LeBron James led all scorers with 22 points and Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, the other two members of the Heat's Big Three, combined for 32 in the Heat’s 94-82 victory over Brooklyn in the second game of their Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series Thursday night in Miami.
But it was the contribution of Ray Allen off the bench that made certain of the win that put the Heat up 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.
And it wasn’t just the 13 points and 5-of-8 shooting (3-of-5 on 3-pointers) off the bench that sealed the Nets’ fate.
Allen also had eight rebounds and made two plays in the fourth quarter that helped squelch potential comeback bids by the visitors.
With the Heat up only 87-79 after Mirza Teletovic hit a layup for the Nets with 3:39 remaining, the game still was within range of the visitors, especially so after James missed a long 3-pointer 21 seconds later.
But the Nets were denied the opportunity to get closer when Allen swept in along the baseline to gather in the rebound of James’ miss. It was the first of three consecutive offensive rebounds for the Heat, allowing them to run a remarkable minute and 40 seconds off the game clock before James dropped in a layup with 1:59 left to get the gap back up to 10 points.
It was back to an eight-point game, 89-81, when Shaun Livingston hit two free throws with 1:54 left, and the Nets had the ball back when James stopped out-of-bounds with 1:35 remaining.
But whatever hope that might have raised for the Nets was snuffed out when Allen came up with a steal with 1:19 left, and James put the final exclamation point on the Heat’s win with a 3-pointer with just 56.6 seconds on the clock.
The series now moves on to Brooklyn where the two teams will play Game 3 Saturday night (8 p.m. EDT, ABC). Game 4 also is in the Nets’ Barclay’s Center home on Monday night (8 p.m. EDT, TNT).