Heat hang on for 2-0 lead on Bobcats
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James had the best highlight. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade hit the biggest shots.
James took a big shot, too.
It was delivered to his face.
James scored 32 points and the Miami Heat pulled away again to beat the feisty Charlotte Bobcats, 101-97, in Game 2 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series on Wednesday.
The Heat took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series heading into Saturday's Game 3 in Charlotte, but not without a little more resistance than they might have expected from the only current NBA franchise without a postseason win.
Bosh's 3-pointer put the stops on a 10-0 Bobcats run in the fourth quarter and Wade came up with a steal near the sideline in the final seconds with the Heat clinging to a three-point lead, hitting a foul shot at the other end to seal the win.
James threw down a one-handed dunk on just one dribble from halfcourt as the Heat led by double digits in the first half. Later, he took an elbow to the face from Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts in the fourth quarter that left the four-time NBA MVP visibly shaken.
Bosh added 20 points and Wade scored 15. The three stars combined to score 19 of Miami's 22 points in the fourth quarter.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led Charlotte with 22 points and 10 rebounds and Al Jefferson scored 18 with 13 boards despite suffering a plantar fascia strain in his left foot in Game 1.
Jefferson left the game late in the first quarter but checked back in early in the second.
After Jefferson's one-handed bucket in the paint got the Bobcats within three points with 1:42 remaining, James went hard to the basket at the other end and was knocked down by McRoberts, who drew only a personal foul.
James took time getting up off the floor and made only one of the two foul shots. Kemba Walker scored the last of his 16 points on a 3 from the top of the arc at the other end, drawing Charlotte within 98-97 with 11.9 seconds left.
But two free throws from James gave Miami some cushion before Wade, after defending Gary Neal tight near the 3-point line to deny him a shot, rotated over to steal the ball from Chris Douglas-Roberts.
The Heat also had to fight off Charlotte in Game 1 on Sunday, pulling away for a 99-88 win. They have beaten the Bobcats 18 straight times including the two wins in this series.
Miami had a 29-19 lead after outshooting the Wizards 52.4 percent to 26.1 percent in the first quarter.
James had 12 points in the first and the highlight-reel dunk in the second after he chased down an errant Bobcats pass near midcourt. It gave the Heat a 14-point lead.
Charlotte trimmed its deficit to 57-47 at halftime after shooting 50 percent in the second. Kidd-Gilchrist had 11 points in the quarter.
Jefferson had 10 points in the third quarter and the Bobcats got as close as four three times but trailed by seven heading into the fourth.
The Heat said Wednesday they have made a commitment to remain in Miami through the 2039-40 season ... The Bobcats were swept by Orlando in the first round in 2010, their only other playoff appearance. Their last win over Miami was March 9, 2010, the season before the Heat signed James and Bosh.
04/23 22:38:54 ET