MIAMI - Once again, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade basked in the roar of the crowd in their home arena, only to be accused of celebrating prematurely. Again they pleaded innocent.
The Miami Heat's display of jubilation midway through the fourth quarter Thursday night angered the Dallas Mavericks, who then rallied from a 15-point deficit for a stunning 95-93 victory in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. The comeback evened the series at one game each, with the next three games in Dallas beginning Sunday.
The Heat denied going overboard with enthusiasm when Wade sank a three-pointer in front of the Mavericks bench for an 88-73 lead with 7 minutes, 14 seconds left. James and Wade even denied they celebrated.
"A celebration is confetti, champagne bottles," Wade explained. "There was no celebration. It was a shot made going into a timeout."
Said James: "As far as celebration, that word has been used with us all year. But we knew how much time was left in the game still."
Knicks, Walsh part
Donnie Walsh will not return as president of the New York Knicks, who must find someone else to continue the building job he started.
The Knicks announced in a statement Friday that Walsh and Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan mutually agreed that Walsh will not return when his contract expires at the end of June.
Walsh spent three seasons in New York, leading a rebuilding effort that got the Knicks back into the playoffs this season following the acquisitions of Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.
Game 2 ratings up
The TV ratings for Game 2 of the NBA Finals on ABC was up 15 percent from the last time the same teams met in the championship series. The drew a 10.5 overnight rating. Game 2 in 2006 earned a 9.1.