Posted: Thursday May 11, 2006 2:21AM; Updated: Thursday May 11, 2006 2:42AM
SI.com's Marty Burns looks at the best and worst of the NBA Playoffs each night
Doug Benc/Getty Images/Getty Images
Dwyane Wade, Heat
Talk about setting a tone. Wade scored 17 of his 31 points in the
decisive first quarter as the host Heat built a 41-19 lead en route to
an easy victory over the Nets and a 1-1 series tie. The All-Star guard
made just 13 3-point field goals during the entire regular season.
But he dropped in three treys in the first 4:17 of Game 2, including a
step-back dagger from the corner to beat the shot clock and put Miami
ahead 16-4. Wade wound up shooting 12-of-19, while adding five
rebounds, six assists and four steals. Shaquille O'Neal (21 points)
came up big as well, but Wade got it rolling.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
Shawn Marion, Suns
On this night he was the anti-Wade. In the opening minutes he turned
the ball over on a palming violation, air-balled a 3-pointer and
bungled a layup inside. It helped contribute to a poor start for the
Suns, who never could catch up as the Clippers evened their series at a
game apiece. Marion woke up from his early slumber to finish with 13
points, but he had just six rebounds as Phoenix was annihilated 57-26 on the boards. On a night
when Steve Nash (14 points, eight assists) wasn't at his best, the Suns
needed more from the Matrix.
Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images
Clippers stick with it
Teamwork. Determination. Offensive rebounding. They were three keys for the Clippers in Game 2, and one particular play served as illustration. It occurred with L.A. ahead 83-65 midway through the third quarter.
Elton Brand found himself double-teamed on the side. He moved the ball in the corner to Cuttino Mobley, who whipped a pass underneath to Quinton Ross. The 6-foot-6 Ross (right) missed his initial attempt but got his own rebound and put it back while drawing a foul on James Jones. It was that kind of night for L.A., which placed six scorers in
double figures and enjoyed a 19-5 edge on the offensive glass.
For the first time since the playoffs began 19 days ago, the NBA takes
a break from the schedule Thursday night. Action resumes Friday
starting in New Jersey, where Vince Carter (right, with Jason Kidd) and the Nets try to
get back on track against the Heat in Game 3 (8 p.m. EST/ESPN) of the
Eastern Conference semifinals. In the nightcap, the Clippers look to
ride the momentum of Wednesday's victory and take a 2-1 series lead
when they play host to the Suns in Game 3 of their Western series
(10:30 p.m./ESPN). Considering how long Clippers fans have been waiting
for a winner, the Staples Center should be rocking.