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Heat hold narrow lead after sluggish half
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Each team is leaving it all on the floor with the title on the line, as the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs are caught in a defensive struggle through the first half of Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
LeBron James leads all scorers with 15 points and Dwyane Wade's last-second jumper gave him 14 and sent the Heat into the break with a narrow 46-44 edge.
The teams are grinding through following a physically and emotionally exhausting Game 6, with both fighting for points.
The Spurs are shooting a sluggish 35 percent, but have been lifted by veterans Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, who have scored 13 and 10 points, respectively, to keep San Antonio within striking distance.
Shane Battier was the only bench player for either team to make a difference in the first half, with the veteran sinking all three of his 3-point attempts for Miami.
Games 2-5 were all decided before the start of the fourth quarter, but Tuesday's Game 6 was one for the ages, with Ray Allen's game-tying 3-pointer near the end of regulation paving the way to a 103-100 overtime win for Miami.
The last 18 minutes saw the margin of this decisive contest grow no larger than six points, and the teams have combined for 14 total turnovers.
Wade has shown flashes of his usual dominant self and is one of the few players shooting the ball well. He's made 7-of-12 from the field.
The Spurs jumped out to an 11-4 lead just over four minutes in, but scored just five more points in the frame after missing 11 of their final 13 shots in the quarter.
Miami began to heat up during San Antonio's dry spell, with Battier connecting on a pair of threes during an 8-0 run that staked the hosts to their first lead at 18-15.
Another triple from Battier to start the second quarter opened up five-point lead for Miami, but Duncan banked home a short jumper while taking a foul from Chris Bosh several minutes later to erase the Spurs' deficit and tie the contest at 27-27.
James started 1-for-5 from the field, but started to find his stroke midway through the second session. He completed a three-point play on a coast-to- coast double-clutch layup with 6:29 left in the half, then followed with a triple to build a 33-27 edge for Miami.
Gary Neal responded for San Antonio by banking home a deep 3-pointer to pull his team within three, and the Spurs took a brief 42-40 lead following a pair of free throws from Manu Ginobili, who scored seven points in the half.
Wade and James combined for Miami's final six points of the period, with Wade burying a long jumper with 0.8 seconds remaining to send the Heat into the half with a slim two-point edge.
06/20 22:39:33 ET