There was one sequence late in the third quarter of Game 2 of the 2013 NBA Finals that epitomized the kind of night LeBron James was having. On one end, James seemingly had Danny Green beat in the post for a layup, only to have Green reject his shot. On the other end, Green shook James for an easy layup of his own, giving the San Antonio Spurs a 62-61 lead over the Miami Heat.
At that point, James was just 2-of-12 from the field, and with the Heat already down 1-0 in the series, memories of past NBA Finals failures began to creep into the minds of many.
But James, with the help of his teammates, helped erase any of those memories with a 33-5 run to grab a 103-84 win to tie up the series at 1-1. James made his final five shots of the night, finishing the game with 17 points on 7-of-17 shooting while adding eight rebounds and seven assists. Still a pedestrian night by his standards, but a far cry from the disaster that it was shaping up to be.
James not only bolstered Miami's run with his scoring, but also with his playmaking and defense. James assisted on three three-point field goals during the run, showcasing his brilliant vision and impeccable accuracy with his passes. Several of those open looks came out of pick-and-roll sets with Mario Chalmers, an action that proved to be a boon time and time again for Miami.
It also helped that Mike Miller and Ray Allen knocked down the open opportunities James gave them, which has not always happened throughout the course of these playoffs. Before Game 2, the Heat had been shooting just 33.3 percent from three at home in the playoffs. Miami went 10-of-19 from three on Sunday.
The highlight of the night was James' block of Tiago Splitter early in the fourth quarter. Splitter charged down the lane and looked to throw down a power dunk, but James met the big man at the rim to come up with a resounding rejection. On the ensuing Heat possession, James found Allen for a three, sending AmericanAirlines Arena into an absolute frenzy.
James prides himself on affecting the game even when he's not his usual efficient offensive self, something he talked about afterward.
"Offensively if I'm not in a rhythm, you need to make a couple plays to make an impact," James said. That's what you're on the floor for. You need to do it on both sides of the floor. However you can do it."
James has not been at his best throughout the first two games of this series, which is a scary thing for San Antonio. The Spurs have done a good job limiting easy opportunities for James, but when he finds that extra gear like he did in the second half of Game 2, it's usually game over. The Heat are hoping to see that James more often as the series shifts to San Antonio.
Quote via NBA.com's postgame press conference stream.