Heat Vs. Thunder: LeBron James Is Shaking The 'Not Clutch' Label

LeBron James and the Miami Heat picked up a big victory on Thursday night to tie the NBA Finals at one game apiece, as the series moves to Florida for the next three contests. Most talking points are likely going to revolve around whether or not a foul should have been called late in the game, but the key to the game was James' play on the other end of the court.

There are plenty of people in the world that seem to revel in the fact that James has yet to win an NBA championship, but the Heat superstar seems to be moving closer to shedding the narrative that he's "unclutch" and "not a closer." The most recent indication came on Thursday night, according to Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen.

The big difference was in LeBron himself. After operating from the perimeter in a Game 1 loss, in which he played to the style of his former self, he opened Game 2 by setting up near the basket and attacking whenever possible. The Heat opened a crucial 18-2 lead, but more impressive was their finishing down the stretch as Russell Westbrook and Durant threatened to see if the Heat would wilt.

It's still early, and there will be many more fourth quarters to be dueled against Durant, but this was the kind of result James had been seeking on the biggest stage, and it was the kind of leadership that made his teammates want to sign up with him. They have been in this together for two years of vilification and second-guessing, and neither Wade nor Bosh has ever publicly regretted having attached his good name to the nasty carnival that has been created around LeBron. They've had faith that a night like this would come.

The Heat will likely have to win the championship -- not just Game 2 -- if James is going to remove the narrative for good. If he's able to keep playing like he has as of late, there's a good chance that happens.

For more on the Heat, head over to Peninsula Is Mightier and SB Nation Tampa Bay. For Thunder news and notes, visit Welcome To Loud City or check out SB Nation Kansas City. And for news, analysis and everything else revolving around the NBA Playoffs, be sure to visit SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.

Latest News

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.