MIAMI — Strange as it sounds, missing shots worked wonders for the Miami Heat.
And after the Brooklyn Nets went nearly 2 minutes — a basketball eternity — without the ball down the stretch, the two-time defending NBA champions would soon find themselves two wins from another trip to the Eastern Conference finals.
LeBron James scored 22 points, Chris Bosh added 18 and the Heat pulled away late to beat the Nets 94-82 on Thursday night, taking a 2-0 lead in the East semifinals.
“To be able to get some stops like that at the end, and then execute, it’s something that’s critical in this series,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Dwyane Wade had 14 and Ray Allen scored 13 for the Heat, who tied a franchise record with their eighth straight playoff victory. They’ll go for No. 9 on Saturday night, when the best-of-seven series shifts to Brooklyn for Game 3.
For the second straight game, Miami had five players in double figures.
“That’s what our team is all about,” James said. “We don’t really care who scores.”
Mirza Teletovic set a Nets playoff record with six 3-pointers, on his way to a 20-point night off the bench. Shaun Livingston scored 15, and Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson each added 13 more for the Nets.
Deron Williams was 0 for 9 from the field, the worst shooting night of his career.
“That one hurt,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said. “We were right there. We gave ourselves, on the road, an opportunity against the world champs. We let the game slip away. That one possession when they got four offensive rebounds, it didn’t lose the game for us.”
Spurs 114, Trail Blazers 97: SAN ANTONIO — Kawhi Leonard scored 20 points, Tony Parker had 16 points and 10 assists, and the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 114-97 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night for a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.