Miami aim to maintain heat

Miami aim to maintain heat

All eyes on Game 7 of epic season

Miami aim to maintain heat

One of the most turbulent championships in National Basketball Association (NBA) history will reach its climax on Thursday when the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs meet in the decisive seventh game of the Finals.

Basketball fans in the United States have been whipped into a frenzy of excitement by what has already been a classic series full of wild fluctuations and escalating drama.
The teams have raised their games to new heights, producing an extraordinary standard of play and athleticism which peaked with Miami's exhilarating overtime win on Tuesday that tied the series at 3-3. 

With everything on the line for Game Seven, the stakes could not be higher with millions of people around the world expected to tune in for Thursday's grand finale.

"They're the best two words in team sports, 'Game Seven,'" said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. "Our guys aren't looking for games that are less meaningful. We're looking for games that are more meaningful. And there's nothing bigger than a Game Seven."
As defending champions, Miami were overwhelming favorites to win the title. They were almost unstoppable during the regular season, winning a franchise-record 66 games, including a 27-game stretch that is the second longest in NBA history.

With LeBron James, the sport's best player and biggest star, at the peak of his powers alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Heat's 'Big Three' seemed a sure bet to win back-to-back championships.

When they are on their game, few teams can contain them, and the crowds in South Florida love it, whooping and hollering as they pile on the points against overmatched opponents. But the Spurs, chasing their fifth championship since 1999, have answered the challenge with their own 'Big Three' of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

As former champions, the three veterans know what it takes to win and have used all their streetwise knowledge to rattle the top-seeded Heat.

Every game, every quarter, every minute, every shot and every rebound has been fought over, with players leaping and diving on the hardwood for any possession.

The first six games were a seesawing battle with the teams alternating wins and losses. If that pattern continues in Game Seven, San Antonio will be crowned champions but history favours Miami, who have the homecourt advantage.