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NBA Finals: Heat has run of the place, routs Spurs to tie series

Miami uses a dominating 33-5 surge in the second half to break open Game 2 and rolls to a 103-84 victory over San Antonio that evens the series, 1-1.

June 09, 2013|By Mike Bresnahan

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Dwyane Wade's knee seemed fine for the moment. So did Chris Bosh's game and LeBron James' legacy.

The Miami Heat evened the NBA Finals with a crushing 103-84 victory Sunday over San Antonio in Game 2 at American Airlines Arena.

It started with a ridiculous 33-5 run past the midpoint of the third quarter that never seemed to let up, the Spurs looking nothing like the team that won the opener.

BOX SCORE: Miami 103, San Antonio 84

Wade had called it a "must-win" game a day earlier, and he was right. No NBA team has ever lost the first two games at home and come back to win the Finals.

The series now shifts to San Antonio for three games, starting Tuesday, assuming the Spurs have recovered.

Mario Chalmers, of all people, scored a game-high 19 points, allowing the Heat to stay in business while James missed 11 of his first 13 shots.

James finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and an emblematic blocked shot on Tiago Splitter's one-handed dunk attempt a few minutes into the fourth quarter.

"Basically, I told myself you'll end up on 'SportsCenter' where you're going to get dunked on or you're going to get a block," James said. "Luckily I was on the good side of the Top 10 and the Not So Top 10."

You could say the Spurs felt rejected.

There were no legendary leaners down the stretch from Tony Parker. They wouldn't have helped anyway. Parker had a quiet 13 points on five-for-14 shooting, and went from no turnovers in Game 1 to five in Game 2.

He wasn't alone in his offensive misery. Tim Duncan had only nine points on three-for-13 shooting. Manu Ginobili scored five points as San Antonio's veteran trio combined to shoot 10 for 33.

The Spurs were much less efficient in Game 2, finishing with 16 turnovers after only four in Game 1.

Danny Green's layup gave them a 62-61 lead with 3:50 left in the third quarter. It was their last of the game. It wasn't even close.

Miami's run started from there and rolled strongly into the fourth quarter, creating a 94-67 advantage.

"It's a game of runs and they made a helluva one," Parker said.

Suddenly, after so much talk of Miami's fatigue after Game 1, the older, veteran Spurs seemed like the tired ones.

Or were they?

"Nobody is tired," Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich said. "We had two days off. There's no excuse. There's no tired. It's about Miami played" great.

Bosh had a better night for the Heat after a string of low-scoring, poor-shooting efforts. He had 12 points on six-for-10 accuracy and took 10 rebounds, his first double-double in almost a month.

So much attention had been focused on the bone bruise in Wade's right knee, which had given him problems for months. He was Miami's first-half catalyst Sunday, collecting 10 points and four assists as the Heat took a 50-45 halftime lead.

"When I was struggling offensively, my teammates continued to keep it in range," James said.

Chalmers was averaging 9.4 points in the playoffs before Sunday, when he made two three-pointers and had two three-point plays after drawing fouls on successful third-quarter drives.

"I think 'Rio more than anybody kept us aggressive," James said. "It allowed me to sit back and wait for my time."

James has won one championship in three previous Finals appearances. Imagine if the Heat had lost Game 2. Perhaps it's why Wade had called Sunday's game "very urgent" a day earlier.

After all, Miami hadn't lost consecutive games since Jan. 8 and 10 (at Indiana and Portland). Going back further, the Heat hadn't dropped two in a row at home since the 2011 Finals against Dallas.

"We're not a team that says this is a must-win game. But this is a must-win game for us," Wade said Saturday. 

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan

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