NBA Finals Game 2 Live Blog

by June 09, 2013

by Adam Figman / @afigman

Heyo. I’m here in the press room at AmericanAirlines Arena, about to make my way to my seat as we get ready for Game 2’s tip-off. First, some pre-game notes:

• The Heat, as has been discussed widely the past 48 hours, haven’t lost consecutive games since January 8 and 10. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra was asked why that is: “When we lose, we all get together and we all own it together, whatever it may be, and we just try to collectively figure it out and come back better. A lot of times [during] those sessions we don’t like each other, but the honesty is what gets to the truth pretty quick.” You philosophy majors might understand that last part a little better than I do.

• The only pre-game question for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was about the report that Jason Kidd wants to become the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. “If he’s crazy enough to want to be a head coach in the League,” Pop said, “I wish him the best. But he certainly has the intuitive skills to know what’s going on out there. Obviously he would be able to have relationships with the players that he’s had with his coaches throughout. If that’s what he wants to do and that’s who they want to hire, I think that he’s got an opportunity and a possibility to be really, really good at it.” Agreed.

• A few minutes ago, David Stern held a press conference in which he presented Chauncey Billups with the first ever Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year award. A panel of NBA legends voted for the winner; Shane Battier came in second place.

Anyway, I’m off to my spot somewhere up in the arena’s rafters. We’ll get this live-blog officially kicked off a few minutes before 8 p.m. More soon.

• A 12-year-old girl just sang the Star-Spangled Banner. And wow. She’s a better singer than you are. Unless you’re, like, Mariah Carey. Mariah Carey is really good at singing.

• A turnover and a missed shot kick off the game, followed by a converted wide-open Danny Green three. Strong Island!

• The crowd feels a lot louder this time around, although it could be that I have a completely different vantage point—was in a press box in section 302 for Game 1 and now am in a separate press box wayyy above the court, literally at the very top of the arena with an actually-kinda-cool bird’s-eye view. But there’s definitely a sense of urgency in this building that didn’t exist Thursday night. That much is obvious.

• Danny Green sinks another three and the Spurs are up 9-4. Can’t leave that guy open.

• Dwyane Wade tried to force an alley-oop to LeBron that (at least from this angle) clearly wasn’t there, leading to a turnover. 9-6 Spurs, 7:20 left in the first.

• Tim Duncan makes an open jumper because of course Tim Duncan makes an open jumper. 11-6 Spurs.

• It’s really incredible that Miami fans tolerate (and enjoy!) this much Flo Rida and Pitbull. At this point I’m not even mad, just thoroughly impressed that they’re capable of allowing (and enjoying!) this crap.

• Dwyane Wade slices through the Spurs defense for a lay-up. His spacing and defensive effort was far from ideal in Game 1, but his offensive energy picked up and he seems to be picking up the pace once again in Game 2.

• Gorgeous pass from LeBron to a cutting Udonis Haslem, who finishes with a lay-up and gets an and-1 off a foul on Boris Diaw. 15-14 Spurs after the made free throw.

• The Heat, up 16-15, take a timeout with 2:43 remaining in the first. AA Arena showing a video about that new Twyman-Stokes Award on the Jumbotron during the break, and now Jay Twyman (Jack Twyman’s son) is presenting Chauncey Billups with his trophy (again) on the court.

• Birdman checks in, and immediately runs a pick-and-roll with Norris Cole, finds some space, takes the pass and slams it home. That’s Birdman being Birdman, yo.

• LeBron attempts to go one-on-one with Kawhi Leonard but misses the jumper he created for himself, then on the Heat’s next offensive possession, in more or less the exact same situation, sinks the shot from maybe 18 feet out. On the other end, the Spurs can’t fire up an attempt before the first quarter clock runs out. 22-22 after one.

• Slow start for Bron, who has 2 points on 1-4 after the first. Here’s guessing he’ll be looking to pick that up ASAP.

• Mike Miller, who’s all of a sudden become an important factor these past couple weeks, drains a three-pointer. 25-22 Miami.

• Tiago Splitter just threw the ball with two hands like it weighs 25 pounds over Birdman and somehow it dropped into the hoop. 29-26 Miami.

• 29-up after a Gary Neal three-pointer and then a timeout. Miami Heat Dance Team time. They started their routine with DJ Khaled’s “Welcome to the Hood,” which I have no complaints with.

• Gloria Estefan is here, although I don’t know why the arena had to formally announce that. OF COURSE Gloria Estefan is here.

• 36-34 Spurs after LeBron hits a jumper. He’s up to, uh, 4 points. Great defense on Bron by Kawhi Leonard thus far, and speaking of Kawhi, the Spurs swingman has 2 points and 7 boards (!) through 1.5 quarters.

• Seems like a good time to note that Birdman has a team-high (!!!) 7 points. And the Heat are only down 2. Strange game.

• Tony Parker comes off a screen and converts a J right over LeBron’s outstretched hand. 38-36 Spurs, 5 minutes remaining in the half.

• Ray Allen hit a three, which drove the crowd nuts but was immediately countered by Parker sliding his way to the lane and putting in a lay-in. 40-39 Spurs.

• Don’t leave Danny Green open! 45-up after he hits yet another three.

• Loose-ball foul called on LeBron, who is just furious with the call—he slammed the ball on the floor with two hands in protest. Joey Crawford’s gonna Joey Crawford, though. 45-45 as we head into a timeout with 1:55 left in the second.

• There’s a White Hot Party on the East Plaza in AmericanAirlines Arena at halftime. FYI.

• A D-Wade drive turns into a Mario Chalmers three-pointer, which he sinks. 48-45 Heat.

• LeBron to D-Wade for a runner in the lane makes it 50-45 Heat, and then after a Spurs turnover it looked like Miami would replicate that but Wade missed the shot. The Spurs can’t even get an attempt on their last offensive possession of the half, and LeBron fires a 60-feet runner as the halftime buzzer rings that hits only front rim. 50-45 Heat at the half.

• Some stats: Danny Green leads the Spurs with 12 points (4-4 from three-point land); Wade and Chalmers both lead the Heat with 10 points; LeBron has 4 points (2-7 from the field), 1 rebound and 4 assists. Kawhi Leonard is doing his thing, man.

• Gotta say: Pretty boring halftime entertainment. If there was a legitimate halftime show of any sort, I either missed it while I was grabbing chips or it was so small in scale that I barely noticed it at all. A few of the players have started to shoot around a bit with a few minutes to go before the third kicks off.

• Slow start to the second half, with neither team really converting much of anything so far. 54-46 Miami with 9:05 left in third after LeBron sinks a pair of freebies.

• A failed Duncan reverse turns into a Leonard rebound and then a Leonard lay-up. 54-48 Heat.

• Another Danny Green three! Hot damn that guy can is red hot tonight. 54-53 Miami, timeout. I imagine Spo is spending the entirety of this break yelling, “DON’T LEAVE DANNY GREEN OPEN” over and over and over. He should be, at least.

• Just your standard Miami Heat/The Matrix video montage during the timeout. A Chris Bosh jumper is followed by a Kawhi Leonard three immediately following the TO. 56-up, 6:46 left in the quarter.

• A tough finish in the lane by Kawhi Leonard, as Wade fouls him and he still powers it up and in. Bricked the free throw, though. 58-56 Spurs, 5:47 left in third.

• Offensive foul called on LeBron James, who was literally just standing there setting a pick as Tony Parker bounced off him. #JOEYCRAWFORD

• The Spurs seem to be just begging LeBron to shoot, as he’s now 2-11 after missing a very, very open look at a three. Not his night. 58-58.

• Big “LETS-GO-HEAT” chants rain down, while a defensive three seconds call on the Spurs gives Chalmers a technical free throw. Wet. 59-58 Miami, 4:41 left in third.

• The FT is followed by a pretty Bosh bank, which precedes a Tim Duncan dunk that deflates the crowd some.

• 64-62 Spurs, timeout. The Heat look pretty terrible—LeBron is basically a non-factor and they just aren’t playing the uber-athletic brand of basketball that got them this far. And yet, here they are, still very much in this one. It feels like we’re a quick run by either team from splitting this thing wide open, it’s just tough to tell which team is going to make said run. And that is bizarre as hell, because usually it’s pretty obviously one squad or the other that’s about to break out. Again: strange game.

• A Mario Chalmers three sends the crowd into an absolute frenzy, which only gets, um, frenzy-er when Duncan misses a turn-around and LeBron converts a tough lay-in on the other end. 69-62 Miami.

• “Seven Nation Army” again and again and again and again.

• Mario Chalmers drives on Tony Parker and puts up a floater that goes—plus the and-1. Sinks the freebie, too. Manu Ginobili bricks a three as the quarter ends… although Tim Duncan did hit a crazy fall-away from the baseline that didn’t count because the clock had expired. 75-65 after three. Remember that run I was talking about one of the teams making? It looks like Miami is about 2/3 through theirs. A solid beginning to the fourth could have them in full control of this thing. Or not. We’ll see.

• A minute into the fourth, LeBron sinks a jumper. Bron getting going is probably the final piece Miami needs to shut this down. It’s followed a couple plays later by a gorgeous cross-court pass from Bron to Mike Miller, who drains a trey. 80-65, Miami.

• Yep, broken open. LeBron just took the ball coast-to-coast, putting in a lay-up that gives the Heat an 84-65 lead. In other news: t-shirt toss time!

• OH MY GOODNESS SON LEBRON JUST DESTROYED A TIAGO SPLITTER DUNK ATTEMPT WITH A MONSTER BLOCK AND IT WAS FUCKING INCREDIBLE. I’m positioned alongside the baseline on that side of the court so I had the perfect view down on that defensive stand, and holy shit, it was just glorious. The perfect block. On the other end, Bron just finished a fast break with a powerful dunk that turned this arena upside-down. A 30-5 Heat run gives them a 91-67 lead with 7:43 to go. Wow.

• And the Spurs have all but given up, emptying their bench (T-Mac time!) and presumably resting their starters for Game 3. LeBron immediately proceeds to drain a three-pointer, just because. 94-67 Heat with 7 to go.

• Hilarious how 20 minutes ago it was all, “Man, LeBron is just awful tonight,” then he makes a few jumpers, gets himself involved with great defense and amazing passes and that insane block, and now that storyline is now all but dead. Good!  96-71 Heat, 4:58 to go.

• And now the Heat have benched their stars and we’re all but done here. This will shock you, but a bunch of the fans, especially those in the lower bowl, are heading for the exits. Whatever. 98-73 Heat with 3 minutes to go.

• Your final: 103-84, Miami takes Game 2. LeBron wound up with 17 points, 8 boards, 7 dimes, 3 blocks and 3 steals; Mario Chalmers scored a game-high 19; Danny Green led the Spurs with 17. I’m returning to New York in the morning, but Ryne Nelson and Maurice Bobb will be holding down our coverage from Games 3-5 in San Antonio all week. Thanks for following along, y’all. Later.