History appears to be on the Miami Heat’s side as they look to even the NBA Finals in Game Two against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night at AT&T Center.
LeBron James, cramps or no, and the Heat haven’t lost consecutive playoff games in two years, not since they dropped three in a row to the Boston Celtics back in 2012.
The Spurs are also riding an incredible and record-setting home playoff win streak, capturing eight straight by a minimum of 15 points. Miami has bounced back to win 12 straight after a loss in the postseason.
Snapping the Spurs' home streak could prove the difference with the series turning back to Miami for Game Three and Four. As dominant as the Spurs have been at home, they’ve struggled on the road this postseason, going 3-5.
James will once again try to prove doubters wrong, after severe dehydration and cramps forced him to pull out late in the fourth quarter of San Antonio’s 110-95 victory in Game One.
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The Heat were only down two when James sat down with 3:59 remaining, but the Spurs went on a 16-3 run to close out.
Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 21 points off 9-for-10 shooting and 10 rebounds, while point guard Tony Parker didn’t seem too bothered by his ankle injury, notching 19 points and eight assists.
Even while missing the last ticks of the game, James still led Miami in scoring with 25 points, while forward Chris Bosh added 18 points and nine rebounds and Dwyane Wade chipped in 19 points.
As a team the Spurs slightly out-dueled Miami from three-point range, knocking down 13 of their 25 attempts. However, Miami also looked strong, going 12-for-29 from deep.
The first guards off the bench were very evenly matched, with the Spurs Manu Ginobili and the Heat’s Ray Allen each notching 16 points and hitting three three-pointers.
The real differences came on the glass and in team offense. San Antonio held a 39-29 rebounding edge, and recorded 30 assists compared to 18 for Miami. The Spurs also received 10 key boards and six assists from veteran forward Boris Diaw off the bench, and center Tiago Splitter punishing Miami inside for 14 points, his most since the second round against Portland.
The Heat will also have to limit the Spurs' chances inside. San Antonio registered 48 points in the paint, compared to 36 for Miami.
Start Time: 8 p.m.
TV Channel: ABC
Live Online Stream: A live stream is available at Watch ESPN here
Betting Odds: Spurs -4.5
Over/Under: 199 points
Prediction: Heat over Spurs, 97-89