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Miami Heat fans leave NBA Finals Game 6 early, not allowed back in for Heat comeback win

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#Let'sGoHome. (Photo via bomani_jones on Instagram)

While arguments about which city's or team's fans often tend to be a dumb, parochial domain, and while it sometimes feels like Miami catches a #BadSportsTown rap that's a bit overstated, I think we can agree that leaving an NBA Finals game before its completion is kind of a bad look. Let alone a game in which your hometown team would be eliminated with a loss. Let alone a game in which your hometown team fought back from seven points down at the start of the fourth quarter, that was a one-possession affair from just inside the eight-minute mark all the way into the final minute, and in which said hometown team held a three-point lead with less than two minutes remaining.

And yet, a number of members of the AmericanAirlines Arena faithful on hand to cheer for the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs did choose to exit with the game still in the balance in the final minute. And based on the escalator shot above shared by ESPN's Bomani Jones late in the fourth quarter — and the commentary of several others on the scene — it was a fairly large number:

Grantland's Rembert Browne captured the outpouring with the Heat down five:

The real fun, though, came after the Heat came back from a five-point deficit in the final 30 seconds of the fourth quarter thanks to some critical Spurs miscues and a massive 3-pointer by Ray Allen to tie the game and send it into overtime. Suddenly, some of those early-exiting fans started to suspect that they'd left something at their seats that they needed to retrieve post-haste. Except, y'know, you're not allowed to do that ... which made some AAA-abandoners unhappy.

Nothing captures the scene quite like the tweets of Victor Oquendo, a reporter with Miami ABC affiliate WLPG-TV, who saw the whole thing unfold while preparing for his evening broadcast:

The Heat, of course, went on to win Game 6 in overtime, 103-100, setting up a winner-take-all Game 7 at AmericanAirlines Arena on Thursday.

After the game, CBSSports.com's Royce Young spoke with arena staff and fans who stuck around about the premature evacuation:

One worker expressed actual worry and there was a little bit of fear because of the aggressiveness some were showing.

"They were saying, 'I just left! I just left! Please!'" an arena worker said. "They'd run up there, then they'd run back here trying different doors to see if they could get in."

Asked if there was any consideration to open the door, an arena official said that was firmly against policy — the doors are marked in big red letters "NO RE-ENTRY ALLOWED" — and said if the doors were opened, that could only make things worse. [...]

"I was kind of devastated to see so many people leaving," one Heat fan said. "I said, 'they will feel really, really bad when the Heat get back in this game and win.' And they did."

A quick pro-tip for those lucky enough to have tickets to attend just the 18th Game 7 in NBA Finals history: Stick around. You never know what might happen.

Related video from Yahoo! Sports:

NBA Finals coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
LeBron James, Ray Allen rally Heat to Game 6 victory
Slideshow: LeBron James loses headband, leads Heat to victory
Watch: LeBron James blocks Tim Duncan at the rim
Ray Allen nails huge 3-pointer to send Game 6 to overtime

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