Miami Heat fans, who have embraced the bandwagon label since LeBron descended from the firmament and landed on South Beach in 2010, thought the Spurs had won the NBA Title in the 4th quarter Tuesday night, and began to file out of American Airlines Arena early.
The Heat had erased the Spurs 10-point 4th quarter lead and taken a 3-point lead of their own. And then Tony Parker nailed a lucky step-back 3-pointer – only his 2nd triple of the series – over LeBron as the shot clock expired, then scored again in the lane, and San Antonio appeared close to Tim Duncan’s 5th title.
LeBron had consecutive turnovers and the Spurs led by five with :28. And then, by the thousands, fans began to leave.
You know what happened next: LeBron hit a 3-pointer. Kawhi Leonard, who was outstanding (22 points, 11 rebounds, nasty facial on Mike Miller), and is an 82 percent foul shooter, missed one. The Spurs lead was three.
LeBron then missed a 3-pointer, but with Tim Duncan out of the game – whoops, Pop? – Chris Bosh collected the offensive rebound, and dished to Ray Allen in the corner for the money shot, and overtime.
I would imagine the collective roar from the crowd after Allen’s heroics stopped some fans who had been fumbling their keys in the parking lot, and the bandwagon fans dashed back to see what the fuss was about. Which led to this embarrassing scene, courtesy of the Sun-Sentinel:
“I feel so bad. I thought it was over,” said Marcella Tabora, who left the game early with her husband, Tyson and the couple’s young daughter. “We have a long drive to West Palm Beach, so I said ‘Let’s go.’ We were walking [outside] and he checked his phone and saw it was 95-95, so we came back. But they said we couldn’t go back inside.”
Several fans spent the game’s final minutes pressed against the arena’s glass doors, watching a television inside the Heat team store, which faces Biscayne Boulevard.
In related-ish news, how pissed must Flo Rida be?
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