James' turn to do the heavy lifting
MIAMI - LeBron James, who was ridiculed for cramping up in game one of the NBA finals, is looking forward to silencing his critics once again in Tuesday's game three.
"I just try to play the game the right way," said James. "However the flow of the game is going, I try to impose my will in some kind of way."
Impose his will he did in game two, scoring 35 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in a 98-96 victory, allowing Miami to steal the game they needed to head back home with the series tied 1-1.
Game three is Tuesday night at the AmericanAirlines Arena in downtown Miami.
By the time James had finished scoring 11 points in the second quarter of Sunday's game two, it was apparent the temperature had returned to normal in the AT&T Center.
James had his toughness questioned -- especially on social media -- following game one, when he became severely dehydrated after the air conditioning system in the building broke down.
A phenomenon called "LeBroning" trended on Twitter, mocking the four-time MVP for having to be carried off the floor by his teammates Thursday night.
In game two, it was James' turn to do the heavy lifting.
"He carried us," said Miami's Ray Allen. "I don't think they had an answer for him. He got it going. We needed every bit of it."
There was no doubting whether James would make it to the final buzzer on Sunday. He was so dominant that even the Spurs admitted they didn't see this one coming.
- Shooting better than expected -
"We didn't expect him to shoot it that well, but he got hot," said Spurs Danny Green. "That is what stars do in this league. You got to make adjustments."
James' 35 points was just two short of his career finals high of 37, which he achieved against the Spurs in game six of last year's final.
"I just wanted to capitalize on their mistakes and try to put some pressure on their defence," he said. "The biggest thing for us is we got stops when we needed them. That helped us win the game."
It is not part of his regular routine, but James said one thing that helped him get loose for Sunday's game was taking a morning yoga class at the San Antonio hotel where the team was staying.
"Me and three other people," he said. "That's the only thing I did different."
Miami limited the Spurs to long-range shots and didn't allow them to get to the free-throw line down the stretch.
Green hit a three pointer with 7:44 left to give the Spurs a 85-83 lead, but, from that point on, they made just seven of their last 10 field goals.
Meanwhile, James shot 14-of-22 and hit all three of his shots from beyond the arc. At one stage he drained five straight jump shots from at least 17 feet.
"There are not many guys that can stop him when he gets going that way, especially when he is hitting his outside shots," said Heat teammate Dwyane Wade.
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