Wade pushes Heat to 50-45 halftime lead in Game 2

JON KRAWCZYNSKI
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Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers (15) fouls San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball game, Sunday, June 9, 2013 in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane Wade had 10 points and four assists to help the Miami Heat to a 50-45 halftime lead over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night.

Mario Chalmers added 10 points for the defending champion Heat, who trail the best-of-seven series 1-0. LeBron James had four assists, but scored only four points on 2-for-7 shooting.

Tony Parker had 10 points and four assists, and Danny Green hit all four of his 3-pointers for the Spurs, who turned the ball over eight times in the first half after tying a finals record with only four in Game 1.

Game 3 is Tuesday night in San Antonio.

Chris Bosh had six points, five rebounds and three steals for the Heat, who shot 51 percent.

Tim Duncan and six points and six rebounds and Kawhi Leonard had nine rebounds, including five on offense, for the Spurs, who shot just 41 percent.

After playing an air-tight Game 1, these two evenly matched teams didn't give each other much room to breathe in the first half of Game 2.

Green hit his first three shots of the night, all from deep, and Duncan's 17-foot jumper gave the Spurs an 11-6 lead. But the Heat jumped back into it with some stellar halfcourt defense and Bosh's putback of a miss by James gave the Heat an 18-15 lead with 2 minutes to play in the first period.

James had a triple-double in Game 1 with 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists. But his scoring total was the lowest in these playoffs, and again there was chatter that the four-time MVP somehow needed to do more. James brushed those suggestions off, saying it was important to get guys like Bosh and Wade going early to get them into the game.

James missed his first three shots and didn't get on the board until a baseline jumper with 14.5 seconds to go in the first quarter.

Back and forth they went in the second quarter, until Chalmers hit a 3-pointer from the wing and Wade capped the half with a tough layup to give the Heat the advantage. But they led for most of Game 1 as well before the Spurs stole it.

Even though it's only Game 2, there was so much on the line for the star-studded Heat. An incredible 27-game winning streak fueled a 66-win season, with many handing James and Co. their second straight title before the playoffs even started.

Then the Indiana Pacers took them to seven games in a rugged Eastern Conference finals series, and the rested Spurs got a miraculous shot from Parker with 5.2 seconds to go to help them take Game 1. In the history of the NBA Finals, only three of 31 teams had come back to win the championship after falling behind 0-2. None of those teams did it after losing the first two games at home, and the series is headed back to the River Walk for three straight games this week.

Leading up to the game, the Heat tried to take solace in the fact that they have come back from a 1-0 deficit so many times before. They trailed Chicago in last year's playoffs, but rebounded to win 4-1. They did the same to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the finals and again to the Bulls in this year's Eastern Conference semifinals. But there was a big difference in all three of those series.

"We didn't lose any games at home," Bosh said. "Dropping one on your home floor in the opening is a tough pill to swallow, but it's our reality."

They walked into an arena on Sunday night with white t-shirts draped over every seat that read "Larry loves Miami," a reference to the Lawrence O'Brien championship trophy. But there was no question that this 1-0 hole may have been their biggest yet since James arrived on South Beach three years ago.