Is LeBron James hotter than the devil? Hell yeah. James hit two clutch free throws with seven seconds to go in the fourth quarter to seal a 100-96 win for the Miami Heat over the Okalahoma City Thunder in Game Two of the NBA Finals.
If the Heat lost Game Two, it would have marked the fifth time in James’ career he’s faced a 2-0 deficit in the playoffs. In three of the previous four instances his teams have lost the series. Tonight, the NBA’s MVP took a step to not let history repeat itself. He scored 32 points and was 12 of 12 from the charity stripe.
The Heat do not have history on their side – since 1990, only five teams have come back to win the NBA title after losing Game One of the Finals. The Heat only outscored the Thunder in one quarter of Game Two. In the history of the NBA Finals, the Game One winner has gone on to win the series 72.3 percent of the time (47-18). The last team to win Game One but lose the Finals was the Heat last year. No team in
NBA history has won a title after trailing in three different series. The Heat have now trailed in three different series this postseason.
Kevin Durant is so ahead of his time, it’s like dog years. The NBA scoring champion played the entire game in foul trouble however hit a huge three-pointer to cut the Heat lead to 98-96 with less than a minute to go. Durant scored 32 points for the Thunder, but missed a shot after appearing to be bumped by James that would have tied a game the Thunder trailed the entire way. Durant’s scoring average and shooting percentage have gone up every round, and he matched his highest-scoring game of this postseason in Game One.
Entering tonight’s game, the Thunder were 9-0 at home this postseason. That is tied for the longest home win streak to start a postseason in franchise history. The Seattle SuperSonics started the 1978 postseason winning nine consecutive home postseason games.
The Thunder have been one of the best fast-break teams this postseason, averaging 17.2 points. Only the Nuggets (19.6), who were eliminated in the first round by the Lakers, averaged more fast-break points this postseason. In Game Two, the Heat had 11 fast break points to the Thunder’s 10. The Heat used their 25th different lineup in their 86 games this season, including their seventh of the postseason. The next three games will be in South Florida. Game Three will be played on Sunday.
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