San Antonio Spurs left to rue missed chance

14:03, Jun 19 2013
NBA Finals 2013: Spurs vs Heat
San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker, right, and Danny Green celebrate after defeating the Miami Heat to win Game One of the NBA Finals.
NBA Finals 2013: Spurs vs Heat
LeBron James of the Miami Heat drives past the Spurs defence.
NBA Finals 2013: Spurs vs Heat
San Antonio Spurs' Danny Green celebrates a three point basket against the Miami Heat.
NBA Finals 2013: Spurs vs Heat
The Miami Heat cheerleaders do their best to get the home support revved up for Game One of the NBA Finals.
NBA Finals 2013: Spurs vs Heat
Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade pushes his way towards the net.
LeBron James and Tiago Splitter
Miami's LeBron James denies San Antonio's Tiago Splitter at the rim in Game 2.
LeBron James
LeBron James throws down a vicious fourth-quarter dunk in the Game 2 rout.
LeBron James and Mike Miller
Mike Miller and LeBron James celebrate after a key play.
Manu Ginobili and Chris Andersen
San Antonio's Manu Ginobili is fouled by Chris 'Birdman' Andersen.
Spurs bench
The long faces of the Spurs' big-three (from left) Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili in the fourth quarter.
NBA Finals 2013 gallery
San Antonio Spurs' Patty Mills celebrates during his team's win in Game 3.
NBA Finals 2013 gallery
Miami Heat's (left) LeBron James, Chris Andersen, and Norris Cole feel the pain of defeat in Game 3.
NBA Finals 2013 gallery
San Antonio Spurs Kawhi Leonard puts in a dunk during Game 3.
NBA Finals 2013 gallery
Miami Heat's Chris Bosh (left) goes to the basket against San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard during Game 3.
Danny Green and Gary Neal
Danny Green and Gary Neal, who combined for 13 of the San Antonio Spurs' NBA Finals record 16 three-pointers in Game 3.
NBA Finals Series
Miami Heat's LeBron James hugs teammate Dwyane Wade after the Heat defeat the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4.
NBA Finals series
San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker, left, and Tim Duncan look on during their team's defeat to the Miami Heat in Game 4.
NBA Finals series
Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade dunks against the San Antonio Spurs during Game 4.
Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade gets off a runner in the lane over Danny Green.
Chris Bosh
Miami's Chris Bosh muscles up a shot under defensive pressure from Tim Duncan.
NBA Finals Game 5
Chris Bosh of the Heat drives on the Spurs' Tim Duncan.
NBA Finals Game 5
Manu Ginobli of the Spurs goes for a lay-up on his way to 24 points.
NBA Finals Game 5
Tim Duncan goes high over Chris Bosh in Game 5.
NBA Finals Game 5
Danny Green reacts after nailing a three-pointer.
NBA Finals Game 5
LeBron James can't get through the Spurs defence as he attempts a lay-up in the Heat's Game 5 loss.
NBA Finals Game 5
High fives all round as the Spurs take Game 5 over the Heat and a 3-2 lead.
NBA Finals, Game 6
LeBron James of the Heat attempts a clock on the spurs' Tim Duncan.
NBA Finals, Game 6
LeBron James looks to make a move on defender Tony Parker.
NBA Finals, Game 6
Tony Parker goes for the lay up as the Heat's Chris 'Birdman' Andersen attempts the block.
NBA Finals, Game 6
A pumped up Tim Duncan reacts during Game 6.
NBA Finals, Game 6
Dwyane Wade appeals for a foul.
NBA Finals, Game 6
The Heat's Chris Bosh reacts to a call in the first half of Game 6.
NBA Finals, Game 6
Tim Duncan goes for a block on a Dwyane Wade slam.
NBA Finals 2013 - Spurs vs Heat
San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard drives to the net on Miami Heat's Mario Chalmers during the first quarter of Game 7.
NBA Finals 2013 - Spurs vs Heat
Miami Heat's Ray Allen is double teamed by San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard, left, and Boris Diaw during Game 7.
NBA Finals 2013 - Spurs vs Heat
The pre-game show before the Miami Heat play the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of the NBA Finals series.
NBA Finals 2013 - Spurs vs Heat
Miami Heat's LeBron James gestures to a teammate during Game 7.
2013 NBA Finals - Spurs vs Heat
San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan, left, tangles with Miami Heat's Shane Battier.
2013 NBA Finals - Spurs vs Heat
Shane Battier of the Miami Heat reacts after making a three-pointer in the fourth quarter.
2013 NBA Finals - Heat vs Spurs
From left: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Norris Cole of the Miami Heat celebrate their title win.

The San Antonio Spurs were inconsolable after the NBA championship was ripped from their grasp in the stunning overtime loss to the Miami Heat.

The Spurs were just seconds away from clinching their fifth title when Miami produced a miraculous turnaround to win 103-100 and send the series into a seventh and deciding game.

Tim Duncan, who scored 30 points and pulled in 17 rebounds but ran out of gas in the final quarter, was at a loss to explain his team's failure to close out the game.

"I don't know what happened in the fourth and in overtime," he said. "Whatever you want to call it. It's just a disappointing loss."

It was a game of unrelenting tension and escalating drama but one San Antonio seemed destined to win.

The Spurs led by 13 points late in the third quarter and by five with 28 seconds to go when the wheels suddenly fell off.

Miami's Ray Allen sunk a three-pointer with five seconds left on the clock to send the game into overtime then drained two free throws in overtime to keep the defending champions in the hunt.

"It's bad, very bad," said San Antonio's Argentine guard Manu Ginobili. "We were a few seconds away from winning the championship and we let it go.

"A couple of rebounds that we didn't catch, a tough three by Ray, a couple of missed free throws, it's a very tough moment."

The lone comfort for the Spurs was that they will at least get another chance with Game Seven scheduled for Thursday in Miami, although history favours the home team in winner-takes-all clashes.

The stakes could not be higher with everything on the line and Tony Parker said the Spurs would have to find a way to quickly get over their disappointment if they wanted to win.

"We have no choice, we have to bounce back. We have to realize we have another great opportunity," said the Frenchman.

"It's going to be another great game. I'm sure with the guys on the team we'll be ready to go on Thursday."

Duncan, who has already won four championships with the Spurs dating back to 1999, said there was no need for panic or major overhauls.

"We'll do what we usually do. We'll watch a little bit of film and make a couple of little tweaks. We put ourselves in a position to win a game," he said.

"We know what we can do. We know that we can win games either here or anywhere else, and we just have to execute for a longer period of time.

"We had a lapse for a couple of minutes here and there."

Ginobili was less optimistic about the challenge facing the Spurs.

"I have no clue how we're going to be reenergized. I'm devastated," he said.

"But we have to. There's no Game Eight afterwards. We're going to have to play our best game, even better than today.

"Shoot better, better defense, less turnovers in my case, but there's no secret recipe for bouncing back."

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Manu Ginobili
MANU GINOBILI: "I have no clue how we're going to be reenergized. I'm devastated."

Reuters