In 2005, for the first time in 11 years (since 1994), the NBA Finals were headed to a decisive Game 7. It was a contest between the previous two NBA Champions - the Detroit Pistons (2004) and the San Antonio Spurs (2003).
By rebounding from a gut-wrenching loss in Game 5 to win Game 6 on the road, the Pistons had the momentum but the Spurs had home-court advantage.
This was the Pistons' seventh Finals appearance in the franchise history, having clinched three championships (1989, 1990, 2004) in those attempts. On the other hand, this was the Spurs' third Finals appearance in franchise history, having won the previous two in 1999 and 2003.
Watch the game below:
In a defensive contest for the history books, where both teams had rough shooting nights, the Spurs outlasted the Pistons 81-74 behind key performances from Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili for the franchise's third championship.
Against Detroit's big frontline, Duncan had struggled to shoot efficiently from the field all series. However, with 7:43 remaining in the third quarter, when the Pistons led by their largest margin of nine (48-39), Duncan took over. He scored 12 of the team's final 18 points in the period, outscoring Pistons by three points during the final 7:43.
For the game, the 6'11" center finished with a game-high 25 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.
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Argentinian Manu Ginobili was the other star performer in the game. He finished with 23 points (8-of-13 FGs 2-of-2 3PT), five rebounds, and four assists. More importantly, in the critical fourth quarter, he came up clutch, scoring 11 of the team's 24 points in the period including nine of their last 12.
For the Pistons, who finished with six players in double figures, were led by Richard Hamilton's 15 points.
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