James resisted the urge to fire up long J's early, but also seemed to lie back in waiting. Not until the third quarter, when he and Wade hooked up on consecutive fast breaks, did LeBron truly come alive. He orchestrated the early fourth-quarter surge, both as a scorer and distributor. Defensively, he was active and physical, all the while destroying the Sixers on the glass.
The level of difficulty of Wade's first-half attempts were outrageous -- and the harder the shot, the more likely he seemed to drain it. The Heat adjusted to the Sixers' Wade-centric strategy by using him off the ball. This allowed Wade to ease back into his flow. Despite getting his shoulder banged up, Wade never relented, attacking the paint like a hard rain.
In the first half, Bosh couldn't hit from the elbow, couldn't hit from close range and couldn't hit from the stripe. But Bosh persevered, regained his confidence and continued to attack off the bounce. Philly didn't make it easy, choosing to slide a weakside defender toward him. Defensively, the WrestleMania exhibition between Bosh and Elton Brand continued -- with mixed results.
The Heat set a franchise high with 20 offensive boards. Whether it was Zydrunas Ilgauskas bailing out a Bosh miss with a tip-back or Wade flying in from the wing, the Heat's ferocity on the glass was something to behold. The Sixers might want to reconsider how aggressively they want to help at the rim with their weakside big man. On Thursday night, that tactic backfired.
Just as they did in Game 1, the Sixers got out to another jackrabbit start. Those shots they couldn't buy on Monday night started to fall in bunches. They got a nice contribution from Spencer Hawes and dribble penetration from Jrue Holiday, and got Brand going from15 feet. But their undersized frontcourt got mauled under the backboard where they ultimately lost the game.