MIAMI (AP) — El séptimo partido de una serie por el título no sólo sirve para ganar un campeonato. También definen legados.

Sin importar lo que ocurra el jueves por la noche, LeBron James y el Heat de Miami, así como los Spurs de San Antonio de Tim Duncan, ya han ganado títulos de la NBA y han asegurado un lugar en la historia.

Ahora es su oportunidad de darle más brillo a su historial.

Los equipos que verdaderamente dejan huella ganaron de la forma difícil, y este será el caso para el que festeje en el centro de la cancha en esta ocasión.

Ya sea que el Heat repita como campeón —algo posible sólo después de que James los condujo de lo que parecía una eliminación segura en los últimos segundos del sexto partido_, o que los Spurs se sacudan una derrota de las más dolorosas que pueden ocurrirle a un equipo para convertirse en apenas el cuarto club en ganar un séptimo encuentro de la final de la NBA como visitante.

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¿Qué equipo será campeón de la NBA 2013?

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"Como competidor, a uno le encanta, porque sabe que tiene una oportunidad y que depende de uno", dijo Ray Allen, escolta del Heat. "Tenemos una oportunidad en nuestra casa de lograr algo grande. Todos nuestros legados están vinculados con este momento, este partido. Es algo que nuestros hijos podrán hablar... Siempre recordarán estos momentos, así que no queremos no estar a la altura y tener cosas que lamentar".

Allen jugó en el partido la última vez que la temporada de la NBA se extendió hasta el último día, en que los Celtics de Boston se desinflaron al final y sucumbieron 83-79 frente a los Lakers de Los Angeles en 2010. Eso hizo que la foja de triunfos de equipos locales en séptimos juegos de la final subiera a 14-3, sin que ningún club visitante lograra ganar desde que Washington derrotó a Seattle en 1978.

El superar esas probabilidades en contra, sin mencionar el hecho de que enfrentan al equipo con más triunfos en la temporada, haría este más memorable que los cuatro títulos anteriores de los Spurs, aunque esta es una franquicia que nunca profundiza demasiado en el pasado ni ve muy lejos hacia el futuro.

Todo lo que importa es el presente.

"¿Saben qué? Todo gira en torno a ganar el título. No tiene que ver con la situación actual ni con lo que ha llevado a ella", afirmó Duncan.

"Es una gran historia para todos los demás, pero estamos aquí por una razón, sólo una: intentar ganar este partido (del jueves). Hasta ahora hemos tenido una temporada muy buena, y creo que más que nada sólo queremos llegar al partido. Sólo queremos ver qué ocurre y poder dejar todo allá (en la cancha)", agregó.

Los equipos regresaron a la arena el miércoles, unas 12 horas después de que el Heat se apuntó una victoria 103-100 en tiempo extra en el sexto partido para igualar la serie. Los Spurs, que llevaban cinco puntos de ventaja cuando quedaban 28 segundos en el tiempo regular, tienen que combatir la fatiga y la tristeza, e insistieron que eso quedará en el olvido el jueves.

Por lejos el mejor duelo de esta serie, el sexto partido quedó de inmediato grabado con uno los desenlaces más memorables en la historia de la final, incluyendo un triple-doble de James y el milagroso tiro de tres puntos de Ray Allen con 5,2 segundos por jugar.

Hubo de todo, desde decisiones polémicas de los árbitros hasta la actuación con toda regla del mejor jugador de la NBA en el momento en el que su equipo más le necesitaba.

Los cuatro partidos previos habían dejado mucho que desear, pero este fue magnífico.

"Creo que pasará a la historia como uno de los mejores partidos de una final", dijo Dwyane Wade, escolta del Heat. "Pero creo que esta serie pasará a la historia como una de las más reñidas y extrañas. Uno paga para ver esta clase de partidos. Uno paga para ver a dos grandes equipos luchando hasta el último aliento y eso es lo que haremos (el jueves). Será hasta el último segundo.

El Heat puede convertirse en el primer equipo que repite como campeón desde los Lakers en 2010.

Los Spurs nunca han perdido en una final, pero tampoco se habían encontrado en una coyuntura como esta. Ganaron el séptimo partido para consagrarse campeones en 2005, pero eso fue de local ante Detroit.

Las últimas cinco finales que se fueron al máximo siete fueron ganados por los dueños de casa.

"No le doy mucha importancia a los antedecentes", dijo el técnico de los Spurs Gregg Popovich. "Sólo sé que hemos tenido un año fabuloso y tenemos la oportunidad de ganar un campeonato. Es lo único que importa",

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