Bet those free throws felt good. LeBron played like a man possessed much of the game, assaulting the rim relentlessly and pounding the post. After the Heat settled for too many jumpers in Game 1, James got back to his natural habitat in the basket area. This LeBron-vs.-Durant matchup is so electrifying, David Stern might have to make this NBA Finals a best-of-37.
Just in case you're wondering, Dwyane Wade isn't cooked just yet. Far from it. With a rising tide of doubters heading up to Game 2, Wade played smarter basketball on Thursday and his efficiency soared as a result. With extra energy and assertiveness, Wade was hitting shots from every square foot inside the 3-point arc. But that turnover in the final minute? Coulda done without that one.
Think he liked being back in the starting lineup? After coming off the bench the past four games, Bosh was a monster in the paint and showed no ill-effects from his abdominal strain. He was diving on the floor, banging down low and grabbing rebound after rebound. Bosh hasn't looked this good in months. Miami doesn't win this one without him anchoring the paint.
With a bevy of 3-pointers and hustle plays, this is the Shane Battier that Pat Riley envisioned when the Heat brought him in this offseason. For a guy who had never played in the NBA Finals during his career, he's looking completely comfortable on the big stage. He's currently playing the best basketball in his time in Miami and he couldn't have picked a better time.
Home-court advantage surrendered. James Harden led the way for the first three quarters and then Kevin Durant took the baton in the final frame with a surge of furious scoring. But it wasn't enough. The Thunder just can't absorb Russell Westbrook shooting 26 shots and ending up with only 27 points. Not with Harden and Durant on the team.