San Antonio had Miami’s Big Three on the edge, holding on by a breath. All they had to do was put more presssure on Miami's throat. More specifically, the Spurs had LeBron James’ cremated legacy in their hands; they were grinding it into dust and draining it into an urn.
Meanwhile, Tim Duncan was hopping in the throwback machine and had San Antonians flashing back to Game 6 of the 2003 NBA Finals. That was the night Duncan posted a near quadruple double in a closeout-game comeback win over the New Jersey Nets.
Throughout the first half, Duncan also had more boards than James had points. It was the type of imposing performance that Bill Russell used to demoralize Wilt Chamberlain with in the '60s. Wilt Chamberlain couldn’t beat Russell in the Finals, and for three-quarters of this game, it appeared James wouldn’t beat Duncan.
However, with a fifth title within their reach, the Spurs squandered Duncan’s fountain-of-youth game. Danny Green couldn’t hit the ground with his feet and shot 1-of-5 from behind the arc. The soles of James’ LeBron X’s predicted a second title, but Chris Bosh had the crystal-ball statement of the series. On Tuesday morning, Bosh told TNT’s David Aldridge that Green wouldn’t get open tonight. Bosh personally delivered by tipping Green’s desperation heave at the buzzer.
Back in November, Gregg Popovich was fined by the commissioner for leaving his starting lineup behind in San Antonio before the final leg of a six-game road trip in Miami. Duncan and Parker both looked gassed after playing 43 minutes. Manu Ginobili's absentee performance and eight turnovers in Game 6 made Game 5 look his retirement ceremony. There’s no reason for any rest in Game 7. It’s a do-or-die scenario for both squads. The loser can sleep when their title aspirations are dead.