LeBron James left behind his first game cramp problems and racked up 35 points and 10 assists to help the Miami Heat defeat the San Antonio Spurs 98-96 in the second game of the NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on Sunday night.
The defending champions have tied the best-of-seven series at one game apiece and now set to face San Antonio at their home-court on June 11 at the American Airlines Arena.
James started slowly, as San Antonio built a six points advantage. Miami rallied back in the second as the Spurs flattered half-way into the quarter and the visitors erased their advantage.
The four-time MVP got into the rhythm and scored 11 points in the second and the Heat slowly gained momentum. James added 14 points in the third quarter, as Miami was down by just one point heading into the final run of play.
"We didn't expect him to shoot that well, but he got hot," Danny Green said. "That's what stars do in this league. You got to make adjustments. What hurt us is we got outrebounded and we didn't shoot too well from the free-throw line."
San Antonio looked good in the final minutes of the game and kept their one point advantage over Miami, but the champions got into the lead and clinched the game by just two points. Dwyane Wade and Rashard Lewis finished with 14 points each, while Chris Bosh had 18 points, including a three-pointer in dying moments.
"We have a very competitive group and you have two days to commiserate how that game went down," Miami's coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It was frustrating, painful going through that for two days and now we have to manage the other emotion."
James, who struggled to get on the feet in the opener, showed no signs of heat-related illness and looked pleased with his performance.
"I just continued to attack," James said. "I just got off to a slow start. For me, once I get into a good groove, I feel like everything is going to go in."
San Antonio's coach Gregg Popovich praised James for his play, which made the difference at the end, but also pointed out that his team failed to capitalise on a number of chances.
"LeBron with the ball did a pretty good job at his end and we had to be really perfect at the other end and we didn't," Popovich said. "We didn't take advantage of things. We made bad decisions."
Tony Parker ended with 21 points and he played equally well on both sides of the court, while Tim Duncan added 18 points and 15 rebounds for San Antonio.
See the highlights of Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs Game 2 HERE.