MIAMI -- Ray Allen, the NBA's all-time leading three-point shooter, hit a shot for the ages in Miami's 103-100 overtime victory over San Antonio in Game 6 of the Finals on Tuesday.
With just seconds remaining in regulation and the Spurs leading 95-92, LeBron James launched a three that rimmed off. Chris Bosh came up with the offensive rebound in a crowd and kicked it out to Allen, who rushed to set himself up in the right corner for another potential game-tying try.
"When I saw [Bosh] get the ball, I just backpedaled right to the three-point line, and I was hoping I was where I needed to be," Allen said. "I wasn't quite sure. But just from years of shooting, I got to my spot. ... I just knew get to the three-point line. We need a three. Two points isn't going to cut it."
Although James was hoping to get a second chance at a three, Allen, a career 40.1 percent three-point shooter with more made threes than anyone in league history, said that he never considered passing up the opportunity.
"It's going to be a shot that I'm going to remember for a long time," Allen said. "There's a lot of shots that I've made in my career, but this will go high up in the ranks because of the situation."
What stands out most about the shot is just how intricate Allen's movements look on the replays. Moving backwards, he set his feet smoothly, and perfectly behind the line, even as Tony Parker came rushing at him. His release was clean but his landing was a bit off-kilter, and he leaned towards the corner as the ball swished through the hoop with just 5.2 seconds remaining. It was, in so many ways, a remarkable shot.
"Believe it or not, I work on it quite often," Allen said. "I try to put my body in precarious situations coming from different parts of the floor, different angles to try to get my momentum going forward. I honestly can say I gave myself a great chance to make that shot. It wasn't unfamiliar to me positionally. When it went in, I was ecstatic. At the same time, I was expecting to make it."
James said that he also expected Allen to deliver the season-saving triple.
"If it's not me taking the shot, I have no problem with Ray taking that shot," James said. "He's got ice water in his veins. Ray can be 0-for-99 in a game and if he gets an open look late in the game, it's going down. That's just the confidence he has in himself, the preparation that he prepares for every game."
Allen finished with nine points (on 3-for-8 shooting) and two assists in 40 minutes. His game-tying three-pointer was his only make in three attempts from deep on Tuesday.
Now, Game 7 between the Heat
and Spurs is on tap for Thursday night in Miami.