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Allen's clutch shot rescues Heat

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- The irony was rich.

In an NBA Finals that has largely been about the breakthrough performance of the San Antonio Spurs' 25-year-old shooter Danny Green, it was an old veteran who made perhaps the biggest shot of the Miami Heat's season.

Ray Allen, 37, hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in regulation, helping the Heat earn a 103-100 overtime victory in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

"It's a shot I will remember for a long time," Allen said. "This will go high up in the ranks because of the situation."

Green, who in Game 5 broke Allen's record for most 3-pointers in a single Finals series with 25, was cold Tuesday, held to three points on 1-of-7 shooting. The only shot he made was a 3-pointer.

Allen wasn't great -- just clutch. He scored nine points in 40 minutes off the bench, making three of eight shots, but he had no doubts in his mind during the Heat's final possession of regulation.

After LeBron James missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it, Allen raced in for a potential rebound. When he saw that Chris Bosh had the carom, he backpedaled to the corner.

"I wasn't quite sure I was where I needed to be," Allen said, "but after years and years, you kind of have a feel for it."

Allen said he never thought about passing up the shot -- not even with James calling for the ball.

"When it went in, I was ecstatic," Allen said. "But I was expecting to make it."

Although his shot was huge, Allen made it clear that this is James' team, and he said the players all follow LeBron's lead.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said pretty much the same thing when he credited James' 16-point fourth quarter with vaulting the team to victory.

"It was absolute desperation and his will to do it on both ends," Spoelstra said. "Even though he had an extremely tough (job, covering Tony Parker), he gave us life when we were down by 10."

James said part of what gave him that "life" was when he noticed the yellow tape that had been put up behind his bench as NBA officials prepared for a possible championship trophy presentation for the Spurs.

"It (angered) us," James said. "But that's why you play the game to the final buzzer."

Then again, this series has been about each team alternating wins and losses, and if that trend holds, the Spurs would win their fifth title since 1999 on Thursday.

For that to happen, Parker -- the Spurs' talented point guard -- must be healthy. He has been plagued by a hamstring injury during this series and sat out key plays late Tuesday because of cramps.

The Spurs could also use better play from Manu Ginobili -- he had eight turnovers and just nine points -- and a few more 3-pointers by Green.

"Bad," Ginobili said when asked how Tuesday's loss felt. "It's a tough moment. We were a few seconds away from winning the championship. There were a couple of rebounds we didn't catch, a tough 3 by Ray, and a couple of missed free throws.

"We don't think we played a great game, but we were in a great situation. Up two with two free throws. ... I'm devastated. I have no idea how we are going to come back -- but we have to."
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