MIAMI (AP) -- LeBron James led a title-saving charge, and now his crown will be on the line one more time in Game 7.
James powered Miami to a frantic fourth-quarter rally and overtime escape as the Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs 103-100 on Tuesday night to extend the NBA Finals as far as they can go and keep their repeat chances alive.
Losing his headband but keeping his cool while playing the entire second half and overtime, James finished with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, making the go-ahead basket with 1:43 remaining in the extra period.
Tim Duncan scored 30 points for the Spurs, his most in an NBA Finals game since Game 1 in 2003, but was shut out after the third quarter. He added 17 rebounds.
Game 7 will be here Thursday, the NBA's first do-or-die game to determine its champion since the Lakers beat the Celtics in 2010.
The Spurs looked headed to a fifth title in five chances when they built a 13-point lead with under 4 minutes left in the third quarter, then grabbed a five-point edge late in regulation after blowing the lead.
But James hit a 3-pointer before Ray Allen tied it with another with 5.2 seconds remaining in regulation.
James was just 3 of 12 after three quarters, the Heat trailing by 10 and frustration apparent among the players and panic setting in among the fans.
Nothing to worry. Not with James playing like this.
He finished 11 of 26, even making a steal after his basket had given Miami a 101-100 edge in the OT.
Before that, he was 12 minutes from hearing the familiar criticisms about not being able to get it done, from having to watch a team celebrate on his home floor again.
Then he changed the game and erased that story.
The Heat, who haven't lost consecutive games since Jan. 8 and 10, had too much defense and way too much James for the Spurs in the final 17 minutes. They are trying to become fourth team to win the final two games at home since the NBA went to the 2-3-2 format for the finals in 1985.
James came in averaging 31.5 points in elimination games, highest in NBA history, according to a stat provided through the NBA by the Elias Sports Bureau.
This wasn't quite the 45-point performance in Game 6 of last year's Eastern Conference finals in Boston, but given the higher stakes may go down as more important - if the Heat follow it with another victory Thursday.
The Heat were in the same place as they were in 2011 at the end of their Big Three's first season together, coming home from Texas facing a 3-2 deficit in the finals.
This is a different team. And oh, what a different James.
They said they welcomed this challenge, a chance to show they how much mentally tougher they were than the team the Dallas Mavericks easily handled in Game 6 that night.
James made sure they did, looking nothing like the player who was so bad in the fourth quarters during that series.
He was simply unstoppable down the stretch of this one.
Kawhi Leonard had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs. Tony Parker had 19 points and eight assists, but shot just 6 of 23 from the field.
The Spurs had one final chance down 103-100, but Chris Bosh blocked Danny Green's 3-pointer from the corner as time expired.
Bosh had said Green wouldn't get open the way he has all series - and he didn't.
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ransom hit back-to-back homers in a four-run first inning and that was plenty for Jeff Samardzija, who pitched the Chicago Cubs over the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 Tuesday night.
Chicago started fast against Adam Wainwright (10-4) and broke a five-game losing streak in St. Louis.
Pinch-runner Shane Robinson was called out for interference while trying to break up a double play to end the game.
Carlos Beltran hit his team-high 17th homer for the Cardinals, who lost for the third time in five games but still lead the majors with a 45-26 record.
Samardzija (4-7) gave up two runs and seven hits in 8 1-3 innings. He struck out six and walked one for his first win since May 27, a 7-0 shutout against the Chicago White Sox.
The Cardinals cut the lead to 4-2 on an RBI single by Yadier Molina with one out in the ninth.
Kevin Gregg got David Freese to ground into a game-ending double play for his 10th save in as many opportunities. Robinson interfered with shortstop Starlin Castro on the pivot at second base.
Wainwright was trying to become the majors' first 11-game winner. The Cubs tied a season high with four runs in the first - they also did it in the first inning of a 10-7 loss to San Francisco on April 14.
Wainwright gave up back-to-back homers for the third time in his career. He allowed four earned runs on seven hits over seven innings.
Wainwright had won his previous five starts, but has not beaten the Cubs since Sept. 24, 2010. Wainwright, who bounced back to retire 12 in a row, had given up a total of four first-inning runs over his first 14 starts this season.
The Cubs' first-inning runs all came after two outs. Nate Schierholtz and Alfonso Soriano hit consecutive doubles before Sweeney unloaded with his second homer of the season to make it 3-0. Ransom followed with his eighth homer.
Samardzija never let a runner past second base in the first five innings and was helped out by three double plays.
Beltran homered off the right-field foul pole with two outs in the sixth. Molina went 3 for 3 and leads the NL with a .363 average.
NOTES: Schierholtz has hit safely in a career-best 10 straight games. ... St. Louis OF Jon Jay has gone 215 successive games without making an error in center. He is second in team history behind Curt Flood (226). Jay last made an error on Aug. 24, 2011. His streak is the longest current run in the NL. .... Chicago signed LHP Rob Zastryzny, their second-round draft choice. ... St. Louis rookie right-hander Shelby Miller (8-4, 2.08) left after five innings of Monday's 5-2 win due to cramps caused by dehydration. He will not miss a start. ... Chicago pitchers have a league-leading 22 RBI this season.... The Cardinals signed LHP Rob Kaminsky, their second first-round selection. The 28th overall pick, Kaminsky is from St. Joseph's Regional High in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
SANDY, Utah (AP) -- Jozy Altidore scored a goal in his fourth consecutive international match, enough for the United States to edge Honduras 1-0 in a World Cup qualifying game Tuesday night.
Before 20,250 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium, the Americans remained atop the six-team CONCACAF group. The United States (4-1-1) won three straight games this month, all since a 0-0 draw at Mexico gave it a boost toward the top.
It has also shut out its last two opponents, Panama and Honduras.
Honduras (2-3-1) was the last team to win at the United States in a World Cup qualifying match, back in 2001. The Americans have won or drawn 25 straight at home since then.
The visitors made it difficult on the Americans for much of the game by slowing the pace before Altidore broke through.
After several second-half near misses, the U.S. got its goal in the 73rd minute. Altidore took a cross from Fabian Johnson from near the end line and put it past goalkeeper Noel Valladares across the goalmouth inside the right post.
It was Altidore's ninth goal in a qualifier as he finally develops into the scoring threat the United States has hoped for.
Both teams played physical soccer in the first half, leading to an emphasis on defense and a limited number of scoring chances on either side of the field. Just before the first period ended, though, Tim Howard was forced to make a difficult save when Andy Najar launched a running right footer from the right side of the box. Howard met the ball in the center of the box and deflected it outside the right post.
Eddie Johnson had a chance in the 17th minute when he latched onto a cross from Fabian Johnson. His left-footed shot from the center of the box was knocked away by Valladares.
When the U.S. stepped up the offensive pressure early in the second half, it put Honduras on its heels. Altidore had the finishing touch.
He even appeared to score earlier in the half. Moments after Graham Zusi sent a free kick into a crowd of players just outside the 6-yard box in the 56th minute, only to see Brad Evans' header go right into Valladares' gloves, Altidore got behind the defense. Clint Dempsey sent a through ball ahead to Altidore, who was ruled offside and his score was negated.
Valladares came up with another clutch save in the 69th minute. Zusi, who was particularly active all night after sitting out the win over Panama because of yellow card accumulation, sent a ball into Dempsey in the center of the box and he leaned into a point-blank header. The ball bounced off of Valladares' hands and Michael Bradley sent a follow-up shot too high.