Miami Heat blows by Spurs in NBA Finals Game 2
LeBron James' teammates came to help him Sunday night in Game 2 of the NBA Finals versus San Antonio. That, plus a clutch shot block by the King, helped the Heat even the series at one win apiece.
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He didn't need to. Not with Chalmers making big shots, the Heat's defense forcing the Spurs to look shaky all over the floor, and a barrage of second-half 3-pointers.Skip to next paragraph
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James finally got some openings late, hanging from the rim an extra second not long after a sensational blocked shot freed him up for a fast break.
The often-maligned Chalmers is frequently found in Heat highlights being yelled at by James or another Miami veteran. But he's as cocky as any of the superstars in Miami, and he has the big-moment plays to back up his bravado, from a tying shot for Kansas in the 2008 NCAA championship game to his 25 points in Game 4 of last year's finals.
"You have to have guts to play with our guys. If you don't, you get swallowed up," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "The good thing about it is the other guys were fine with him making plays."
The point guard sparked the Heat late in the third, after San Antonio had taken a 62-61 lead. He converted two three-point plays, Allen and Mike Miller nailed 3-pointers, and James made only his third field goal of the game during a 14-3 finishing spurt that sent Miami to the fourth with a 75-65 advantage.
They opened the fourth with nine straight points to make it 84-65, and capped the run at 94-67 when James made a 3-pointer, erasing any chance of their first two-game losing streak in five months.
"We were just a little bit more active today," Bosh said. "We really just made an emphasis to continue to try to corral them."
The Spurs had only four turnovers in Game 1, tying an NBA Finals record low. But they surpassed that total in the first quarter, Parker committing two of their five after not coughing it up once in the opener, and the Spurs looked more like the sloppy Indiana Pacers from Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals than the Spurs of Game 1.
The unrecognizable play continued, Parker firing passes on the pick-and-roll right into a Heat player's leg on multiple occasions and even getting yanked barely three minutes into the third quarter after his struggles continued.
The Spurs responded with seven straight points without him to get back within one. But by the end of the period, it was Chalmers who was the best point guard on the floor.
The Heat dropped Game 1 in last year's finals, and the first two to Dallas in 2006 before going on to win both titles. But those early deficits came on the road, so Dwyane Wade said Sunday's game was a "must-win game" for the Heat.
They arrived to white shirts hanging on the seats that read "Larry loves Miami" with a picture of the Larry O'Brien trophy that goes to the NBA champion.
Larry's not leaving, not if the Heat keep playing like this.
They looked as good as ever in the final 15 minutes of their 100th game of the season, pouring it on and leaving Spurs coach Gregg Popovich often standing with his arms folded on the sideline, with no answers and no way of slowing down the Heat speedsters.
San Antonio had its seven-game postseason winning streak snapped, as well as a six-game NBA Finals win streak that dated to the 2005 finals.
Duncan, who started 0 of 5 in the opener before finishing with 20 points and 14 rebounds, began 1 for 5 in this one. But he never got untracked, though part of the problem was the Spurs' inability to get him the ball enough because of their turnovers.
Wade finished with 10 points and six assists. Miami committed just six turnovers.
Notes: The Spurs remained at 131 playoff wins, two back of the Lakers for most in the NBA since 1997, when Duncan was drafted. ... Clippers veteran Chauncey Billups, a former NBA Finals MVP, was chosen Sunday as the first winner of the NBA's Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award. It was named for Maurice Stokes, who was paralyzed in an on-court accident in 1958, and teammate Jack Twyman, who became Stokes' legal guardian and watched over him for 12 years until Stokes died in 1970.