MIAMI – 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 seconds afterward.
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 to take a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series.
We can play better basketball, James said. We haven’t played our best basketball.
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. The Heat were the NBA’s only higher seed to open the playoffs with two home wins.
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.
Jefferson said he felt the tear worsen early on in the game, and it was a lot of pain but again insisted he would keep playing.
MAVERICKS 113, SPURS 92: In San Antonio, Monta Ellis scored 21 points and Dallas snapped a 10-game skid against San Antonio and evened the first-round series at a game apiece.
Shawn Marion scored 20 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 16 and Devin Harris had 18 for Dallas.
Manu Ginobili had 27 points, Tony Parker added 12 and Tim Duncan 11 for the Spurs.