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LeBron James leads Heat to Game 2 victory over Thunder

James scores 32 points as Miami survives a late rally by Oklahoma City to even the series with a 100-96 win.

June 14, 2012|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Miami's LeBron James, center, drives past Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka, left, and James Harden, right, during Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.
Miami's LeBron James, center, drives past Oklahoma City's… (Robert Duyos / South Florida…)

OKLAHOMA CITY — LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had one thing to say as they attacked with abandon and thrust the Miami Heat back into the NBA Finals: NO-KC.

Miami almost lost a 17-point lead but hung on to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 100-96, Thursday in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

James had 32 points, including a pair of free throws with 7.1 seconds left that gave the Heat a four-point edge. He also drilled an off-balance 15-foot bank shot that put the Heat ahead, 96-91, with 1:26 to play.

Wade had 24 points and five assists, no play bigger than his bounce pass while hanging in the air to Chris Bosh for a dunk with 53.8 seconds left.

When it was over, the series was tied and the Thunder lost a home playoff game for the first time in 10 tries at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The next three games are in Miami, beginning Sunday with Game 3.

Kevin Durant had 32 points and Russell Westbrook had 27 for the Thunder, though the latter made only 10 of 26 shots.

Durant picked up his fifth foul with 10:31 to play, going over Udonis Haslem’s back to try to get a rebound. It came after an ill-advised step-back three-point attempt by Westbrook.

Not long thereafter, Bosh out-hustled four Thunder players for a rebound, a bad omen for the Thunder.

Oklahoma City controlled Game 1, pummeling the Heat in fastbreak points, 24-4, but Game 2 was entirely different. The Thunder had only four fastbreak points heading into the fourth quarter and barely edged the Heat, 11-10.

The Thunder blamed nerves for a slow start in Game 1, but the culprit was much easier to target in Game 2. Oklahoma City missed a boatload of shots as the Heat breezed to a 55-43 halftime lead.

Neither Westbrook nor Durant found his shot in the first half and the Thunder trailed by as many as 17. Westbrook had nine points on two-for-10 shooting. Durant had six points on three-for-nine shooting.

Oklahoma City missed 11 of its first 12 shots and Westbrook missed his first six.

How bad was Oklahoma City in the beginning? Miami led, 18-2, until James Harden hit a three-pointer with 4:34 left in the first quarter.

Bosh started for the first time since an abdominal strain sidelined him more than a month ago. He had 16 points and 15 rebounds.

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