The Miami Heat evened up the 2014 NBA Finals with a 98-96 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 at the AT&T Center on Sunday.
After all the talk of LeBron James being unable to finish Game 1 due to cramps, he rose to the occasion with a monster game for which the Spurs had no answer.
When he plays that way—and finishes the game—Miami is incredibly difficult to beat.
Key Player Grades: San Antonio Spurs
Tony Parker, Point Guard
Parker's injured ankle looked fine as he dropped 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Several of his makes came in typical, acrobatic Parker fashion, with defenders flailing at the ball as he managed to flip under, over or around them on the way to the rim.
He did a solid job distributing the ball as well. In the rare moments when he did run into an insurmountable obstacle in the paint he delivered on-point passes to shooters, finishing with seven assists.
Finally, he was solid on defense too, once again making Mario Chalmers a non-factor. He held Miami's point guard to five points on 2-of-4 shooting.
Tim Duncan, Center/Power Forward
I don't know how many more ways we can say it, but Duncan might seriously be impervious to the effects of aging.
Against one of the most athletic teams in the league, the 38-year-old Duncan produced yet another vintage performance, scoring 18 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.
On defense, Duncan was charged with defending Rashard Lewis, something he struggled with due to Lewis's ability to score from the perimeter.
Duncan may be able to impact a game unlike many others at 38, but he's still not quite as mobile defensively as he once was, and against someone like Lewis it's clear he'd rather stay around the rim.
Kawhi Leonard, Small Forward
Once again, Leonard was quiet, almost nonexistent.
Offensively, he took nine shots, making just three on the way to nine points. And on the other end, he wasn't able to bother LeBron James at all.
It's darn-near impossible to stop James, but Leonard has at least shown the capability to make him uncomfortable in the past.
Danny Green, Shooting Guard
Green's hot shooting in the fourth quarter of Game 1 was a huge reason why the Spurs took over down the stretch.
He looked like he was ready to pick up right where he left off, but foul trouble early on limited his opportunities to make an impact.
He finished the game with nine points on 3-of-5 shooting and also played solid defense on Dwyane Wade in the short time he was on the floor.
Tiago Splitter, Center
Splitter was unable to get anything going as a scorer but still made some nice contributions for the Spurs.
His interior passing was beautiful all game long, as he showed touch on big-to-big passes and precision on kick-outs to shooters. He finished the game with five assists to go along with his six rebounds and two points.
Manu Ginobili, Shooting Guard
Like Duncan, Ginobili continues to show the ability to dominate a game despite the advancing years.
In 28 minutes, he scored 19 points and dished out four assists, one of which was a crucial kick-out to Parker for a three that gave San Antonio the lead with less than three minutes to play.
As the leader of San Antonio's second unit, Ginobili gives the Spurs a huge edge. Miami has no reserves who can completely counter what he provides.
Speaking of that second unit, Ginobili obviously isn't the only Spur who can impact the game off the bench.
Boris Diaw contributed as well with 10 rebounds, seven points and five assists, while Patty Mills added eight points on 3-of-7 shooting, including 2-of-3 from three-point range.
Key Player Grades: Miami Heat
LeBron James, Small Forward/Power Forward
Maybe there was something to that whole air conditioning argument.
With the A/C fixed, James was a completely unstoppable force for three quarters, which was more than enough for Miami.
He finished the game with 10 rebounds and 35 points on 14-of-22 shooting. He also had what proved to be the game-clinching assist on a drive-and-kick that gave Chris Bosh a wide-open three with about a minute left on the clock.
James truly looks like he can score whenever he wants, and when he's in that zone there really isn't anything San Antonio can do.
Dwyane Wade, Shooting Guard
Wade was pretty much nonexistent for most of the game but came alive toward the end of the third and hit a layup with nine seconds left that iced the game.
He also did a solid job rebounding, as he finished the game with seven boards to go along with his 14 points.
Where he can improve going forward is in taking care of the ball and creating for others, as he finished the game with five turnovers and four assists.
Chris Bosh, Power Forward
It always seems like at least two members of Miami's Big Three play well, and Bosh kept that trend alive.
Once again, he didn't do anything on the boards—he finished with just three—but his solid offensive performance was just enough of a complement to LeBron's brilliance to put Miami over the hump.
He scored 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
Mario Chalmers, Point Guard
There weren't many Game 1 storylines other than the talk of cramps and air conditioning, but Chalmers' struggles may have been next in line.
A better game from him would've gone a long way toward helping Miami even the series, but he didn't provide that. Turns out they didn't need it.
He finished the game with five points on 2-of-4 shooting.
Rashard Lewis, Power Forward/Small Forward
His 14 points, one rebound and one assist may not sound like much, but Lewis's role was critical.
His ability to stretch the floor from the power forward position throws San Antonio's typical starting lineup off kilter.
Neither Splitter nor Duncan can really deal with Lewis around the three-point line, as both would rather be in the paint.
Gregg Popovich's only option may be to start Diaw.
Ray Allen, Shooting Guard
He didn't score a ton—nine points on 4-of-7 shooting—but Allen hit a few timely shots that helped Miami win the game.
Nothing quite like Game 6 of last year's Finals, but his contributions were still valuable.
Chris Andersen was the only other Heat player who got much run off the bench.
He scored just three points on 1-of-4 shooting but grabbed nine rebounds, second on the team behind LeBron.
Altogether, Miami's bench scored just 12 points compared to San Antonio's 37.
After seizing home-court advantage, Miami can now take control of the series with a victory at home in Game 3.
The Spurs will have to find some way to at least slow James down if they want to have any chance to regain the series lead.
Game 3 is set for Tuesday, June 10 at 9 p.m. ET.
Andy Bailey covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewDBailey.
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