Trailing by one late in the third quarter in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat went on a 33-6 run en route to a 103-84 victory that evened the series at one. The next three games in the 2-3-2 format will be in San Antonio.
The Spurs hit 9 of 14 three-pointers to take a 62-61 lead and actually shot better than they did in their Game 1 win, but the Heat returned to their relentless pressure to dominate the final minutes of the third quarter and early fourth quarter. While most of the pressure resulted in forced turnovers (23% of all Spurs trips ended in a turnover compared to 6% in Game 1), they also contested shots including LeBron James rejection of a would be tomahawk jam by Tiago Splitter, followed quickly by a three-pointer by Ray Allen, dunk by James and three-pointer by James to cap 33-6 run and make it 94-67 Heat.
Comparing the Four Factors that determine games, the Spurs actually improved their shooting slightly from 46% to 47% in Game two, and improved their offensive rebounding from 18% off all misses to 36%. However, that could not make-up for them turning the ball over on 23% of their 70 trips down the floor, compared to just 6% in an airtight first game.
These two tables show an estimate of times each team had the ball based on stats, but are not exact. Efficiency indicates the number of points per trip down the court which is the result of the four factors that follow. First, effective Field Goal percentage (eFG%) is field goal percentage with an extra half credit for made three-pointers. Second is the percent of the time a team turns the ball over. Third is the percent of a team’s missed shots they grab with an offensive rebound. And finally, free throw percentage is how well a team draws fouls – the percentage of free throws versus field goals, where the two teams have been virtually even in both games.
The Spurs tried to weather the storm, but when James drew a double team and fired a pass to Miller for a three-pointer and built the lead to 84-65, the Spurs finally took a timeout to no avail.
The defense was key as no one scored 20 points in the game, with Mario Chalmers having a game high 19 points and drawing a double team before feeding James on one beautiful pass after James had been ice cold shooting. However, James also drew double teams throughout and always found the open player on the court.
Chris Bosh grabbed 10 rebounds despite continuing not to be a scoring threat.
The series is now tied 1-1, but heads to San Antonio for three games. The Heat has rotating winning and losing games for the last two series, never winning or losing two in a row against either the Pacers or the Spurs so far. This was only the Spurs third loss of the playoffs.