Spurs Battle Heat, History in Game 7

US PRESSWIRE

The San Antonio Spurs were a tantalizing 20 seconds away from a fifth NBA championship when it slipped away. Now they face the daunting task of winning game 7 on the road.

June, 1978

Gas was 70 cents a gallon.

"Jaws 2" was the top-grossing move, followed closely by "Grease."

"The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" opened on Broadway.

And the Baltimore Bullets defeated the Seattle Supersonics in game 7 of the NBA Championship Finals -- the last time a road team won the title on the road in Game 7.

That is the daunting task facing San Antonio after the Spurs saw a 5-point lead evaporate in the last 20 seconds of regulation in game 6.

Unbelievable drama gave way to unrelenting pain for the Spurs as they deviated from their norm by missing free throws and running an inefficient offense in the final moments. The collapse wasted a brilliant effort from Tim Duncan who dominated the first half with 25 points. Tony Parker seemingly drove the dagger into the heart of the Heat with an uncharacteristic 3-pointer from over the top.

But the other member of the Spurs big 3, Manu Ginobili, was dead weight, turning the ball over 8 times. Even that could have been forgiven, but with the Spurs leading 93-89 with 28 seconds to go, the normally reliable Ginobili, an 83% free throw shooter, hit only one of two.

Kawhi Leonard, an 80% free throw shooter during the regular season, also missed one of two, which allowed the Heat to hit two 3-pointers to send the game into overtime.

Gregg Popovich has been a pin doll for the media all day Wednesday for some of his coaching moves late in the contest.

The Spurs started the 4th quarter with a ten point lead -- with Duncan and Tony Parker on the bench. Duncan was again sitting down on the two key defensive series when the Heat turned offensive rebounds into the 3-pointers that sent the game into overtime.

It was a brutal loss, one that the Spurs must wipe off the memory bank in less than 48 hours. Ginobili, for one, sounded like that might be an impossible task.

"I don't know what happened in the fourth and in overtime," Ginobili said. "Whatever you want to call it. It's just a disappointing loss."

"I have no clue how we're going to be reenergized. I'm devastated," he said.

Win or lose, Popovich can always be counted on to treat the press with disdain and he did not disappoint. When asked how he would try to get his team ready for game 7 he replied.

"Get them on a bus, it arrives at the ramp over here, we get off the bus, we get on the court and we play. That's how we get ready. "

A lot has changed since a road team won the NBA championship in a Game 7, and not just the price of gas.

If you would like spend a little cash, you could score a couple of tickets to Game 7 in Miami Thursday night. According to Stub Hub you can score courtside seats for only $40,000 per.

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