MIAMI, United States — With superstar LeBron James struggling to find his scoring touch, the Miami Heat called upon their bench to pick up the slack on offense.
And they delivered brilliantly, especially veteran Ray Allen who led the charge with 13 points as the Heat reserves outscored San Antonio’s bench 40-32 in game two of the NBA finals on Sunday, June 9.
“LeBron couldn’t get into a rhythm early and other guys stepped up,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra of the Heat’s 103-84 win which leveled the series at 1-1.
“He showed great poise and trust in not getting caught up in feeling like he had to make a score but rather either facilitate or let other guys make plays. And that is what they did.
“Mario (Chalmers) was able to make some plays. Ray and Mike (Miller) both found open gaps for shooting. Dwyane (Wade) and CB (Chris Bosh) were able to make plays in the first half.”
It marks the 17th time in 18 games in the playoffs Miami’s bench has outscored the opposition.
The Heat finished with five players in double figures, including James with 17 and Chalmers who had a game-high 19 points.
“I know what we have here,” James said. “I will continue to find my shooters. I will continue to put pressure on the defense. If I draw two then I will find my shooters. I have confidence they are going to knock them down.”
Failing to fire on offense, James was still a defensive force.
He made one monster block on Tiago Splitter in the fourth quarter that denied the Spurs’ giant centre what appeared to be an easy dunk.
James said he didn’t want to get burned by Splitter and end up on the television sports shows highlights.
“Offensively it was a struggle for me. I couldn’t make a shot, I missed lay-ups,” he said. “I was able to protect the rim on that one. I told myself you’ll end up on Sports Center where you are getting dunked on, or you are going to make the block.
“Luckily I was on the good side of the Top Ten, and not on the Not So Top Ten.” – Rappler.com
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