The Heat Is On, Miami Evens Series With Thunder
The best-of-seven NBA Finals is now tied 1-1 after the Miami Heat handed the Oklahoma City Thunder their first home loss of his postseason by the score of 100-96. With a sense of urgency, Miami came out extremely agressive early on, building a large first half lead.
The Heat big three played like All-Stars, all putting in some of their best work of the playoffs. LeBron James led all scorers with 32. It was his fifth straight 30-point game, breaking Dwyane Wade's franchise playoff record.
Wade shrugged off his recent struggles with an impressive Game 2, scoring 24. Chris Bosh (pictured left), in his first start since his abdominal injury in Round 1, put in a solid double-double of 16 points and 15 rebounds (7 offensive).
Shane Battier proved to be the X factor. If Miami wants to win a championship, they need production from someone outside of the big three. Battier showed great hustle from start to finish, had a heavy influence on the game defensively, and nailed 5 three pointers on his way to 17 points.
Oklahoma City got plenty of points from their big three, but early foul trouble and poor shot selection from Russell Westbrook proved to be too much for the Thunder to overcome.
After an awesome Game 1, Westbrook scored 27 on Thursday night, but took 26 shots in the process. A 10-26 night, along with poor ball movement for long spurts, is what OKC will remember most about Westbrook's Game 2. He also got into early foul trouble, as did superstar Kevin Durant.
Durant scored 32 for the Thunder, and hit a three pointer in the final 33 seconds of regulation to cut the deficit to 2. He then missed a potential game-tying bucket with 8 seconds to go after being bumped by LeBron James. No foul was called on the play, and James sunk his 2 game-clinching FTs shortly thereafter.
James Harden's scoring in the first half allowed OKC's deficit to stay within striking distance. After a rough Game 1 (5 pts, 3 asts), the NBA's 6th Man of the Year had a 21 point performance in Game 2, going an impressive 7-11 from the field.
Outside of their big three, no other member of the Thunder scored more than 7.
Games 3, 4, and 5 now shift to South Beach. Game 3 is Sunday night. Tip-off is set for 7:00.