Monday, June 09, 2014
NBA PLAYOFFS FINAL: LEBRON JAMES SCORES 35 POINTS TO HELP MIAMI HEAT BEAT SPURS IN GAME 2
LeBron James scored 35 points and 10 rebounds in Game 2 that lifted the Miami Heat to a 98-96 triumph at San Antonio Spurs on Sunday and tied the NBA Finals at 1-1.
James suffered with heat exhaustion and cramping in Thursday's opener to the series but was back close to his best form on Sunday, helping Miami clinch a well deserved win.
The star player had slow start to the game but made the key impact when it matters most, helping Miami to surge from a six-point deficit to a five-point lead midway through the third quarter after scoring eight points in just 52 seconds.
It remained a tight game though, deep into the fourth quarter, but Chris Bosh's three-pointer nudged Miami ahead with one minute and 18 seconds to play and San Antonio could not come back.
And the Spurs could only blame themselves for the loss, especially when Tim Duncan and Tony Parker missed four straight free-throws in the waning minutes of the game.
Duncan finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds and tied Magic Johnson with 157 career playoff double-doubles - the most of all-time - and Parker, who led the Spurs with 21 points and seven assists, past Michael Jordan for 8th all-time in career playoff assists.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich admitted there were flaws in his team's display, saying: "I think it's a 48-minute game and we didn't move it enough of those minutes, basically. It's how we have to score. We can't put it in somebody's hands and have them create everything for us. It's got to be a group effort and we didn't do that.
"That puts a lot of pressure on everything else. It means we're going to have to be perfect on defence, we can't miss four free throws in a row, those sorts of things. You move it or you die."
For James, It was a game they weren't about to lose.“I just tried to play the game the right way, either scoring, rebounding or assisting and put my teammates in position to succeed. I am happy with the fact that I was able to make some plays to get the victory tonight,” James told a post-game press conference.
He stated further that he expects a tough third game in the best-of-seven series, when after a pair of games in San Antonio it will be the Heat who have home advantage.
"They're going to make adjustments going into game three and I have to do it as well," James said. "I want their defence to react to what I'm doing."
The Heat have not lost two games in a row in the past 47 playoffs games.