Heat survive Thunder rally for 100-96 victory
By Brian Mahoney ,AP
June 16, 2012, 12:04 am TWN
It was the first home loss in 10 postseason games for the Thunder, who had overcome a 13-point deficit in Game 1.
James had 30 points in the opener, but afterward said he needed more help from his friends, especially Wade.
In Game 1, Wade was 7 of 19. He wasn't sharp in the last round amid speculation of some physical problem. He was all but asked Wednesday if his explosiveness was a thing of the past, what must have been insulting to a player who, though 30, still believes he's not far from the top of the game.
Wade bounced back in a big way, not quite at the level he was as the 2006 finals MVP, but certainly good enough with the help around him now for the Heat to win another one.
He spun into the lane and found Bosh for a dunk that seemed to have the Heat safe at 98-91 inside the final minute, but a 3-pointer by Durant cut it to 98-96 with 37 seconds left. After James missed a 3-pointer, the Thunder got the ball into Durant, who appeared to be knocked off balance by James as he missed the baseline shot attempt.
Durant said he would have to watch the tape to see if he was fouled.
James then sank the insurance free throws — finishing a 12-for-12 night at the line — as fans booed loudly over the no-call.
Bosh started after coming off the bench in every game since returning late last round from his nine-game absence with a strained lower abdominal muscle. The Big Three joined Battier and Mario Chalmers in the lineup, the first time Miami had gone with that first five all season.
It sent the Heat on their way to a terrific start, and Battier matched his surprising 17-point performance in Game 1 by going 5 of 7 from 3-point range, providing all the help the superstar trio needed.
James had his fifth straight 30-point game, breaking Wade's franchise playoff record, and added eight rebounds. He defended Durant early in Game 1 and helped put the league's scoring champion in early foul trouble, just one of the problems the Thunder had early.
"The clock is going really fast, but I tried to slow it down in my mind and get a good shot," James said of the play. "I had a couple turnovers in the fourth quarter that I didn't like because I wasn't aggressive enough. I was glad I was able to make a good bucket and some free throws down the stretch."