Earlier this season, the Miami Heat went three months and lost just three times. In the NBA Finals on ABC15, the defending NBA champions have now lost three games in a single series.
"We're going to see if we're a better ball club and if we're better prepared for this moment,'' Dwyane Wade said following a 114-104 loss Sunday night.
Yes, the Heat have been here before. In 2011, Miami lost at Dallas before being eliminated at home in the next game.
In other words, the Heat better prepare to defy history. See, of the 27 times the finals have been tied at 2-2, the Game 5 winner has won 20 of them.
"We're going to see if we're a better team than we were our first year together,'' LeBron James said.
But before LeBron's Big 3 can defend their NBA title, they're going to have to defend the three-point shot. In particular, the Heat would be well-served to find a way to neutralize Danny Green, who has set an NBA Finals record with 25 3-pointers, including a half-dozen in Game 5.
Then there's Manu Ginobli, who went from liability and negativity to restored credibility with just the second 24-point, 10-assist game of his entire career.
If San Antonio is able to replicate the results from Game 5, then one more victory makes the Spurs 5-0 in the NBA Finals, keeping pace with Michael Jordan's 6-0 Chicago Bulls as the only teams to make it to the finals multiple times and never lose.
"I think every one of us wants this very badly from the top on down,'' Tim Duncan said. "We're trying to play that way.''
If the Heat prevail, that sets up Game 7 on Thursday. Miami would be trying to join the Los Angeles Lakers (1988 & 2010) and Houston Rockets (1994) as the only teams to rally from 3-2 down by winning the final two on their home floor since the NBA Finals went to a 2-3-2 format in 1985.
Thing is, the Heat – who won 27 in a row during the second-longest winning streak in NBA history – haven't won consecutive games now in nearly a month.