Two things defined the Miami Heat's outburst in the second half of Game 2. While LeBron James accentuated what was, to that point, a quiet performance with a highlight-reel block on Tiago Splitter, it was his teammates stepping up that made his rough outing so easy to digest. Adding to the pain for the opponent San Antonio Spurs was Miami winning the 50-50 balls in the second half.
"One of the things we talked about was contribute in any way you can," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "This series is defined by all the little things. LeBron couldn't get into a rhythm early on and other guys stepped up. LeBron was fine with that.
"The small things will make a major thing in this series because, you know, talent level is pretty equivalent," he added. "It's going to be loose balls, rebounds, execution. Everybody was fine with it tonight, wherever the ball ended up -- not getting caught up in an individual ego, but a team ego."
James filled the box score, but scored 17 points on 7-of-17 shooting. He missed 10 of his first 12 attempts, but turned it on toward the end of the third quarter. Miami went on a 33-5 run starting into the third and ending four minutes into the fourth quarter as Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pulled his starters with eight minutes to play.
The end result was a 103-84 beatdown. The bigger picture is Miami's role players finding their way.
Point guard Mario Chalmers led the Heat with 19 points, hitting treys and getting and-one's as Miami went for the killshot against the Spurs with a 10-point lead heading to the fourth. Ray Allen scored 13 off the bench while Mike MIller and Chris Andersen added nine each. James never panicked and during the second-half run began drawing and kicking to his teammates.
"It's not something that happens a lot that he scores less than 20," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. "In their run, it was Chalmers who scored. We turned the ball over. It wasn't just LeBron attacking us ... It was just the whole Miami team that was killing us. It was not that he just turned it on -- it was Miami that turned it on."
Miami ended Game 2 hitting 10-of-19 3-point attempts as James' continued confidence in his teammates paid dividends. He recorded seven assists and never appeared panicked that his shot wasn't falling.
But his teammates were knocking it down as their defense tightened and led to transition opportunities.
"They packed the paint on me," James said. "My shooters need just a little bit of room. Mike showed that, Ray showed that and 'Rio showed that tonight.
"Our shooters got the fluorescent light on our team. They're not allowed to pass."
Source: All quotes via NBA.com's live media conference stream.