by Marcel Mutoni / @ marcel_mutoni
Following a crushing Game 1 loss to the Spurs, LeBron James told the media that he wouldn’t change his approach, and that he would continue to play unselfishly.
James’s trust in his teammates paid off, as the Miami Heat routed the Spurs in Game 2 103-84, sending the NBA Finals to San Antonio all even.
Though LeBron delivered the game’s signature plays, it was his supporting cast who carried the day.
Per the AP:
(Mario) Chalmers led the charge, James broke out to finish it with a flurry and the Heat used a 33-5 run to rout the San Antonio Spurs 103-84 on Sunday night and even the series at one game apiece. James missed 10 of 13 shots through three quarters and the Heat trailed by a point late in the period before unleashing the lethal brand of basketball that led them to a franchise-record 66 wins this season. Chalmers finished with 19 points, and James had 17 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three blocks – the best on Tiago Splitter’s dunk attempt – while shooting only 7 of 17 from the field.
“Honestly, for me, when I was struggling offensively, my teammates continued to keep it in range,” James said. ” And we even had a lead at one point, especially late in the second quarter when we made that run and I was struggling a little bit. So I think Rio more than anybody kept us aggressive, him getting into the paint, him getting those and-ones and making a couple of 3s. It allowed me to sit back and wait for my time.” The Heat made 10 of 19 3-pointers and got 13 points from Ray Allen, and 12 points and 10 rebounds from the previously slumping Chris Bosh.
After doing such a wonderful job hanging on to the ball in the series opener — committing just four turnovers, which is an astounding number against Miami’s stifling defense — the San Antonio Spurs unravelled, and threw it away 17 times (which led to 19 points for the Heat):
“In the second half they just run us over,” Manu Ginobili said. “We didn’t move the ball at all. Their pressure really got us on our heels.”
San Antonio’s Big Three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili struggled mightily, shooting a combined 10-of-33 from the field, and Duncan — after appropriately calling his play in Game 2 “awful” — said his team needs to regain their composure.
Off to Texas we go.