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2014 NBA Playoffs: Heat Win 98-96 Game Two

NBA Finals Game Two: Miami Heat 98 – San Antonio Spurs 96
Game One of the NBA Finals saw lopsided action as the Miami Heat dominated quarters one through three, before the Spurs came back and outscored their opponent 36-17 to get the win. Game Two would be much closer, as the Heat edged out a 98-96 win to tie the series up at one game apiece. The series will now shift back to South Beach with the Heat now having the home-court advantage after their Game Two win.

The story in Game One was less about the Spurs improbable comeback and more about the departure of LeBron James at the seven-minute mark in the fourth quarter. Ailed by cramping, James left the court and the momentum swung in favor of the Spurs at home. This time James would lead all scorers with 35 points in 38 minutes of play. James add 10 rebounds and was +11 while on the court.

James also got help from Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, as well as a resurgent effort from Rashard Lewis. Bosh finished with 18 points and Wade finished with 14. Rashard Lewis, who shifts in and out of the lineup depending on matchups for the Heat, also finished with 14 points.

The Spurs were led by Tony Parker with 21 points and seven assists. Tim Duncan had 18 points and 15 rebounds, while Manu Ginobili came off the bench with 19 points of his own.

In the previous eight games at home, the Spurs had won all of their games by at least 15 points. That mark came to an end with the Heat’s win on Sunday afternoon.

These teams were incredibly even across the board in a variety of different statistical categories. However, it was a Bosh 3-pointer with just over a minute left that gave the Heat the win. Right before that, James hit a three and two free throws to get the Heat close enough for Bosh to hit the game-winner.

Bosh, Wade and James are now 5-0 in playoff series after losing in Game Ones. This is also now the 48th straight playoff game where the Heat have not lost consecutive games, which is the third-longest streak in league history.

In order to move forward, it may be helpful to look back. In the 2013 NBA Finals matchup between these two teams, the Spurs grabbed Game One before the Heat got a lopsided 19-point win in Game Two. The Spurs would go on to win Game Three, for those looking for a repeat performance this year. Before tipoff on Tuesday, check back with sportspicks.com handicappers for insight into the game.

One difference to keep in mind is that last year’s series had Miami with the home-court advantage. Also, the playoff format was also 2-3-2, rather than 2-2-1-1-1, as it is this year. Miami will now have two games at home before coming back to San Antonio for Game Five. Whether or not things will go past that, we’ll have to see how the Spurs do on the road. The good news for San Antonio fans is that their team had the best road record in the league this year by a five-game margin.

The Spurs are sitting at 1/2 to win the NBA Championship, despite the loss on Sunday afternoon. The Heat have helped out their cause, moving to 9/5.