(OKLAHOMA CITY) — Once again the Miami Heat took the early lead, but this time they held strong, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-96, tying the NBA Finals at one game apiece.
For the second straight game, the Miami came out of the gates blazing. It took a quick 18-2 lead and led 55-43 at the half. The Thunder were able to dwindle the deficit to two late in the fourth quarter. Kevin Durant had a shot to tie the contest with 9.9 seconds left in the game, but he missed.
“Fish (Derek Fisher) made a great pass,” Durant said when describing his late game shot. “I was open and I missed the shot.”
LeBron James scored 32 points and went 12-for-12 from the free throw line, including hitting two with seven seconds to go in the game.
“Just slowing down,” James said when referring how he mentally handled the final minutes of the game. “The clock is going really fast up there, but I try to slow it down in my mind and get a good shot. I was glad I was able to make a good bucket and some free throws down the stretch.”
Heat forward Chris Bosh started for the first time since returning from a abdominal injury that led to him missing nine games. He scored 16 points and grabbed 15 boards in the win.
“I just wanted to be more aggressive coming out starting,” Bosh said. “That’s my comfort zone…that’s what I’ve been doing. Either way if I’m out there I’m going to be effective, but given the nod to start, I just wanted to play good defense and just space the floor correctly. Then everything would take care of itself.”
The series now shifts to Miami. Game 3 is Sunday night at American Airlines Arena. Tip-off is at approximately 8 PM ET.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com Columnist
James Hanlon, CNN