance they needed to go back-to-back and put themselves in the room with the other great teams in NBA history. Without that win, “The Heatles” are likely viewed as a failure with “only” one championship in four years.

They say it’s better to be lucky than good and Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals is a case study for that.