Miami’s ‘Big Three’ formed their basketball Voltron in Game 2 of the 2012 NBA Finals.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra inserted Chris Bosh into the starting five at center, giving Miami an unused and untested opening lineup.
Evidently, that lineup works, as the Heat led wire-to-wire after jumping the Thunder and taking their lunch money during an 18-2 start.
Miami’s star trio pooled together a total of 72 points, 29 rebounds and 11 assists, good enough to cash a valuable road win and deflect the onus onto Oklahoma City to claim one of the upcoming three games in South Beach.
LeBron James iced the game with a pair of uncontested one-point set shots from 15 feet, as the freewheeling Thunder pulled within two-points with seven seconds remaining during a frantic final quarter fightback.
All professional basketball players are paid to practice and make uncontested 15-foot set shots, the beauty of the shot is that it’s universally identical throughout the league, no matter the situation or what arena it’s attempted in.
On this occasion, James successful performed the duties of his job, converting all 12 attempts from the free-throw line.
Unfortunately for the Thunder, Kevin Durant (4-of-6 free-throws) could have had a chance to perform the same job task just five seconds earlier that would have given him a chance to tie the game.
However, the referees either didn’t see or didn’t believe James fouled Durant on his seven-foot attempt from the baseline.
Apart from that play, the score could have already been tied had the referees not botched a goal-tending call on Serge Ibaka, who tapped an already clean block by Durant on an inside attempt by Bosh in the second quarter.
By quarter time, James and Dwyane Wade had combined for 15 of the Heat’s 27 points, while James Harden played a lone hand for Oklahoma City, producing 10 of their 15 points in five minutes off the bench.
The Thunder’s Game 1 hangover saw Durant and Russell Westbrook suffer through an opening phase where they were each charged for two quick fouls and combined for just five points.
In two games Oklahoma City have started slowly and finished with a flurry.
Early in the fourth quarter, Bosh exemplified the Heat’s heightened desperation and desire for the ball on a play when he easily out-hustled four nearby Thunder players to chase down an offensive rebound off a Wade miss.
It’s now up to the Thunder to put together a complete game and come up with the ball in those types of situations.
15 Junio 2012