Behind a second-half scoring surge and one epic block shot, the Miami Heat thumped the San Antonio Spurs in Game Two on Monday at American Airlines Arena, 103-84, to even the best-of-seven NBA Finals.
After several lead changes in a rather tight first half, the Spurs led 62-61 with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Heat took it from there, as head coach Erik Spoelstra squad went on 33-5 run to put the game away due to some solid defense, and smart shot selection. Miami forced San Antonio into 16 turnovers, and just 41 percent shooting from the field.
While the Spurs were struggling to score late in the third quarter, and early in the fourth, the Heat were scoring with ease. Miami converted 12 of the 14 shots they took in one stretch. The Heat shot 49.4 percent from the field, and were 10-of-19 from beyond the three-point arc.
The highlight of Game Two will not be remembered for the scoring, though. With 8:19 remaining in the fourth quarter, Spurs forward Tiago Splitter, who is listed a 6'11, drove to the hoop for a dunk. Standing under the basket was 6'8 LeBron James, who cleanly swatted Splitter's attempt to the roar of the 19,900 in attendance. James took a moment to appreciate his achievement instead of hurrying back into the frontcourt. When he did, however, he was there to assist on a three-point shot from guard Ray Allen that extended the Heat's lead to 22 points.
It was that kind of night for Miami, who failed to maintain home-court advantage after dropping Game One behind the heroics of Tony Parker. The Spurs guard finished with just 13 points, off five-of-14 shooting, in the second game.
James finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, after some first-half struggles. The reigning regular-season MVP was once again defended well by Spurs' forward Kawhi Leonard, and converted just seven of his 17 shots from the field. Point guard Mario Chalmers helped pick up the slack with a 19-point effort.
San Antonio wasted an impressive performance from swingman Danny Green. The 25-year-old made all six of his shot attempts, and all five of his free throws, to end the game with 17 points. The rest of the starters often looked uninspired and complacent.
"We didn't play well. We didn't shoot well. I know I played awfully," said Spurs big man Tim Duncan, who finished with just nine points. "Whatever it may be, they responded better than us. So hopefully we can look forward to this Game Three and regain some of our composure."
Game Three is in San Antonio on Wednesday.