« NBA analysts, scouts, competitors assess Heat; Wade "needs to let go of ego"; Dolphins, Canes notes | Main | Ross expects Matt Moore to start; Bosh update; Heat notes; NBA sked released; Jacory cut »

Heat-Pacers Game 4 postscripts and reaction; Bush apologizes for Nazi tweet

### To put LeBron James’ monster game (40 points, 18 rebounds, 9 assists) in historical perspective, consider this marked only the seventh time in the past 25 years that a player has posted at least 40 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in a playoff game. And according to Elias, the only two players to achieve playoff numbers as lofty in all three categories were James (Sunday) and Elgin Baylor (in 1961). 

### For the final 27 minutes, this was vintage Dwyane Wade, in arguably his most important non-NBA Finals game in many years. After a 1-for-8 start, Wade hit 11 of his next 12 shots en route to a 30-point, 9-rebound, 6-assist masterpiece. Those 11 baskets included two threes, a fadeaway jumper, three layups off exceptional passes from James, two driving layups, a driving dunk, a layup off a pass from Mike Miller, and a driving floater.

"Those two guys are as good as it gets," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said afterward.

### Wade said in the past two days, he spent time just "figuring out what I needed to do differently. Me and Bron played off each other very well, both were aggressive at the same time. That's beautiful basketball for the Miami Heat when we play that way. You go through moments that you struggle, but you've got to always stick through it. Coach did a great job of giving me sets I could be very effective in. We did a good job of getting more space [through high screens and other adjustments]. Shane, Udonis, Turiaf setting screens to make my shots easy."

He also credited Indiana coach Tom Crean, Wade's coach at Marquette, for giving him recent film of Wade's makes and misses. The Heat's coaching staff also did that. Wade visited with Crean on Friday.

"I'm the kind of person that always believes in myself and ability and believe it will turn around," Wade said. 

James said, "I didn't say anything to Dwyane" after his poor Game 3. "He's in this position for a reason. He took it hard on himself. The best thing for a scorer is to try to get him an easy bucket, an easy layup. I was able to get him a back door pass and he was able to dunk. That's what got him going."

### Heat assistant coach Bob McAdoo told ABC at halftime that Wade's knee was bothering him. Wade has declined to discuss the matter.

### James said this was "a team with a lot of competitors and lot of fight and wants to play better than it did in Game 3. " James, who played 44 minutes Sunday, said he was prepared to play all 48.

### Good to see Udonis Haslem hit four jumpers in the fourth quarter – shots he hit less than 30 percent of the time during the regular season. Haslem this season shot 30.4 percent from 3 to 9 feet and 25.9 percent from 10 to 15 feet. He looked like the Udonis of old Sunday, closing with 14 points on 5 for 6 shooting.

The Heat outscored the Pacers by 15 with Haslem on the floor. No other Heat bench player was better than plus one, though Joel Anthony gave Miami good minutes.

“Udonis had a major impact on the game,” Erik Spoelstra said. “U.D. had a warrior performance.”

### The Heat had success not only with the small lineup, but also with a big lineup in which Haslem and Anthony played in tandem. Spoelstra smartly opted for that combo after Roy Hibbert and David West (both in foul trouble) returned in the fourth quarter with the Heat leading 86-81.

Because of Hibbert’s foul trouble, Indiana played small a lot of the second half, which allowed Haslem to play substantial minutes as a center in the Heat’s small lineup. Ronny Turiaf started at center.

### The Pacers outscored the Heat by 30 with Hibbert on the court in Games 1 through 3. But Hibbert’s plus/minus was zero on Sunday.

### On NBA TV’s postgame show, former NBA coach Sam Mitchell credited Spoelstra for “running a lot of movement, a lot of counters to give Wade and James open space. Now, Hibbert and West couldn’t clog the lane. It gave driving lanes and passing angles for Wade and James that they haven’t seen in this series.” Spoelstra downplayed the changes, calling them “very minor tweaks” to put players in the areas where they "are comfortable."

Said Mitchell: “Spoelstra said they tweaked a few things. No they didn’t. They did some things they didn’t do the previous games. Spoelstra just doesn’t want Indiana keying on those things.”

### Shane Battier, who started at power forward, shot 1 for 7 but did excellent work defending West and others.

### Danny Granger insisted afterward "the pressure is on them" because the Heat is "expected" to win championships. He said the Pacers have needed to send a message with their physical play because the Heat "are the media darlings of the NBA." OK then.

### After being outrebounded by 10 in Game 3 and by 16 in Game 4, the Heat closed with a 47-38 rebounding edge. James (18) and Wade (9) combined for 27 of those.

### Indy, which led 54-46 at the halftime, HAD been 15-0 this season when leading by at least eight points at halftime. That streak is over.

### Mitchell scolded Juwan Howard, who confronted Pacers reserve Lance Stephenson before Sunday's game because Stephenson made the choke sign during a James free throw in Game 3. Stephenson apologized on Saturday. "You don't go to the other end of a court when a team is warming up," Mitchell said.

### Spoelstra admitted the previous two days were a “nightmare.”

# # #

Dolphins running back Reggie Bush apologized Sunday for a "Nazi" comment that drew a lot of angry reaction on Twitter over the weekend.

After Didier Drogba hit the winning penalty kick in the UEFA Champions League soccer game, Bush tweeted: "Shoot Drogba might even hit a Nazi chick tonight in Germany."

When some people complained about that comment on Twitter, Bush tweeted: "Oh, Goodness, bunch of sensitive crybabies on twitter! It's just jokes, people. Send me your address and I'll personally FedEx you some tissues."

Bush tweeted Sunday, "If anyone was offended by my jokes on twitter yesterday, I apologize. They were only jokes and were not intended for anything other than that."

# # #

For a look at what NBA people were saying about the Heat before Game 4, and encouraging news on Ryan Tannehill, see the Sunday Buzz Column in our last post.