June 9, 2013

LeBron’s teammates, defense rescue Heat in rout of Spurs

Miami turns 17 San Antonio turnovers into 19 points to even the series at one game apiece.

Back with a blowout, and no, the Miami Heat didn’t need LeBron James to do more.

Not when point guard Mario Chalmers and everyone else did everything right.

Chalmers led the charge, James broke out to finish it with a flurry and the Heat used a 33-5 run to blow away the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday to even the NBA Finals at one game apiece. San Antonio hosts Game 3 on Tuesday night.

James missed 10 of his first 13 shots and the Heat trailed by a point late in the third quarter before unleashing the lethal brand of basketball that led them to a franchise-record 66 wins this season.

Chalmers finished with 19 points, and James had 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while shooting only 7 of 17 from the field.

“I know my shooters only need a little bit of room to get the shot off,” James said. “For me, I struggled offensively, but the shooters made some good shots.”

The Heat made 10 of 19 3-pointers and got 13 points from Ray Allen, and 12 points and 10 rebounds from the previously slumping Chris Bosh.

Danny Green made all six shots, including five 3-pointers, and scored 17 points for the Spurs.

Tony Parker had 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting for the Spurs, who were so precise in their 92-88 victory in Game 1 but threw the ball all over the white-surrounded court Sunday, committing 17 turnovers that led to 19 Miami points.

Tim Duncan shot 3 of 13 and had nine points and 11 rebounds.

James never took control of the scoring as the game was slipping away from the Heat, not with Chalmers making big shots. The Heat’s defense forced the Spurs to look shaky all over the floor, and Miami’s barrage of second-half 3-pointers helped.

James finally got some openings late, hanging from the rim an extra second not long after a sensational blocked shot freed him up for a fast break.

Chalmers sparked the Heat late in the third, after San Antonio had taken a 62-61 lead. He converted two three-point plays, Allen and Mike Miller nailed 3-pointers, and James made only his third field goal of the game during a 14-3 finishing spurt that sent Miami to the fourth with a 75-65 advantage.

They opened the fourth with nine straight points to make it 84-65, and capped the run at 94-67 when James made a 3-pointer.

The Spurs had only four turnovers in Game 1, tying an NBA Finals record low. But they surpassed that total in the first quarter.

The unrecognizable play continued, Parker firing passes on the pick-and-roll right into a Heat player’s leg on multiple occasions and even getting yanked barely three minutes into the third quarter.

The Spurs responded with seven straight points without him to get back within one. But by the end of the period, it was Chalmers who was the best point guard on the floor.

Miami looked as good as ever in the final 15 minutes of its 100th game of the season, leaving Spurs coach Gregg Popovich often standing on the sideline with no answers or way of slowing down the Heat speedsters.

San Antonio saw its seven-game postseason winning streak end, as well as a six-game NBA Finals win streak that dated to 2005.

Duncan, who started 0 of 5 in the opener but had 20 points and 14 rebounds, began this one 1 for 5. The Spurs couldn’t get him the ball enough. Wade had 10 points, and Miami had just six turnovers.

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