Chalmers clutch in crunch, wins title [Basketball]

June 20, 2013
Mario Chalmers

Anchorage’s Mario Chalmers hit another big shot to help his team win another title.

Whatever the level, all this guy does is win.

And now it’s time for the state of Alaska to embrace him as our greatest basketball champion.

The 6-foot-2 Miami Heat starting guard tonight made several key baskets, most notably a 30-footer he sank to beat the third quarter buzzer, as the Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

Chalmers, of Bartlett High fame, finished with 14 points.

This was his second straight NBA title and the fifth of his career – 2 at Bartlett, 1 at Kansas and now 2 with the Heat.

He hit big shots every step of the way.

In 2002, as a Bartlett freshman, he nailed two free throws in the final seconds to beat Kenai in the first round of the ASAA Class 4A state tournament.

In 2008, as a Kansas junior, he drilled a game-tying 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in regulation to force overtime in a win over Memphis in the NCAA national championship game.

He did it again tonight, taking the inbounds pass with 5.2 seconds left and somehow getting around the defense to get off a shot that banked in as the buzzer sounded, giving Miami a 72-71 lead.

It gave the Heat a wave of confidence going into the fourth.

Chalmers, 27, was already the first Alaska player to win championships at the high school, college and professional level. And he’s nearly done it twice.

This was his fourth career Game 7 in the NBA playoffs.

Chalmers made 6-of-15 shots, including just 1-for-7 on 3s.

In the first half he made a pair of jumpers and a pretty reverse layup. He sank the buzzer-beating 3 in the third quarter. His only bucket in the fourth quarter came on a heads-up driving layup, where he split the defense and attacked an unprotected rim.

Chalmers has averaged 11 points in a 12 career games in the Finals.