How Heat stepped up their D

After LeBron James defended Tony Parker, Spurs role players struggled to create shots for themselves. Getty Images

The Miami Heat certainly missed LeBron James on offense in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals as James watched helplessly on the sideline due to cramping while a seven-point lead turned into a 15-point defeat to the San Antonio Spurs. But Miami truly lost the game at the defensive end, where the Spurs made open shot after open shot to turn a close game into a seemingly lopsided win.

The fourth quarter of Game 2 on Sunday was very different. With James on the court, the Heat held San Antonio to two baskets over a nine-possession span before Manu Ginobili's meaningless 3-pointer at the buzzer. The defensive stops enabled Miami to pull out a 98-96 victory and even the series.