04/23 21:42 CDT Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
AP Basketball Writer
MIAMI (AP) --- LeBron James drove to the rim as time was winding down, got
clobbered by Josh McRoberts and sat on the hardwood gathering himself for a few
It was fitting. Miami took Charlotte's best shot, and survived.
James scored 32 points and added eight assists, Chris Bosh scored 20 points and
the Heat wasted two big leads before hanging on to beat the Bobcats 101-97 on
Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round
Dwyane Wade scored 15 points, and had a steal in the final seconds to seal the
win for Miami. He stripped the ball from Chris Douglas-Roberts with the Heat
protecting a three-point lead with about 3 seconds left, and the Bobcats never
got another shot off.
"A very instinctual, high-risk play," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "The
ball's there and you know you have an opportunity to get it when most people
can't get that, and that saved the game."
Game 3 is Saturday in Charlotte.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 22 points for Charlotte, which got 18 points and
13 rebounds from Al Jefferson, who played through a left plantar fascia strain
and shot 9 for 23 from the floor.
"He's not anywhere close to 100 percent," Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said.
"But we can play through him. ... You've got to respect the fact he's out there
battling. He has no mobility, basically. Limited mobility and yet he had 18 and
13, and he fought hard."
So was McRoberts --- maybe too hard for Miami's liking.
Miami's lead was 97-94 with 50 seconds left when James drove and was met at the
rim by McRoberts, whose right elbow struck the four-time NBA MVP around his
chin. James immediately began grabbing at his throat and needed much longer
than he usually does to get up after a hard foul, which was not called flagrant.
Said McRoberts, who insisted it wasn't intentional: "It looked a lot worse than
what it was."
James hit the second of his two free throws, making it a two-possession game
--- and that was critical. Kemba Walker made a 3-pointer with 11.9 seconds left
to get Charlotte within one, but the Bobcats didn't score again.
"I think we're still really confident," Walker said. "We just have to learn
from our mistakes. ... We're going to dissect these guys as well as we can and
get ready for the next one. I think we have a chance, man."
Walker finished with 16 and Gerald Henderson scored 15 for the Bobcats. Mario
Chalmers scored 11 for Miami.
So while the Heat were saying that all they have done was hold serve at home,
it's hard to find a real silver lining for Charlotte. Not only have the Bobcats
now lost 18 consecutive games against Miami, but the Heat have never dropped
any of the previous 11 postseason series in which they've grabbed a 2-0 series
James, between his time in Cleveland and Miami, is 11-0 in such situations.
Wade has been part of nine previous 2-0 leads with the Heat, and six of those
series ended in no more than five games.
Miami's lead was 91-77 midway through the fourth, and after blowing a big
first-half lead, it appeared as though the Heat finally had some breathing
room. A few minutes later, it looked a whole lot different.
Walker, Kidd-Gilchrist and Douglas-Roberts combined on a 10-0 run, getting the
Bobcats within 91-87. But Bosh scored on consecutive possessions, pushing the
Heat lead to eight with 3:36 remaining.
"We got out of our here with the win, but we're going to have to tighten up a
little bit," Bosh said. "We had a little bit of slippage today."
Miami led 57-47 at the half, and the Bobcats --- who missed 17 of their first
22 shots --- were fortunate, after facing a 16-point deficit at one point in
the early going.
And while Charlotte kept coming back, it never led in the final 41 minutes.
NOTES: Jefferson has not shot a free throw in the series. ... James has signed
with William Morris, which will represent him in entertainment-related
projects. ... Game 3 will be Charlotte's first playoff home game since April
26, 2010, against Orlando. No current Bobcats appeared in that game --- but
Heat F Rashard Lewis did, for Orlando.