MIAMI (AP) — Este no es el guión que tenía preparado el Heat del gran LeBron James, Dwayne Wade y Chris Bosh: 3-2 abajo y obligado a ganar los dos últimos partidos en casa para coronarse campeones de la NBA.

Las cosas fueron distintas cuando volvieron de Texas en el 2011. Esa vez jugaban por primera vez juntos, estaban empezando a conocerse y todavía le faltaba mucho al equipo para dar pelea.

Esta vez, sin embargo, eran EL equipo de la NBA, un conjunto que había sufrido apenas tres derrotas en tres meses y que se suponía jamás podía perder tres partidos en una serie.

Encuesta

¿Qué equipo será campeón de la NBA 2013?

VOTA

Sin embargo, ahí están, con la soga al cuello ante los veteranos Spurs de San Antonio, que el domingo ganaron se apuntaron su tercera victoria y se coronarán campeones si ganan uno de los dos encuentros finales a jugarse en Miami.

Una vez más, el mentado trío de Miami está en la lona.

"Ahora veremos si somos mejores que en nuestro primer año juntos", expresó James.

Los Spurs ganaron 114-104 con actuaciones descollantes de Tim Duncan, Tony Parker y Manu Ginóbili y con el aporte de Danny Green, una máquina de anotar triples que fijó un récord de 25 canastos de tres puntos en la final de la NBA. Y todavía quedan por jugarse más partidos.

Un triunfo más y Spurs habrá ganado las cinco finales en que ha participado. Solo el Chicago Bulls de Michael Jordan tiene mejor marca, 6-0.

"El sexto partido será enorme", declaró Parker. "Obviamente, uno quiere liquidar la serie en la primera oportunidad que se le presenta. Sabemos que Miami va a salir con todo y van a jugar mejor en casa, donde van a tener al público de su lado".

Pero nade de eso ayudó al Heat hace dos años.

Golpeados por dos derrotas seguidas en Dallas, fueron vapuleados por los Mavericks en Miami.

La crítica se la tomó con James, al que acusó de no ser un jugador capaz de marcar la diferencia en la final. LeBron silenció a sus detractores con la conquista del campeonato el año pasado, pero los cuestionamientos seguramente volverán a aparecer si Miami pierde esta final.

Miami ganó 27 partidos seguidos esta temporada --la segunda racha más larga de la historia de la NBA--, pero no logra dos victorias consecutivas desde hace casi un mes.

"Ahora tenemos que ganar o ganar, todo lo que hicimos durante el año está en juego", dijo el guard Ray Allen. "Este año respondimos bien en los momentos duros. Estaremos listos para el sexto partido".

Los Spurs también y eso lo sabe el Heat.

"Estoy seguro, ese equipo ha pasado por esto muchas veces", dijo Wade. "Saben que ganar el último partido es lo más difícil. Y nosotros también lo sabemos".

"Pero, ¿saben una cosa?, es un partido y hay que jugarlo", agregó. "Tengo confianza, lo mismo que ellos. Habrá que ver quién sale adelante".

Los cuatro campeonatos de los Spurs generan respeto pero no asustan. Después de todo, el primer título, en 1999, llegó en una temporada acortada por un conflicto laboral. Y los del 2003 (contra Nueva Jersey), 2005 (Detroit) y 2007 (contra los Cavaliers, un equipo modesto a pesar de la presencia de LeBron) fueron frente a conjuntos de escasos méritos.

Más de uno insiste en que se trata de un equipo aburrido.

Un título ante el Heat de LeBron y Wade, no obstante, le daría otra estatura a San Antonio.

Serían uno de los equipos más exitosos en la historia de la liga, en el que los veteranos Duncan, de 37 años, y Ginóbili, a punto de cumplir 36, están apoyados ahora por un ataque más abierto que ayudó a Green a batir la marca de triples de Allen.

"Todavía nos queda mucho por hacer", comentó Green, quien fue dado de baja por los Cavaliers y los mismos Spurs en alguna oportunidad.

El año pasado dio la impresión de que el ciclo de San Antonio se había terminado. El joven equipo Thunder de Oklahoma City los barrió en cuatro partidos seguidos luego de que los Spurs tomasen ventaja de 2-0 en la final de la Conferencia Occidental.

El Heat aplastó a su vez al Thunder en la final y San Antonio presentó este año prácticamente el mismo equipo del año pasado, apostando a que la experiencia ganada por jugadores como Green y Kawhi Leonard se haría sentir.

Fue una apuesta ganadora y San Antonio está a un triunfo de otro título.

___

Brian Mahoney está en Twitter como: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney

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