San Antonio Spurs left to rue missed chance

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

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."

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

Reuters