There's really no way to top what happened Tuesday night.

LeBron James quieted his haters again in one of the most stunning NBA Finals games ever. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker failed appallingly for the only time in their finals careers. Ray Allen, the oldest player on the court, ripped a page from his previous championship experience.

So how about a Game 7?

The entertainment finally, and sadly, ends Thursday at Miami's American Airlines Arena. Someone will be ecstatic, someone will be distraught, and there's no guarantee the despondent Ginobili will even make it to the arena.

After the Spurs guard dragged himself to the interview room in the aftermath of San Antonio's 103-100 overtime loss Tuesday, Ginobili used the phrases "bad," "very bad," "very tough" (twice), "it hurts," "bad moment," "really bad moment" and "I'm devastated."

How did this all happen?

Plenty of Miami Heat fans had already headed for the exits in Game 6 with their team down five in the final minute of regulation. NBA officials brought out the yellow rope to ring the court for the postgame ceremony. The championship trophy was carried out from its hiding place deep inside the arena and was waiting in the wings. MVP voting had already been done by reporters and broadcasters (an unofficial poll -- it was looking good for Duncan).


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Then Allen's 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left changed everything. And ruined the night of more Spurs than just Ginobili.

What next?

It's hard not to think the Spurs maxed out in Game 6, with 37-year-old Duncan giving all he could, 35-year-old Ginobili looking fatigued again after a brilliant Game 5 effort, and Parker making only 6 of 23 shots.

A day later, the Spurs claimed they could recover. What else could they say, however old and dejected they might have been feeling?

James was 5.2 seconds from falling to 1-3 in championship rounds. Hard to imagine his on-court reputation, along with that of the Heat's Big Three, not taking a severe pounding if Miami had lost.

Game 7 is not just 48 minutes (or more) for James. It's the most recent way his name can be defined. And it'll last the whole summer, if not longer.

"I understand the moment," James said Wednesday about Game 7. "I've been pretty relaxed, though. I've been pretty relaxed throughout the playoffs. I'm going to be antsy, I'm going to be excited. I'm going to have some butterflies. I'll be nervous. Everything. That's how I should be.

"The moment is going to be grand. I'm happy to be a part of it."

Several Spurs players went to dinner after the game ended in the early hours of Wednesday. It wasn't all doom and gloom.

"Yeah, it helped," Duncan said Wednesday afternoon. "The other option is a bunch of us go back to our rooms and sit in our rooms and sit there by ourselves and beat yourself up. So it's always good to be around teammates and kind of get some stuff out in the open. We did exactly that. We'll be ready to rock."

They better be ready. No NBA team has won a Game 7 on the road in the finals since Washington in 1978.

  • The Heat's wild overtime win over the Spurs drew 20.6 million viewers, the second-largest audience for a Game 6 since ABC started televising the NBA Finals in 2003. The Heat's Game 6 loss to Dallas in 2011, when the Mavericks clinched the title, had the most with 23.9 million.

    Raptors: Dwane Casey will remain as Toronto head coach, new general manager Masai Ujiri says. There had been some question regarding Casey's future in Toronto after the hiring of Ujiri amid a front-office overhaul. Casey is in the final year of a contract extension signed after the 2011-12 season.

    Jazz: Former Utah coach Jerry Sloan is returning to the team as a consultant.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    NBA finals

    Thursday, GAME 7: Spurs at Heat, 6 p.m., ABC