Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) dunks past Charlotte Bobcats guard Gerald Charlotte Bobcats guard Kemba Walker (15) in game two during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Photo by Steve Mitchell, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
MIAMI - LeBron James scored 32 points and Chris Bosh tallied 20 points as the host Miami Heat beat the Charlotte Bobcats 101-97 Wednesday to take a 2-0 lead in their first round playoff series on Wednesday.
The Bobcats cut Miami's lead to 10 points at halftime after shooting 50 percent from the field in the second quarter. Charlotte got as close as four points three times in the third. But the Heat led by seven heading into the fourth and then held on for the victory.
Miami now takes a comfortable series lead into game three on Saturday in Charlotte.
Bosh's three-pointer put the brakes on a 10-0 Bobcats surge in the fourth quarter and Dwyane Wade came up with a crucial steal in the final seconds with the Heat clinging to a three-point lead, hitting a foul shot at the other end to help clinch the win.
"They hung around," said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. "They didn't make it easy to break it open."
Wade finished with 15 points as he, Bosh and James combined to score 19 of Miami's 22 points in the fourth quarter.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds and Al Jefferson scored 18 with 13 rebounds for Charlotte, who are the lone current NBA franchise without a playoff victory.
Jefferson played Wednesday despite suffering a strain in his left foot in game one.
Jefferson left the game late in the first quarter but checked back in early in the second. He was nine-of-23 from the floor.
"(I was in) a lot of pain, but it was mind over matter," said Jefferson. "I just missed a lot of shots I should have made, but we still had a chance to win at the end."
Miami also had to hold on for the win in game one on Sunday when they pulled away for a 99-88 win. The Heat have beaten the Bobcats 18 consecutive times including the wins in this series.
Miami had a 29-19 lead after outshooting the Wizards 52 percent to 26 percent in the first quarter.
James had 12 points in the first and an acrobatic dunk in the second after he chased down an stray Bobcats' pass near midcourt. It gave the Heat a 14-point lead.
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