The defending NBA champion and Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat defeated the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs in seven games to win their second consecutive championship in a row, and third overall in franchise history. LeBron James was named the NBA Finals MVP for the second straight time, making him the fifth player joining Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, and Kobe Bryant to win back-to-back Finals MVPs. The Heat were favored to repeat as champions over the Spurs.
This series marked the fifth time that the Spurs have made the NBA Finals since 1999, second-most for any franchise in that span (behind the Los Angeles Lakers). The Spurs had won all of their previous four Finals appearances (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007), with this series being the first time in franchise history that they had lost the NBA Finals. It was the Heat's third consecutive NBA Finals appearance (and fourth overall), the first Eastern Conference team to achieve that since the Chicago Bulls (1996–1998). Miami had home-court advantage based on their league-best regular season record. This series was the first time that San Antonio had played in the NBA Finals without home court advantage. The Heat became the first Eastern Conference team since the 1997 and 1998 Bulls, and overall, the first team since the 2009 and 2010 Lakers to repeat as champions.
The Heat won both games that they played against the Spurs during the regular season: 105–100 on November 29 and 88–86 on March 31.
A total of four former NBA Finals MVPs are on either roster (Duncan, Parker, Wade, and James), the most since the 1987 NBA Finals. The Finals also set a record for most international players on either Finals roster (10). Tim Duncan became the fourth player in NBA history to make a Finals appearance in three different decades.
This marked the last NBA Finals played during the tenure of NBA commissioner David Stern. It also marked the last time the Finals used the 2–3–2 format, after which it reverted to the 2–2–1–1–1 format.
The two teams met again a year later with the Spurs winning the rematch in five games against the Heat.
2013 NBA Playoffs
|San Antonio Spurs (Western Conference Champion)||Miami Heat (Eastern Conference Champion)|
1st Southwest, 2nd West, 3rd Overall
|Regular season||66–16 (.805)
1st Southeast, 1st East, 1st Overall
|Defeated the (7) Los Angeles Lakers, 4–0||First Round||Defeated the (8) Milwaukee Bucks, 4–0|
|Defeated the (6) Golden State Warriors, 4–2||Conference Semifinals||Defeated the (5) Chicago Bulls, 4–1|
|Defeated the (5) Memphis Grizzlies, 4–0||Conference Finals||Defeated the (3) Indiana Pacers, 4–3|
|Game||Date||Home Team||Result||Away Team|
|Game 1||June 6||Miami||88–92||San Antonio|
|Game 2||June 9||Miami||103–84||San Antonio|
|Game 3||June 11||San Antonio||113–77||Miami|
|Game 4||June 13||San Antonio||93–109||Miami|
|Game 5||June 16||San Antonio||114–104||Miami|
|Game 6||June 18||Miami||103–100 (OT)||San Antonio|
|Game 7||June 20||Miami||95–88||San Antonio|
LeBron James and Tim Duncan previously faced off in the 2007 NBA Finals, when James was in his first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, which saw the Spurs sweep the Cavaliers in four games, giving San Antonio their fourth NBA title. After the deciding game, Duncan sought out James in the locker room to praise him for a great series and told James that the league would be his someday.
San Antonio Spurs
This was to be the San Antonio Spurs' fifth appearance in the NBA Finals, attempting to win their fifth NBA championship in team history. The Spurs finished the regular season with 58 wins, finishing in first place in the Southwest Division and the second overall regular-season record among Western Conference teams. They recorded only two losses in the first three rounds of the playoffs: they swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round in four games, eliminated the Golden State Warriors in six games in the second round, then swept the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference Finals in four games.
This was to be the Miami Heat's fourth appearance in the NBA Finals and the third appearance in three consecutive years, attempting to win their third NBA championship. The Heat finished with the best regular-season record, recording a league-leading 66 wins, and first place in the Southeast Division. They swept the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs in four games before handily eliminating the Chicago Bulls in five games in the second round, winning four straight games in the series. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Heat defeated the Indiana Pacers (the team that Miami defeated in six games in the second round in last year's playoffs) in seven games.
Road to the Finals
|San Antonio Spurs (Western Conference Champion)||Miami Heat (Eastern Conference Champion)|
2nd seed in the West, 3rd best league record
|Regular season||1st seed in the East, best league record|
|Defeated the 7th seeded Los Angeles Lakers, 4–0||First round||Defeated the 8th seeded Milwaukee Bucks, 4–0|
|Defeated the 6th seeded Golden State Warriors, 4–2||Conference Semifinals||Defeated the 5th seeded Chicago Bulls, 4–1|
|Defeated the 5th seeded Memphis Grizzlies, 4–0||Conference Finals||Defeated the 3rd seeded Indiana Pacers, 4–3|
Regular season series
The Heat won both games in the regular-season series:
|November 29, 2012||Recap||San Antonio Spurs 100, Miami Heat 105||American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida|
|March 31, 2013||Recap||Miami Heat 88, San Antonio Spurs 86||AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas|
|Boxscore||San Antonio Spurs 92, Miami Heat 88||American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Tony Brothers, Jason Phillips
|Scoring by quarter: 23–24, 26–28, 20–20, 23–16|
|Pts: Tony Parker 21
Rebs: Tim Duncan 14
Asts: Tony Parker 6
|Pts: LeBron James 18|
Rebs: LeBron James 18
Asts: LeBron James 10
|San Antonio leads series, 1–0|
The Spurs defeated the Heat in Game 1, 92–88, as Tony Parker scored on a bank shot with 5.2 seconds in regulation with the shot clock about to expire. San Antonio scored 23 points in the fourth quarter, while limiting Miami to just 16. Parker led the Spurs with 21 points and 6 assists. The Heat held a 52–49 halftime lead, and James recorded a triple-double in the game. However, Miami's Dwyane Wade, who scored 17 points, was shut out in the final period. Chris Bosh, who recorded 13 points, only scored 2 in the fourth quarter.
|Boxscore||San Antonio Spurs 84, Miami Heat 103||American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Referees: Joe Crawford, Ed Malloy, Ken Mauer
|Scoring by quarter: 22–22, 23–28, 20–25, 19–28|
|Pts: Danny Green 17
Rebs: Kawhi Leonard 14
Asts: Tony Parker 5
|Pts: LeBron James 19|
Rebs: Chris Bosh 10
Asts: LeBron James 7
|Series tied, 1–1|
Miami evened the series, using a 33–5 run in the final two quarters after the two teams were neck-and-neck late in the third. During that run, LeBron James made a highlight-reel block on a dunk attempt by Tiago Splitter early in the fourth quarter. The Heat also made 10 out of 19 three-point shots, and five players had double-digit scoring games: James (17), Mario Chalmers (19), Ray Allen (13), Chris Bosh (12), and Dwyane Wade (10).
|Boxscore||Miami Heat 77, San Antonio Spurs 113||AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Referees: Dan Crawford, James Capers, Marc Davis
|Scoring by quarter: 20–24, 24–26, 19–28, 14–35|
|Pts: Dwyane Wade 16
Rebs: LeBron James 11
Asts: James, Wade 5 each
|Pts: Danny Green 27|
Rebs: Tim Duncan 14
Asts: Tony Parker 8
|San Antonio leads series, 2–1|
San Antonio bounced back in Game 3 and defeated Miami, 113–77, setting the Finals record for most three-pointers in a game (16), and giving the Heat their worst loss in franchise playoff history. Gary Neal had one of the best games of his career, making 6 three-point shots and finishing with 24 points, and Green led all Spurs players with 27 points. The Spurs shined despite a lackluster game from Tony Parker who scored only 6 points before he had to leave the game due to a hamstring injury. For Miami, Mike Miller made all five of his three-point shots and finished with 15 points on the night, while Wade led the Heat with 16 points. However, James was held to just 7 of 21 shooting from the field, finished with only 15 points, and did not shoot a free throw for the first time in his Miami playoff career. After a strong showing in Game 2, Mario Chalmers was held to 0 points and 1 assist.
|Boxscore||Miami Heat 109, San Antonio Spurs 93||AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Referees: Scott Foster, Mike Callahan, Bill Kennedy
|Scoring by quarter: 29–26, 20–23, 32–27, 28–17|
|Pts: LeBron James 33
Rebs: Chris Bosh 13
Asts: Mario Chalmers 5
|Pts: Tim Duncan 20|
Rebs: Kawhi Leonard 7
Asts: Tony Parker 9
|Series tied, 2–2|
The Heat evened the series by defeating the Spurs in Game 4, 109–93. The score was tied at halftime, 49–49, but Miami began to pull away from San Antonio in the second half. The Heat continued their streak of not losing consecutive games that the team started in January. The Big 3 (the trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh) for Miami finally came together in a big way. James led the Heat with 33 points, while Dwyane Wade had 32 and Bosh had 20. Duncan led the Spurs with 20 points. Parker started strong with 15 points in the first half, but could provide the Spurs with no offensive production in the second half.
|Boxscore||Miami Heat 104, San Antonio Spurs 114||AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Tony Brothers, Ed Malloy
|Scoring by quarter: 19–32, 33–29, 23–26, 29–27|
|Pts: James, Wade, 25 each
Rebs: James, Bosh, 6 each
Asts: Dwyane Wade 10
|Pts: Tony Parker 26|
Rebs: Tim Duncan 12
Asts: Manu Ginóbili 10
|San Antonio leads series, 3–2|
The Spurs turned in a marquee shooting performance to down the Heat in Game 5, 114–104, and take a 3–2 series lead. The Heat trailed the Spurs by double digits for most of the game. Although they finally closed to within one point, 75–74, with 3:05 left in the third quarter, they could not overtake and San Antonio started to pull away after that. Making 42 of 70 shots, San Antonio became the first team to shoot at least 60 percent in an NBA Finals game since the Orlando Magic in Game 3 of the 2009 Finals. Tony Parker led the Spurs with 26 points, while Danny Green scored 24 points, with 6 three-pointers, breaking the all-time record for three-pointers in a Finals series, set by Ray Allen in 2008. Manu Ginóbili, making his first start of the season, had a strong performance with 24 points and 10 assists. Tim Duncan also contributed with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and provided strong defensive support. At one point in the game, Spurs went on a 19–1 run, with Green and Ginobili scoring most of those points. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade turned in strong performances, leading the Heat with 25 points each, while Ray Allen had 5 three-pointers and scored 21 points total.
|Boxscore||San Antonio Spurs 100, Miami Heat 103||OT||American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Referees: Joe Crawford, Mike Callahan, Ken Mauer
|Scoring by quarter: 25–27, 25–17, 25–21, 20–30, OT: 5–8|
|Pts: Tim Duncan 30
Rebs: Tim Duncan 17
Asts: Tony Parker 8
|Pts: LeBron James 32|
Rebs: Chris Bosh 11
Asts: LeBron James 11
|Series tied, 3–3|
The Heat evened the series at 3 games a piece by defeating the Spurs in Game 6, 103–100 in overtime. The Spurs were leading by 10 points at the end of the third quarter, but LeBron James sparked a 20–7 run for the Heat to start the fourth quarter, personally scoring 11 of those points.
With 2:09 remaining, the Heat pulled ahead 89–86, but the Spurs went on a run of their own spearheaded by Tony Parker, who shot a stepback three and a reverse layup in consecutive possessions to go ahead 91–89. On the next possession, James lost the ball in the post and eventually led to a pair of Manu Ginóbili free throws after an intentional foul (by Ray Allen) on the other end, pushing the score to 93–89. Consequently, James committed a second crucial turnover forcing it into the hands of Ginóbili who was fouled by Allen. Ginóbili would miss one of two free throws, setting the stage for the comeback. With 23 seconds remaining, LeBron James missed a three pointer, but was rebounded by Mike Miller and passed back to him for a three pointer to pull within two points with 20 seconds left.
After failing to steal the inbound pass, the Heat would immediately foul Kawhi Leonard, who missed one of two free throws, keeping it a one possession game at 95–92. With the championship on the line, James was entrusted with the final shot after a pass from Mario Chalmers, but missed a 26-foot jumper from beyond the arc which bounced off the rim and into Chris Bosh's hands for the rebound. Immediately, Bosh passed it off to Ray Allen who dribbled back and scored an iconic clutch three-pointer near Parker to the send the game into overtime.
The Heat won the game in overtime, helped by two key blocks by Chris Bosh. LeBron James had 32 points (along with 11 assists and 10 rebounds) and Chalmers had 20 points for the Heat, while Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 30 points and 17 rebounds; however, Duncan was held scoreless after the third quarter. Fans and media outlets alike have began dubbing it "The Headband Game" in reference to the signature accessory that LeBron James lost on a dunk with just under nine minutes left in the 4th quarter and did not wear the rest of the way. The game is considered by some to have been one of the greatest games in NBA history. This game is known for its questionable no-call fouls that would've benefitted the Spurs.
|Boxscore||San Antonio Spurs 88, Miami Heat 95||American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Referees: Dan Crawford, Scott Foster, Monty McCutchen
|Scoring by quarter: 16–18, 28–28, 27–26, 17–23|
|Pts: Tim Duncan 24
Rebs: Kawhi Leonard 16
Asts: Manu Ginóbili 5
|Pts: LeBron James 37|
Rebs: LeBron James 12
Asts: Allen, James 4 each
|Miami wins NBA Finals, 4–3|
James scored 37 points, including five 3-pointers, and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Miami to a 95–88 victory in Game 7. With the win, the Heat captured their second consecutive NBA championship. After a 3-point shot by Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs trailed by just two with 50 seconds remaining in the game. They had a chance to tie the game, but Duncan, guarded by Shane Battier, missed a shot under the basket and a follow-up tip-in attempt. James went on to hit a 17-foot jumper over Leonard that secured the victory.
Wade scored 23 points and had 10 rebounds, and Battier scored 18 points on six 3-pointers to offset scoreless nights by Bosh and Allen. James tied Tommy Heinsohn's record set in 1957 for most points in an NBA Finals Game 7 win, and won his second straight NBA Finals MVP.
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