Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

LeBron James helps Miami Heats level series

LeBron James scored 35 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 98-96 win (Source: AP) LeBron James scored 35 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 98-96 win (Source: AP)
Reuters | Posted: June 9, 2014 10:47 am

LeBron James bounced back from the cramps that forced him out of the NBA Finals opener by scoring 35 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 98-96 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday and even the series at one game each.

James went both inside and outside to hit 14 of 22 shots, including all three from beyond the arc, grab 10 rebounds and deliver a key assist down the stretch to secure the win.

“He carried us,” said Heat guard Ray Allen. “He made some big shots. I don’t think they had an answer for him and he got it going. And we needed every bit of it.”

With San Antonio leading 93-92 and giving their full attention to James, the four-time NBA MVP delivered a nifty pass to Chris Bosh, who nailed a three-pointer with 1:18 left.

“It was rewarding in that it was a huge play to help us win,” said James.

“I just seen it develop the whole time, and I wanted to try to put some pressure towards the rim, and I caught Tim Duncan peeking at me a little bit.

“I was able to find C.B. in the corner in one of his favorite spots on the floor and he knocked it down.”

A foul shot by James and a Dwyane Wade lay-up with nine seconds left gave the Heat a 98-93 lead before a three-pointer at the buzzer by the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili made the score closer than it actually was.

“LeBron with the ball did a great job at his end and we had to be really pretty perfect at the other end and we (weren’t),” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “We didn’t take advantage of things, we made bad decisions.

“We didn’t do it as a group. We tried to do it individually and we’re not good enough to do that.”

Tony Parker led San Antonio with 21 points, followed by Ginobili with 19 and Duncan with 18.

The Spurs won the first game of the finals, 110-95, in San Antonio and the series now shifts to Miami for the next two games, with Game Three set for Tuesday.

All eyes were on James on Sunday to see if had recovered from the leg cramps that sent him to the sidelines for most of the fourth quarter on Thursday.

He was misfiring early on Sunday, making just one of his first four shots and committing three turnovers.

But in the second quarter, he had 11 points, 14 more in the third, and eight in the fourth. He scored mostly inside in the first half before finding his jump shot in the second.

“In the first half, I got into the paint, made some shots, got some rebounds, put pressure on their defense,” said James. “In the second half they backed up continued…

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