« Thursday 6 p.m. update on Dolphins' end of minicamp; Fins broadcast change; Heat, Finals news | Main | NBA Finals media column: WPLG cheats viewers; ABC bristles at TNT comparisons »

Notes, quotes postscripts from Heat's Game 4 win

Notes, quotes and postscripts from the Heat’s 109-93 Game 4 win over San Antonio in the NBA Finals:

### What a magnificent display by The Big Three, whose collective numbers were jaw-dropping: 85 points, 30 rebounds, 10 steals, 9 assists and 5 blocks.

Dwyane Wade (32 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 6 steals) became the first player with at least 30 points and 6 steals in a Finals game since Isiah Thomas in 1988.

Chris Bosh not only had 20 points, but hauled in 13 rebounds (third-most of the postseason), blocked two shots and played sharp defense on Tim Duncan.

And LeBron James not only shook out of his offensive malaise with 33 points but also had 11 boards. The last player to post those numbers in a Finals game? Dirk Nowitzki, against the Heat in 2011.

“All of them provided great energy defensively,” Erik Spoelstra said.

“When Bosh, Wade and James score the way they did tonight, and shoot it the way they did, you better be playing a more perfect game,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “You can’t turn it over that many times [19, leading to 23 Heat points].”

### Per ESPN, Wade and James are the first teammates to score at least 30 points apiece in a road Finals win since Kobe and Shaq in 2002.

### This was huge: Tony Parker (15 pounds) went scoreless in the second half, shooting 0 for 4. Parker said his hamstring felt “OK” in the first half.

“Second half, I got fatigued. I’m just happy I didn’t make it worse. Pop wasn’t really happy I wanted to play. Took a little risk.”

### The Heat has now won 12 in a row after losses, by an average margin of nearly 19 per game. “When things get rough, we pull together even more,” Bosh said.

### Here was Wade’s take after becoming the first player with 30 points, 5 rebounds and 5 steals in a playoff game since Byron Scott in 1989 (and the fifth player in NBA Finals history to do that, according to Elias): “I needed a game like this, but my teammates needed a game like this from me. They needed me to play the way I’m capable of. They needed the Big Three to play the way we’re capable of.

“We’re not going to win this series if myself, Chris and LeBron don’t show up to play on a consistent basis. Hopefully, this is what we can see the next three games.”

Wade, who shot 14 for 25, said his approach was “being aggressive. If I’m open, I’m shooting it. Defensively, we were more active. I knew I was on when I took it over a guy’s head and dunked it. That was the vintage [Wade] there. You’re judged as a man by how you respond. Our team responded well, and I responded well.”

Said Duncan: “Wade got everything he wanted.”

Said Parker: “That’s what great players do – they show up in big games. He played great.”

Wade said he used hot packs on his injured knee – for the first time during a game in this series – and that helped keep the knee loose.

### LeBron, who finished 15 for 25 from the field: “When all three of us are clicking at the same time, we’re a very tough team to beat…. I came in the game confident… We can’t wait every time until our back is against the wall to respond.”

James, who hadn’t reached 20 points in any of the first three games, said: “It hurt to watch the film. I didn’t like how I was playing. But I came in with a clean slate tonight.”

### LeBron, on Wade: “Every time he’s doubted, he responds. For him to play the way he played tonight, it was amazing. He went back in his bag tonight. He was Flash tonight. He’s been playing with a bum knee all year. Of course he’s hurting. But a performance like tonight will make him feel better. He was amazing. He was ’06 Flash tonight. We needed every bit of it.”

### Spoelstra’s insertion of Mike Miller into his starting lineup, in place of Udonis Haslem, did not deliver a boost to start the game, and Miller ended up having his worst night of the series statistically (no points, 0 for 1 shooting in 21 minutes).

But the lineup decision certainly did not hurt the Heat, and everything ultimately worked out.

The Heat played with only one natural power rotation player on the court for the entire game, and that helped Miami’s spacing.

Because of that, “I was able to get in the paint a lot more,” Bosh said. “If I bring the necessary energy, things will go well.”

“We need Chris to be big [with those lineups],” Spoelstra said. “Defensively, battling against a Hall of Famer really gave us a boost.”

### The new starting lineup was outscored by 11 when it was on the floor. But that was mostly the result of Parker's fast start against Mario Chalmers. The Heat’s ball movement was generally crisp with Miller in the game, and he had a terrific block on a Kawhi Leonard shot that led to a James dunk early in the third.

### The lineup change also had a ripple effect. Spoelstra used Haslem off the bench, reinserted Shane Battier back into the rotation, and did not use Chris Andersen for the first time this postseason.

Haslem committed five fouls in 10 minutes, but he had five rebounds and Miami was plus 10 with Haslem on the floor, plus-13 with Battier (who had two points), and plus 19 with Ray Allen, who scored 14.

### Miller starting led to an interesting early chess match between Spoelstra and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

Oddly enough, 6-11 center Tiago Splitter began the game defending 6-4 Wade. “I was glad I had the ball in my hand,” Wade said. “I was going to go right at him.”

But after Splitter fouled Wade 47 seconds into the game, Popovich replaced him with 6-4 Gary Neal.

And Popovich started the second half with 6-8 forward Boris Diaw in place of Splitter.

### Haslem had been the Heat’s best defender against Duncan in this series, but Duncan did not capitalize on his absence to start the game. Guarded by Bosh, Duncan missed his only shot in a scoreless first quarter. He scored seven in the third and closed with 20.

### Wade and James endorsed the lineup change before the game. “Whenever Mike is on the floor, it always helps us,” Wade said. “It makes the defense have to think about something different than just protecting the paint when we’ve got a shooter out there. We loved when they’re out there and we’ve got to get them more shots.”

Said James: “It opens up the floor. It gives me more driving lanes and it gives D-Wade more driving lanes.”

### Popovich: “The turnovers obviously hurt us. We can’t give us 20 points on turnovers.” And the Heat won the rebound battle, 41-36.

### Manu Ginobili continued struggling (5 points, 1 for 5 shooting). “He’s trying to be incredibly unselfish,” Duncan said. “We need him to be a little more selfish.”

Comments