After dropping the first game of the NBA Finals to the Denver Nuggets, the Miami Heat bounced back in a big way in Game 2. Thanks largely to a 36-point fourth quarter, the Heat were able to pull out a 111-108 victory in order to tie the series up at one and steal home-court advantage away from Denver.
The Heat upped the level of intensity in Game 2, as they got solid contributions up and down the roster. However, it also seemed like they were, perhaps, gifted five points after two questionable calls in the second half of the contest.
The first one came early in the third quarter while the Heat were in the midst of mounting a comeback after trailing by six at halftime. Jimmy Butler drove into the paint, collapsed the defense and kicked a pass out to the perimeter to a wide-open Gabe Vincent, who knocked down a triple, as he has been doing all postseason.
But upon further review, it looks like Butler stepped out of bounds before delivering the pass to Vincent.
As a result, the play should have been called dead as soon as Butler stepped on the baseline, but the refs missed it, and the Heat got three points as a result.
The second questionable call came with just over four-and-a-half minutes remaining in the fourth quarter when Bam Adebayo blocked a floater attempt by Jamal Murray. The block was called clean on the floor, but the ball appeared to be past its apex when Adebayo made contact with it, which means it should have been called a goaltending and Denver should have been awarded two points.
With a three that counted for Miami and a two that should’ve counted, but didn’t, for Denver, those two plays gave the Heat five points that they didn’t technically deserve in a game that was ultimately decided by three points.
Calls aside, the talk postgame had more to do with energy, effort and the overall level of play. Denver had double-digit leads at multiple points in the game, but could never get that separation from Miami.
Said Nuggets coach Michael Malone: “We just were not nearly as disciplined as you need to be in the NBA Finals.”