NBA Finals Game 2: 5 observations heading into Game 3

PHOENIX - The Spurs are just 3-5 on the road in this year’s playoffs; can they steal one in Miami and regain their home-court advantage?

Check out our top five observations from the Miami Heat’s series-tying 98-96 win over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 as we head into Tuesday's Game 3:

Tune in for LIVE coverage of Game 3 beginning Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. on ABC15!

1. Team effort.
LeBron James seemed completely recovered from the leg cramps he suffered in an overheated AT&T Center on Thursday with a 35-point, 10-rebound effort in Game 2, but some of the game’s most important plays came from elsewhere. Ray Allen’s behind-the-back pass to Chris Andersen led to a basket that gave Miami a 92-90 lead with less than three minutes remaining, and Chris Bosh, who scored 18 points on 6 of 11 shooting, made a beautiful dish to Dwayne Wade for an easy layup with nine seconds left to seal the win.

2. On the rebound.
After the Spurs out-rebounded Miami 39-29 in their 110-95 Game 1 victory, the Heat responded by essentially battling San Antonio to a draw on the boards (38-37 Miami) on Sunday night. Andersen and Wade, who were each held to three boards in Game 1, grabbed nine and seven, respectively, in Game 2. Also, the Heat have limited Kawhi Leonard, who averaged over 11 rebounds per game in last year’s NBA Finals, to just two rebounds in each of the first two games of this year’s rematch.

3. Key stretch:
With less than seven minutes to play and the Spurs leading 87-85, Miami’s Mario Chalmers elbowed Tony Parker in the stomach and was charged with a flagrant foul – but Parker missed both of his free throw attempts. Ten seconds later, Duncan went to the line and missed both of his attempts, as well. Less than 30 seconds later, James hit his third and final 3-pointer of the night to give the Heat an 88-87 lead. The Spurs wouldn’t lead by more than one point the rest of the way.

4. Game 2 MVP:
James scored 33 of his 35 points after the first quarter and went 14 of 22 from the floor, including 3 of 3 from beyond the arc. He was simply unguardable for most of the second half.

5. Questions for Game 3 (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. on ABC15):
The Spurs are just 3-5 on the road in this year’s playoffs; can they steal one in Miami and regain their home-court advantage? Will the Spurs’ free-throw shooting issues (12 of 20 in Game 2) persist? Will the Spurs’ depth on their bench (which outscored Miami’s bench 37-12 in Game 2) become a problem for the Heat? 

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