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James carries Heat past Spurs to tie NBA finals



BY BRIAN MAHONEY
AP BASKETBALL WRITER

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- No cramps, no problems for LeBron James.

And with their superstar making it to the finish this time, the Miami Heat won Game 2, just as they always do when they drop an opener.

James had 35 points and 10 rebounds in a powerful bounce back from cramps that knocked him out of the key part of Game 1, as the Heat tied the NBA Finals with a 98-96 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night.

Chris Bosh made the go-ahead 3-pointer on a pass from James with 1:18 remaining for the Heat, who have won 13 straight following a loss in the postseason. Just like last year, they rebounded from a loss to the Spurs to open the series.

Bosh had 18 points for the Heat. Game 3 is Tuesday night in Miami.

Heat Respond In Game 2

James played 36 minutes, making 14 of 22 shots. He was only 1 for 4 with three turnovers in a shaky first quarter, then made 11 of his next 13.

After two days of enduring criticism for not finishing and getting suggestions on how to avoid cramps, James changed the subject.

"Got to play hard," James said. "I believe the man above will protect me. I just try to put myself and my teammates in position to succeed."

He also had a key strip of Tony Parker down the stretch, playing a dominant game on both ends as if he had something to prove.

Whenever the haters come out, James always quickly can silence them.

He had 11 points in the second quarter, helping Miami erase an 11-point deficit early in the period. The game was played within a margin of a few points from there, and the Spurs missed a chance to seize control in the fourth quarter when Tony Parker and Tim Duncan combined to miss four straight free throws when they had a two-point lead.

James then made a 3-pointer and two free throws, setting Miami up to pull it out.

Parker scored 21 points and Duncan had 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Spurs, who had won eight straight at home by 15 more points.

The game was played in comfortable conditions inside the AT&T Center, where an air conditioning failure in Game 1 sent temperatures soaring to about 90 degrees in the second half. The problem, caused by a broken circuit breaker, was fixed by Friday afternoon, and it was much cooler inside the arena.

James had the toughest time with the heat Thursday, needing treatment midway through the fourth quarter before eventually having to leave for good. He had plenty of time to recover, with the two days off between Games 1 and 2.

He personally erased a 62-56 San Antonio lead by scoring eight points in less than a minute, and his 14 points in the third quarter had Miami down only 78-77 heading to the fourth.

After their sensational finish to Game 1, the Spurs picked up right where they left off, making 10 of their first 15 shots. They led 26-17 after Duncan's follow shot with 1:49 left, but missed a chance to expand their lead by committing three straight turnovers, and coach Gregg Popovich looked irate when the quarter ended with San Antonio ahead 26-19.

The Spurs opened an 11-point lead early in the second before James got going. He had three straight Miami baskets, and a follow shot later in the period gave the Heat their first lead at 34-33.

Notes: The Spurs fell to 12-4 at home in the NBA Finals. ... Parker has 1,026 assists in the postseason, moving past Michael Jordan (1,022) for eighth place on the career postseason list. He also passed Jordan's Hall of Fame teammate, Scottie Pippen, for 13th on the career scoring list with 3,655 points.

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jwfoust June 08 2014 at 11:42 PM

You've got to hand it to LeBron. He's a stud. I'm not against the Spurs but I'm for the Heat, of which exactly that was turned up tonight.

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2 replies
JRivers jwfoust June 09 2014 at 10:41 AM

Maybe when the game comes back to San Antonio the AC should "accidentally" go out again. Then maybe we would find out just how much of a stud or conditioned LeBron really is.

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1 reply
samuedwar12@aol JRivers June 09 2014 at 12:14 PM

MY FRIEND , BLACK PEOPLE DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH HEAT . IF THAT SHOULD TAKE PLACE THE AMBULANCE WILL HAVE TO TAKE AWAY THE WHITE PLAYERS .

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mac0386mac jwfoust June 09 2014 at 4:40 PM

I have a problem with how the heat won the game last night. U do not win basketball games by intentionally elbowing your opponent. Thats not how you play basketball and I hope the heat lose this series because they don't deserve it if they play that nasty. GSG we are going to win.

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webreader June 08 2014 at 11:43 PM

GO HEAT!!

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1 reply
mac0386mac webreader June 09 2014 at 4:35 PM

How can you be a heat fan and proud of this victory the players have no class and that player that intentionally elbowed Tony Parker should not be allowed back in a heat jersery. Spurs are going to win this series if the heat are going to do that again.

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bhughes731 June 09 2014 at 7:43 AM

Hard elbow to the ribs of Parker. Dirty play to shut down SA's momentum. Real class HEAT. How can you be happy with winning that way. Flopping all over the place , dirty play and whatever it takes (including elbows to the ribs) Not something to be proud of...Sad

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5 replies
elpgolfer June 09 2014 at 1:32 AM

GO SPURS.......

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1 reply
beverlyamy1 elpgolfer June 09 2014 at 9:18 AM

they will go.........into retirement after this series.

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3 replies
lawrencefishberg June 09 2014 at 6:35 AM

I hate to break this to Lebron, but "the man upstairs" has more important things to do than to think about this basketball game.

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6 replies
Law June 09 2014 at 12:59 AM

I am a Michael Jordan fan. But Lebron James shows that he is in the same league as
Michael, Majic, Kobe, Oscar, and others. When you are at the top, people always want to shoot you down. James is still building his legacy, and games like tonight make it easy for him to put a claim to one of the best basketball players ever. For now, today, he is the best basketball player in the world. The future will show us how good he really is compared to others in the history game of basketball.

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1 reply
ciochonltd Law June 09 2014 at 6:41 AM

Being a great basketball player is one thing, but having any class is another thing altogether! Michael Jordan has lots of class and was great! We are still waiting for some indication from Lebron that he has any class at all! As great as Tim Duncan is, he never has to go around making gestures and beating on this chest! GET THE PICTURE LEBRON?

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6 replies
oujoou June 09 2014 at 3:44 AM

I didn't see the game. But yes by the tone of the article . . . sounded like a blow out. 2 points is close. Nice job by James to silence all these mean people who made fun of him. :) Cramps suck. If people have ever experienced exhaustion and cramps . . . they'd see it's not cool to laugh at. :( I like both teams a lot. It's not such a bad thing when your team doesn't make the play offs or finals. You read the articles. Watch highlights. In some ways . . . I think you can appreciate it more when you're not pulling for one team in particular. Course you ALways want your team to win the big one. :(

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Doc June 09 2014 at 1:12 AM

Really? Those punks just won by 2 points! Really? King my ass! GO SPURS GO!!!

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5 replies
jimconnellret June 09 2014 at 6:44 AM

Took a hard elbow to parker to hurt his play and the Spurs momentum.

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1 reply
beverlyamy1 jimconnellret June 09 2014 at 11:31 AM

like the air conditoining? gimme a effin break ....THJEY GOT BEAT!

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stutuff June 09 2014 at 1:02 AM

Dirty players show up every now and then. Chalmers showed his colors tonight. Welcome to the old Detroit Piston basketball. I don't care who they play for, dirty is dirty. Lost any respect I might have had for him.

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2 replies
jbelcer stutuff June 09 2014 at 9:58 AM

ohh just love the floppers

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emanuous stutuff June 09 2014 at 11:50 AM

Who cares. Its playoff basketball. Then don't watch it. The finals have always been physical no matter who played.

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