Miami, FL, United States (4E Sports) – LeBron James had 32 points, eight assists and six boards as the Miami Heat held on to beat the Charlotte Bobcats, 101-97 Wednesday AmericanAirlines Arena.
Chris Bosh scored 20 and Dwyane Wade added 15 points for the win that gave the Heat a 2-0 lead in the teams’ Eastern Conference first-round series.
The Heat pulled away late in the first to take a 29-19 lead at the end of the quarter.
Bosh scored five early in the second to lead an 8-2 blast that gave the Heat a 36-21 advantage.
The Bobcats answered with a 14-2 burst led by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s seven points to cut their deficit to 38-35 midway in the second.
But the Heat scored nine unanswered points to take a 57-41 lead with 1:01 left in the quarter before Gary Neal and Kemba Walker hit a 3-pointer each to bring the Bobcats to 57-47 at halftime.
The Bobcats, twice, were able to close in within four points in the third. But in both occasions, the Heat would push their lead back to two digits.
The trend continued in the fourth quarter when after the Bobcats managed to close in at 79-75 and 81-77, Dwyane wade scored five in a 10-0 Heat run for a 91-77 lead.
But Chris Douglas-Roberts scored four to trigger the persistent Bobcats’ 10-0 blast to again close in within four points at 91-87 before back-to-back jumpers by Bosh pushed the Heat’s lead to eight.
Down by 97-89 with 2:31 remaining, Walker nailed a couple of 3-pointers and Al Jefferson had a jumper against a free throw by James to make it a one-point game at 98-97 with 11 seconds left.
Then James drew a foul and sank both free throws to secure a Heat victory.
Al Jefferson had 18 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Bobcats while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist top scored with 22 points.
Game 3 is Saturday night in Charlotte.