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Monday, June 10, 2013

Heat Pummel Spurs to Tie Series

Credit: Christian Petersen/Reuters

The Heat's LeBron James on a slam dunk over the Spurs' Danny Green. More Photos »

MIAMI — There are countless ways to dominate a game, a myriad of methods and attack points and angles, and LeBron James has mastered them all. The scheme and the scoring totals may vary, but it is the results that matter, a fact that James emphatically reminded anyone who had doubts Sunday night.

James did not score much or shoot much. His box-score totals did not leap off the page. His most memorable play was a block that merely provided a final exclamation point on the Miami Heat’s 103-84 rout of the San Antonio Spurs.

But in so many ways, both strong and subtle, James was the driving force as the Heat tied the N.B.A. finals at one game apiece. He finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks, yet left the bulk of the scoring to his lively supporting cast, from Mario Chalmers (19 points) to Chris Bosh (12 points) and Dwyane Wade (10 points). Ray Allen and Mike Miller combined for another 22 points off the bench, going 6 for 8 from 3-point range.

In a postseason run that has so often been defined by James’s biorhythms, this was a triumph of team over individual, even if that individual was orchestrating to great effect.

“What I do know is sharing the ball is contagious, and it allows everyone to feel involved in the offense,” James said, adding, “This team has been set up the right way, where when I do attract attention, we have guys that can make plays.”

The Spurs, who were so steady and precise in taking Game 1, had a tough time holding their offense together on this night, committing 17 turnovers — four times their Game 1 total — leading to 19 points for the Heat.

Tim Duncan made just 3 of 13 shots, finishing with 9 points and 11 rebounds. Tony Parker, the Spurs’ fourth-quarter hero last Thursday, scored just 13 points, going 5 for 14 from the field.

Danny Green, the Spurs’ least-decorated starter, was their best scorer, with 17 points and a perfect 6-for-6 shooting line.

The series now moves to San Antonio for the next three games, starting Tuesday night.

“If you would have asked me before heading to Miami, I would have said OK, I’ll take it,” Manu Ginobili said of splitting the first two games, but he added, “You don’t want to play like this in an N.B.A. finals.”

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