On This Day In Heat History: Miami secures back-to-back titles in 2013

Miami Heat
The Miami Heat won back-to-back titles for the first time in franchise history in 2013! (Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

On this day 11 years ago, the Miami Heat repeated as NBA champions for the first time in franchise history, this time downing the San Antonio Spurs in seven grueling, thrilling contests. To date, it’s still the organization’s last NBA Title.

Let’s reminisce, shall we?

How did we get here?

Miami was coming off their second-ever championship over Oklahoma City and the first of the “Big Three” era between LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Pat Riley signed former Celtics guard Ray Allen, in addition to Rashard Lewis in the offseason followed by signing Chris “Birdman” Anderson midseason, who became one of the more vital frontcourt players during their title run.

The Heat picked up right where they left off in their 2012 title run, winning 12 of their first 15 games and 20 of their first 26 games. They eventually rattled off a historically great 27-game winning streak, the second-longest in NBA History, lasting from Feb. 3 to March 25 before losing 101-97 to the Jimmy Butler-led Chicago Bulls.

They eventually finished the regular season at 66-16  with the best record in the NBA by six games (Thunder: 60-22). Miami swept the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round and cruised past the Bulls in five games after losing Game 1. They would then square off yet again with the Indiana Pacers, spearheaded by seven games, who took them to seven games. Miami clinched its second straight NBA Finals berth for the first time ever, but awaiting them was Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, Tony Parker, head coach Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs–who had yet to lose a Finals series together.

San Antonio narrowly beat the Heat in Game 1, fueled by Tony Parker knocking down a shot-clock-beating jumper with 5.2 seconds left. Miami knotted it up at one apiece after Game 2 before Danny Green and Gary Neal eviscerated Miami in Game 3.

The two teams split the next two games before Miami headed back home down 3-2. It trailed by five points with 21 seconds left before Ray Allen evidently knocked down one of the most clutch 3-pointers in NBA History, forcing overtime. Miami eventually won by three headed into Game 7, where they had the opportunity to clinch their third title in franchise history.

What happened?

If the Miami Heat didn’t win Game 7, the Ray Allen shot wouldn’t mean as much and Heat history could’ve been altered pretty dramatically.

But on this day, 11 years ago, the Miami Heat outlasted the San Antonio Spurs, winning their third-ever NBA Title and becoming the sixth-ever organization to win back-to-back NBA Titles. LeBron James, who won Finals MVP, scored 37 points, including a mid-range dagger with 28 seconds left to put Miami up two possessions.

He shot 12 of 23 from the floor and 5-of-10 from 3-point range, hauling down 12 rebounds with four assists and two steals. Dwyane Wade had 23 points and 10 boards on 11-of=21 shooting; Shane Battier couldn’t miss from deep, scoring 18 points on 6-of-8 (nobody remembers those two misses) from beyond the arc.

The Heat got back to the Mountaintop after it nearly fell apart inside American Airlines Arena for the second time in three years. It marks the last time it got the Mountaintop, but it was definitely a memorable Finals given what happened over those last two games specifically.

Man, what a time that was!


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