MIAMI — Miami shot 26 free throws Sunday, Charlotte 12.
And six of those free throws came in the fourth quarter. After three quarters, Miami had shot 20 free throws and Charlotte had shot five. In the second quarter, the Bobcats didnt shoot a single free throw. In the second quarter Miami was called for one foul.
There were bad calls early, and they favored the two-time defending champion home team. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was called for apparently not being sufficiently gracious when LeBron James cleared him out with his left forearm.
In football, its called a stiff arm. In basketball, its called a foul on Kidd-Gilchrist.
But if you think officials go into a game planning to give Miami a break, or that there is a league directive compelling them to favor Miami, you probably believe the NFL wanted San Francisco to beat Carolina in the playoffs.
And you dont really believe officials deliberately favored the 49ers, do you?
One reason the Heat shot 14 more free throws than Charlotte is because Heat players went to the basket more. You attack, and youre more likely to get hacked.
Of course the league prefers that the Heat advance. Miami is a bigger draw.
But NBA and officials dont hold secret meetings the way, say, some mayors do.
Stars such as LeBron occasionally get a break, as the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats is not likely to attest.
Sorensen: 704-358-5119; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @tomsorensen