Print and Go Back ESPN.com: TrueHoop [Print without images]

Sunday, June 9, 2013
Game 2 key: Pick-and-roll, drive-and-kick

By ESPN Stats & Information


The Heat were almost perfect from the field for an eight-minute stretch.

It took one quick basketball blitz by the Miami Heat to even up the NBA Finals.

The Heat's run in the closing minutes of the third and fourth quarters was the knockout moment they missed out on in Game 1.

They've now won their last 11 games following a loss, including all five they’ve played this postseason. They are 4-0 in Game 2s following a Game 1 loss in the “Big 3” era.

The loss snapped the Spurs’ six-game NBA Finals winning streak.

Only two teams have had that long of a winning streak in the Finals—the Los Angeles Lakers (8) from 2001 to 2002 and the Houston Rockets (6) from 1994 to 1995.

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from the series evener.

Keys to the win
It was a 33-5 Heat run over a span of just under eight minutes beginning late in the third quarter that was the difference in the game.

In that spurt, the Heat made 12-of-13 shots, including 5-for-5 from 3-point range.

The Spurs were 2-for-10 with six turnovers over that same time period.

The Heat had two things going for them in this contest: success with drives-and-kicks early, and then pick-and-rolls in the latter part of the game.

The Heat scored 15 first-half points on drives that led to kickouts, more than twice as many points as they had on those plays in Game 1.

The Heat did particularly well when Dwyane Wade drove to the basket, as noted in the chart on the right.

The pick-and-roll worked to perfection during the big run. Over the final 1:50 of the third quarter and the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, Miami made five of six shots off pick and rolls, netting 13 points.

James was 5-for-5 for 11 points during the run, and also had a major impact on the defensive end with the night’s most impressive blocked shot.

The Mario Chalmers-James pick-and-roll combo netted 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting in Game 2 after going scoreless on 0-of-4 shooting in Game 1.

James was held to four first-half points, tying his NBA Finals low for points in a half (done once against the Spurs in 2007 and once against the Mavericks in 2011). James’ career-low for points in the first half of a playoff game is two, done earlier this postseason against the Bulls.

This was more about how he finished though. He had four baskets in the fourth quarter after making only three in the first three.

Bosh brings needed support
Chris Bosh was 6-for-10 from the field, and finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Heat have now won 30 straight games in which Bosh shot 50 percent from the field or better.

Duncan a non-factor
Tim Duncan was held to 3-for-13 shooting from the field, including 0-for-5 from the left side, just outside the lane. This marked his worst shooting game in the NBA Finals in his career.

This was Duncan’s 206th career playoff game. He’s only shot worse from the field than his 23 percent on five other occasions.

As a team, the Spurs struggled with their shooting.

The Spurs were 10-of-23 inside five feet Sunday, their second-worst shooting performance from that distance of the postseason. By comparison, the Heat shot 15-of-21 inside 5 feet in Game 2, and are shooting 64 percent on such shots in the series.

Looking ahead
Since the 2-3-2 format began in 1985, the Game 3 winner of a tied NBA Finals series goes on to win the series 92.3 percent of the time (12-1).