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.