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23 Jun 2013

Love him or hate him, LeBron James’ fourth quarter in Game Six was unforgettable

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June 23, 2013 Category: Sports Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) and Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) collide during the second half of Game 6 of the NBA Finals basketball game, Tuesday, June 18, 2013 in Miami. 

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

 

By Chris Murray

For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

 

I don’t know if Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals is going to match up to the thriller that was Game 6, but I sure hope it is. 

 

In any event, the rollercoaster that was Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat was arguably one of the best of this generation and maybe of all-time. It definitely raised the bar for Game 7. 

 

The Miami Heat toughed out a 103-100 overtime nail biter over the San Antonio Spurs that had more plot twists and turns than any episode of the hit ABC-TV series, “Scandal.” 

 

This game had its share of heroes on both teams. When it looked like Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and the Spurs were going to blow the Heat out of the water, LeBron James refused to allow to Miami to go gently into that good night with an outstanding effort in the fourth quarter and in the overtime. 

 

I am by no means a big King James fan and some of the criticism of all the hype he gets is kind of deserved, but at the same time, the negativity he gets is way over the top.

 

A struggling James came into the fourth quarter shooting just 3-of-12 from the field and his team down by 10 points. He put his team on his back and did just about everything he could to put his team in position to eventually win it.  

 

Not only did he score 16 points in the fourth quarter, he made plays on defense including a huge block on Duncan driving to the basket. Even when he had a few foibles along the way which included a turnover and some missed shots, James never quit and just kept finding ways to make plays. 

 

That’s called “heart” ladies and gentleman. James wouldn’t let his team die even when Miami fans were filing out of the arena. He was like that line from a Rudyard Kipling poem: “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you.”   

 

Finishing the game with a triple-double—32 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, it’s safe to say James definitely kept his wits about him.   

 

James’ big three-point bucket with 20.1 seconds left that put the Heat to within three actually came after he missed an attempted three-ball shot a few seconds earlier.  

 

It was James missed three-point shot with under 10 seconds left that wound up in the hands of teammate Chris Bosh who passed it to Ray Allen, who sank the game-tying three-point bucket  that sent the game into overtime.

 

If you want to say Miami was lucky that James missed three-ball fell into Bosh’s hands, okay feel free. To me, good things can happen when just you keep firing. Just as James carried his team when they needed him through much of the fourth quarter, Bosh with the critical rebound and Allen with the big-time three, lifted him when he needed them. 

 

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That’s called team work, folks—a foreign concept in an era where fans, including those of James, are foolishly caught up in the cult of personality and an overindulgence of individualism. 

 

Even if Miami had lost this game and the Spurs had walked off with the title, I would say the same thing about James effort in that fourth quarter. He gave his team a chance to win or go down swinging.

 

And so beyond all the overblown hype of James’ most devoted disciples who see him as “The Chosen One ” and the ignoble impulses of his detractors who want him to lose just to prove James followers wrong, I thought Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals was an “instant classic.”

 

I suspect that James and the Heat and Parker and the Spurs will leave everything on the floor in Game 7.  I am also predicting that no matter how well James plays in a losing or winning effort, those who love him and those who loathe him will be arguing well into the night on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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