NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 23rd (All times Eastern)
(7) Charlotte Bobcats (0-1) at (2) Miami Heat (1-0), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat will try to take a commanding 2-0 lead over the Charlotte Bobcats in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals when the teams meet for Game 2 Wednesday night at American Airlines Arena.
The two-time defending NBA champions took Game 1, 99-88, on Sunday.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were their future Hall of Fame selves in Game 1. The pair combined for 50 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
James made four of Miami's 11 3-pointers and finished with 27 points and nine rebounds, while Wade added 23 points and five assists.
The duo shot 18-of-32 (56.3 percent) from the field, and Miami received key contributions off the bench from James Jones and Chris Andersen, with Jones chipping in 12 points and Andersen adding eight points and 10 rebounds while limiting Al Jefferson on the defensive side.
"Besides starting off slow in the first and second quarters I thought we played a pretty good game," Wade said. "Now we're going to go look at adjustments we can make and figure out how we can be better in Game 2."
Jefferson has become the story of this series.
He started strong on Sunday, but was hobbled after suffering a strain to his left plantar fascia in the first quarter.
"When it first happened I was in a lot of pain, but as the game went on it eased up," Jefferson said, adding he received a shot at halftime but would be fine for the remainder of the playoffs. "It's just something I have to play through."
And Jefferson left no doubt on Tuesday when speaking with the media.
"I'm suiting up," Jefferson said. "It'll take more than that to make me sit down."
He still logged 18 points and 10 rebounds on Sunday ,while Kemba Walker's 20- point effort led the club.
This would appear to be a one-sided matchup on paper. The Heat have won the last two titles and appeared in the Finals three seasons ago. They earned the No. 2 seed with another great regular-season run.
The Bobcats are making their second playoff appearance in franchise history and entered the series having dropped 16 consecutive regular-season games to their fellow Southeast Division rivals.
But Charlotte was game on Sunday.
The score was even, 59-59, before James hit from behind the arc late in the third quarter, and the four-time league MVP beat the buzzer with another 3- pointer to send the Heat into the fourth with a 72-65 advantage.
The Heat pulled away for good early in the final stanza, as Jones and Wade each connected from long range during a 13-1 surge that extended Miami's lead to 87-70 lead under 6 1/2 minutes to play.
The closest Charlotte got down the stretch was the final score.
Heat guard Mario Chalmers is questionable for Wednesday with a bruised knee. If Chalmers can't go, Norris Cole or Toney Douglas would get the start.
Game 3 will be Saturday night in Charlotte.
04/23 10:21:19 ET