This wasn't about being dominated on the boards, shaky shooting, too much isolation offense. The Miami Heat solved those problems in Wednesday's Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Chicago Bulls. No, this 85-75 Heat victory at the United Center was the essence of playoff basketball, the make-or-break moments that can define a series, the type of lockdown defense that breaks the will of the opposition. "What I'll take from this," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, "is how physical it was and how small a margin of error there is on both sides." Blown out in Sunday's Game 1, the Heat this time got key late scoring from forward LeBron James and limited Chicago to 10 fourth-quarter points to take this best-of-seven series back to AmericanAirlines Arena for Sunday's Game 3 tied 1-1. "It was a great collective effort of endurance," Spoelstra said. "We were able to play more to our identity." With James scoring 29 points on 12-of-21 shooting, guard Dwyane Wade adding 24 points, and Udonis Haslem providing unexpected inspiration off the bench with 13 points and five rebounds, the Heat erased the sting of Sunday's series-opening 103-82 loss to steal homecourt advantage. "That fourth quarter is what's going to epitomize this entire series," Spoelstra said of the Heat outscoring Chicago 14-10 in the final period.
Wade, James and Haslem push Heat past Bulls 85-75
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | May 19