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“We kept fighting. We kept feeling like we had a chance,” Wade said. “This was a game that it was like we could steal it. But they continued to make shots. Credit to them. Their starters played big tonight. All of them made shots. They shot 60 percent from the field in a tough game.”

For their part, the Spurs said they weren’t doing anything special _ which is pretty much the standard Spurs explanation for just about everything.

But those runs to end the first and the third, they had a marked effect on the scoreboard, on the Heat sideline psyche and on the San Antonio crowd, which cheered its team for the final time in a home game this season.

Now they’ll wait and see if the Spurs will be coming home for a parade.

“We cleaned up a couple of mistakes,” Spurs forward Tim Duncan said. “We’re just trying to make their life as hard as possible. There are three incredible players that obviously have gotten their team to this point for three years in a row. They’re some of the best players in the league. All we can do is try to do the best we can to make their life as hard as possible.”

Mission accomplished on that front in Game 5.

After playing uphill basketball all night, the Heat had enough gas left in the fourth to make things interesting late, but not hardly enough for a miracle comeback. So it’s the Spurs one game away from the title.

And now, Miami’s task is simple.

Win Tuesday, then win Thursday _ or else.

“Ain’t got no choice, now,” Heat guard Mike Miller said.