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Bobcats fight to the end, but Heat come away with 2-0 series lead

Apr 23, 2014, 10:11 PM EDT

LeBron James, Al Jefferson LeBron James, Al Jefferson

The Heat continued their quest to reach a fourth straight Finals with a 101-97 Game 2 win over the Bobcats on Wednesday, and despite the fact that the game never really felt like it was in jeopardy for the defending champs, Charlotte kept fighting as though it was, and did so until the final buzzer sounded.

It was largely a pedestrian performance by Miami, which is to be expected to a certain extent at this early stage of the postseason, given all that’s at stake. And that was more than enough to get the victory, one that has the team now 14 wins away from winning a third straight title.

But this game wasn’t really about the Heat victory, at least in terms of an interesting story. Instead, it was the resiliency of the Bobcats that was intriguing, and the way they continued to fight back time and again even when it seemed as though all was lost.

The biggest fighter was the team’s best player. Al Jefferson sustained a foot injury in Game 1 that saw him leave the arena in a walking boot, and he was determined to play though it with the assistance of painkillers in this one. Jefferson left in the first half after feeling like he might have suffered an additional tear, yet returned to end up playing more than 40 minutes, while finishing with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Valiant doesn’t begin to describe Jefferson’s effort, and his teammates seemed to be energized by his courage. Charlotte continually cut Miami leads to within striking distance in the second half — a 14-point Heat lead midway through the fourth was cut to just four two minutes later, and when Miami had it back to eight with 2:30 remaining, the Bobcats had it down to a single point following a three from Kemba Walker with 11 seconds left.

LeBron James hit two free throws on the ensuing possession after being fouled intentionally, and Chris Douglas-Roberts turned the ball over on Charlotte’s final offensive possession, which ended up sealing the win for the Heat.

It’s hard to explain the feeling of this game in real time if you weren’t watching it live, but trust us — Miami was in no real danger of dropping this one, despite the close score near the end. The Heat cruised to a postseason victory by performing far below their maximum level, while the Bobcats kept fighting and kept scrapping, all the while playing as though they truly had nothing to lose.

  1. 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    2

    • rawgator06 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:32 PM

      Dos!

  2. jbeagles23 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    Gotta respect Charlotte. They are scrappy

    • packergator - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:15 AM

      Agreed, but sometimes the Heat have looked like they don’t know how they want to handle the season and now the early postseason. They showed the same magic last night that they have down the stretch during the season – by making their own leads disappear in the second half.

    • theromeo2k - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      Indeed. But respect alone won’t bring you games…

      • dacapt704 - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        For a team that won 7 games just 2 seasons ago this is a VAST improvement…no one said we’d win the chip this year but just to be that close with the 2 time defending champs is earning respect from a lot of ppl. Thats all…I’m sure the majority of America thought these would be 4 blowouts and unwatchable.

        GO CATS!!

  3. brokerhenry - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    These Bobcats are not going away. They are a pesky bunch to be respected. Underestimate this team at your peril. Play a subpar game and they will win. I never expected the Hawks to steal home court from the Pacers. I never saw the Wizards up two on the Bulls. Dallas just whupped San Antonio. What in the world is going on? Guys are just determined to go out and fight no matter the difference in talent level between the teams. No one is going down without a knocked down dragged out fight to the finish. Look at that amazing unreal shot by Kevin Durant. And then watch the refusal of the Grizzlies to be cowed. We are in for one heck of a treat. These playoffs will be a memorable one.

    • fanofthegame79 - Apr 24, 2014 at 8:11 AM

      I said it yesterday, this year’s playoffs have been outstanding so far! Granted, it’s far from over, but no one expected these results so far. Fun times!!

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