Tonight we as NBA fans were blessed some more with great NBA Finals action. OKC came in feeling hot from their game 1 victory, and were looking to go up 2-0 at home. Well look was all they could do as the Miami Heat took game 2 in a close one at Chesapeake Arena with the score 100-96. Now the series is tied 1-1, returning to South Beach. With this victory the Heat did something no other team could do this year as OKC came in undefeated at home in the playoffs.
In the first half it was the Miami Heat show as they were too hot to handle right from the start. At one point the Heat were up 25-10 in the first quarter, and the shooting from OKC was dreadful. Lebron James and Dwyane Wade were in attack mode, getting to the post and finishing. They both combined for 27 points at the end of the half. Chris Bosh was also key in the first half scoring 10 points, but more importantly grabbing 10 rebounds. However the most crucial individual effort in the first half from Miami was Shane Battier who put up 9 points (3-4 from beyond the arc), and hit some big momentum changing shots. The Heat finished the first half leading 55-43, and the adjustments made by Coach Spoelstra were seen early on.
In the second half the Thunder made a surging comeback, just like they did in Game 1. We saw great improvement from Russell Westbrook who was struggling early on shooting 2-10 in the first half, and Kevin Durant started to heat up. Westbrook made some big plays in transition, and finished with 27 points, 7 assists, and 8 rebounds. Durant finished with another big total scoring 32 points, and almost single handedly bringing them back for the victory. However the main reason the Thunder were still in it prior to the first half beating was Sixth Man of the Year James Harden who continued his success from the first half finishing with 21 points, and 4 rebounds. Despite the big play in the second half OKC could not stop the Heat from closing out and taking game 2.
Lebron James added on to more of his Finals success this post season finishing with 32 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. He also finished the night shooting 12-12 free throws including the last two to ice this game for Miami. Dwyane Wade bounced back from a bad game 1 performance putting up a stat line of 24 points, 5 assists, and 6 rebounds. To wrap up the big three success Bosh had an impactful night as well scoring 16 points, and grabbing 15 rebounds. The role players stepped up big tonight such as Shane Battier who finished with 17 points, going 5-7 from three. In fact Battier is 9-13 from beyond the arc in this series so far, an amazing stat to have in the biggest stage to play in.
Living up to it's hype this series takes an even more interesting turn as it is tied 1-1. Miami did a better job this time of keeping the lead, despite the near collapse they almost suffered as OKC came within 2 under a minute to go in the game. I expect this series to continue to deliver more great basketball, and maybe even more late game heroics. South Beach will be more than lively as their team returns with a win in the other team's building. However the Heat better play at this high level or even higher next game, because OKC has the talent to win anywhere.
Game 3 of the NBA Finals is Sunday at 8 pm, On ABC