SAN ANTONIO — In the aftermath of the negative criticism that surfaced following Game 1 of the NBA Finals, LeBron James made two statements. He is the “easiest target in sports” and that the rim was his easiest target in Game 2.
Despite a slow start in the first quarter, James was able to silence his critics by working in the post and showing off his range. He finished with 35 points, 10 rebounds and three assists as the Miami Heat escaped with a 98-96 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
The four-time MVP had a dominating third quarter scoring 14 points, shooting 6-of-7 from the field on array of jump shots. He became only the fourth player in the last 30 seasons to record 35 points and 10 rebounds in a Finals game on the road. The elite group James joined includes Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan.
Even with Chris Bosh making the pivotal three-pointer to give Miami the lead late in the fourth and Wade making the lay-up to seal the victory, James has been the greatest difference maker for the Heat.
Miami has outscored the Spurs by 6.4 points per 100 possessions with James on the court. San Antonio has outscored the Heat by 37.7 points per 100 possessions with James on the bench. Through two games, James is averaging 30 points and eight rebounds while shooting just under 59 percent from the field. It’s safe to say that had James finished Game 1 there would have been a much different outcome.
Thanks to “Lebroning” and “LeCramp” jokes, a very-determined James will prove harder to beat the next two games down in Miami.
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