Just one year ago, the San Antonio Spurs suffered one of the most painful defeats in the history of the NBA Finals, losing to the Miami Heat in seven games.
Last year, the Spurs took game 1 with a 92-88 victory and the Heat rebounded with a 103-84 victory in game 2. The Spurs took back control in game 5 with a 113-77 victory. The Heat tied things up in game 4, winning 109-93. After the Spurs won game 5 114-104, they nearly had the title wrapped up in game 6. The Spurs led by five with just 28 seconds left, but after a LeBron James three-pointer, Kawhi Leonard made just one of two free throws. Then, Ray Allen hit a three from the corner and the Heat eventually won in overtime 103-100. They then downed the Spurs 95-88 in game 7 to claim their second straight title.
This season, the Spurs vowed to bounce back and defeat the Heat (or whoever won the Eastern Conference) this season. They finished the regular season with a league-best record of 62-20 and earned home court advantage throughout the postseason. They defeated the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the postseason in seven games, then took down the Portland Trail Blazers in five games, a “gentleman’s sweep.” After that, they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games.
In a rematch of the 2013 Finals, the Spurs used a late run to win game 1 110-95. The Heat evened things out with a 98-96 victory in game 2. The Spurs then completely took the series over, blowing out the Heat in games 3 and 4, 111-92 and 107-96 before closing things out in game 5, 104-87.
You can watch the final seconds and ensuing celebration below.