MIAMI — With the Spurs leading by five and 28 seconds left in regulation, hundreds of Heat fans headed for the exits during Tuesday's Game 6.
Per arena policies, the ones who left the building weren't allowed back inside when the Heat forced overtime and went on to win. TV cameras filmed fans banging on the doors trying to get back inside.
On Wednesday, Heat players had mixed reactions to the early exits.
F Mike Miller shrugged it off, saying it was part of basketball. F/C Chris Bosh wasn't as forgiving: "For all those guys who left, make sure they don't come to Game 7. We only want the guys that are going to stay in the building for the whole game. You never give up. People gave up on us. They can stay where they are and watch the game at home."
Said F Shane Battier: "You give them a small pass because traffic is pretty hellacious in Miami. But they missed out on a historic finish."
According to ESPN, since 1998 teams leading by five with 20-30 seconds left were 122-0 in the playoffs.
"I feel like I am on the organ donor transplant list and I see an accident in front of me," Battier said. "We've been given a new life. A miracle occurred.''
Wade update: For months, Heat G Dwyane Wade has played through a sore right knee. Then Tuesday, he collided with Spurs G Manu Ginobili and injured his left knee. Wade said Wednesday that the knee was swollen and stiff, but "there's one game left. Whatever you have inside of you, you muster it up. So I'll be fine."
Ginobili's vow: After nine points (2-for-5) and a career-hight eight turnovers in Game 6, how can Ginobili regain his form? "I've got to be more aggressive, less hesitant," he said. "I was a little slow. I don't know if it was mental or physical."
Illegal sub: The league said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich should not have been allowed to substitute Tim Duncan for Boris Diaw as officials reviewed Ray Allen's tying 3-pointer Tuesday. If officials had caught the error, it could have resulted in a technical foul. Had the Heat lost, it could have filed a protest that could have created chaos.
Notable: Tuesday night drew the second-largest audience for a Game 6 since ABC started televising the series in 2003, watched by an average of 20.6 million. The Mavs' Game 6 win over the Heat to clinch the 2011 title had 23.9 million. … Miami's LeBron James, who played the final 14 minutes of Game 6 without his signature headband, plans to wear one tonight. If it gets knocked off, like it did Tuesday? "Then me and him will have a discussion if he will return," James said. … The Spurs' roster has a combined 14 games of Game 7 experience compared to 48 for the Heat. … According to StubHub, the cheapest ticket tonight is $397 — for standing room only. Prices for the lower bowl average $1,200.
Around the league: Jerry Sloan, who coached the Jazz for 23 seasons, got a multiyear deal to return as a senior adviser. Sloan, 71, will help coach Ty Corbin and evaluate players. … Raptors coach Dwane Casey will return, GM Masai Ujiri said.