LeBron James' cramps dominated headlines after Game 1 of the NBA Finals. James ruled headlines again after Game 2, but this time it was for his superb play. The Miami Heat evened up the series against the San Antonio Spurs with a 98-96 victory Sunday. The Finals will now go to Miami for two games, beginning with Game 3 on Tuesday night.
James responded to the cramp critics by scoring 35 points on 14-of-22 shooting. James pulled down 10 rebounds, and his late-game defense on Tony Parker helped stymie the Spurs' offense in the fourth quarter. It was also James who had the assist on a key Chris Bosh three-pointer with 1:17 left that put the Heat up for good.
Spurs and Heat
Spurs and Heat
Games 1 and 2 were similar in that they were close throughout the first three quarters, leaving the outcome up for grabs heading into the final frame. But the fourth quarters couldn't have been more different. In Game 1, the Spurs' offense went into hyper drive while James sat out due to cramps. San Antonio shot 14-of-16 from the field and outscored Miami by 19 points to run away with the win.
In Game 2, the Spurs shot just 6-of-17 in the fourth quarter. San Antonio also missed four free throws in the fourth -- two apiece from Parker and Tim Duncan. Parker and Duncan combined for just three points in the final quarter after combining to score 36 through the first three. Parker finished the game with 21 points, while Duncan had 18 points and 15 rebounds. Manu Ginobili added 19 points off the bench.
Bosh had 18 points in support of James. Dwyane Wade had 14 points and one fantastic flop, which lightened his wallet by $5,000. And then there was Rashard Lewis, who also had 14 points and reached double figures for a fourth straight game. Lewis' emergence has been a major surprise, given he totaled just 21 points in the postseason prior to his breakout in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers.
With the series tied moving to Miami, the Heat appear to have the upper hand. Miami has a perfect 8-0 mark at home this postseason, but if there's any team up for the challenge, it's the Spurs.
Game time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Announcers: Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Doris Burke
Radio: ESPN Radio, 104.3FM/790AM The Ticket, WOAI 1200AM/KCOR 135