The day Chris Bosh’s rebound and Ray Allen’s 3-pointer gave the Heat an improbable Finals win
Allen: ‘There’s no target. I don’t aim. If I’m aiming, that’s when I’m missing.’
Security personnel at AmericanAirlines Arena were already bringing out the yellow rope to mark off the court. Miami Heat fans decided they weren’t interested in seeing their team lose the 2013 NBA Finals and then have to sit in traffic, so they were out the door.
But 28 seconds proved to be more than enough time for the home team to erase a five-point deficit. It wasn’t pretty by any means. LeBron James clanked the game-tying 3-pointer off the left side of the iron, Chris Bosh had to fight over two San Antonio Spurs for the offensive board and Manu Ginobili fell to the hardwood in front of Danny Green, which forced Tony Parker to come sprinting over from his defensive assignment.
Ray Allen, Green’s defensive assignment, slipped behind the 3-point line and showed his hands to Bosh, who dished it to the sharpshooter. Parker wasn’t late getting over to Allen, but Allen was able to quickly rise above Parker and the hand in his face.
Time seemed to stand still as the scene played out in front of all those at the arena and those watching at home. Allen stumbled backward when he came down, but his trey was wet and hit nothing but net and the game was tied at 95.
“Once the ball came off the rim, I just knew to get to the 3-point line,” Allen told SB Nation on June 18, 2013. “We needed a 3. Two points isn’t going to cut it. So my mental checklist is really to have my legs ready and underneath me so when the ball comes, if it comes, I was ready to go in the air.
“There’s no target. I don’t aim. If I’m aiming, that’s when I’m missing. The way I look at it is, just get the ball in the air. You do it over and over again, you should never have a target.”
That’s right, the guy who made the dagger to force overtime as the Heat tried to stave off elimination in Game 6 of the Finals wasn’t even aiming for the rim. But Bosh’s forceful rebound and the future Hall of Famer’s shot put the final touches on Miami’s furious comeback.
The Spurs held a 10-point lead before James put the squad on his back to give the Heat an 89-86 lead with 1:47 left. Parker decided to go toe-to-toe with James, hitting a deep 3-pointer to tie the game, and Mario Chalmers turned the ball over, leading to another Parker score. This would balloon into San Antonio scoring eight unanswered points to lead 94-89.
That’s when the magic kicked in. James initially missed terribly on a straightaway 3, but after the ball rolled around, James spotted up on the left side of the arc and drained the 3 to make the deficit 94-92. Kawhi Leonard made one of his two free throws to make it a three-point lead for San Antonio, and that’s when Bosh and Allen went to work saving the Heat’s season.
Asked whether it was the shot that would define his career, Allen said, “I don’t think that’s up to me to decide.”
From there, Miami was surgical as it took full advantage of its extra life, going on to win the elimination game 103-100. The Heat won Game 7, 95-88, to secure the championship.
“I can’t describe the feeling of the game,” Bosh told USA Today Sports. “Just something we didn’t want to give up, and we stayed with it and we knew it was going to be a battle. It’s always difficult playing at this level but we stuck together, stayed with it, and I don’t know how we pulled it out but we pulled it out. … We didn’t play our best basketball, but it’s all about perseverance.”