LeBron James once again led his team with a fantastic all-around game Wednesday night. He stuffed the stat sheet with 32 points, six rebounds, and eight assists. Chris Bosh added 20 points and was 4-for-5 from behind the arc as the Miami Heat beat the Charlotte Bobcats, 101-97, to take a commanding 2-0 series lead in the teams' Eastern Conference playoff series.
Erik Spoelstra's swarming defense forced 11 turnovers in the first half and gave Miami a 57-47 lead at the break. Although Charlotte rallied in the second half, the Bobcats were never able to take the lead.
The Heat appeared to be going through the motions for much of this game, but it shouldn't really matter, because they have so much more talent than the Bobcats. There were stretches where it seemed as though Miami was content to trade baskets with Charlotte. However, when Miami needed to make a run, the team was able to do just that and create some breathing room.
But the Bobcats just wouldn't go away; in fact, they only trailed by three (97-94) with 1:42 left in the game. Then, when the score was 98-94, Kemba Walker drilled a three-pointer to make it a one-point game. After LeBron hit two free throws, the Bobcats had a chance to tie the game at 100, but they turned the ball over.
The Bobcats were big underdogs going into this first-round series against the Heat, and that was before Al Jefferson was severely limited by a foot injury. The Bobcats' star center was limping with every step that he took, but he toughed it out in Game 2.
Jefferson clearly wasn't the same player that he had been all season, but he's so skilled, he was still able to have an impact. After going 3 for 10 from the floor in the first half, Big Al finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds in 40 minutes in the Bobcats' losing effort.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had one of his best offensive games of the season, scoring 22 points. Walker added 16 points and eight assists.
Game 3 will be played in Charlotte on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. That game will be televised on ESPN.