LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh lift Heat to Game 4 win and series tie
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SAN ANTONIO - All the Heat needed to get right back into the Finals was a vintage performance from their Big 3.
LeBron James (33), Dwyane Wade (32) and Chris Bosh totaled 85 points as the Heat blew past the Spurs, 109-93, in Game 4 at the AT&T Center Thursday night.
The series, tied at 2, resumes here Sunday night.
"All of them provided us with great energy defensively and that got us off to a good start," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of his Big 3. "We understood this was a survival game."
Wade's 32 points were his most this postseason. He had a serious bounce in his step, showed faith in his jump shot for the first time in a while and shot 14-for-25 from the field. He also had six rebounds, six steals and four assists.
James vowed he'd be better after his less-than-stellar outing two days earlier and he was, topping 20 points for the first time in this series. The league's Most Valuable Player was aggressive and assertive, playing with a sense of purpose knowing the Heat couldn't fall into a two-game hole in the series against a veteran team like the Spurs.
James worked more out of the post and it worked. He shot 15-for-25 and the Heat hit 52.9 percent from the field.
Tony Parker, playing with a Grade 1 strain in his right hamstring, was relatively effective -- in the first half. He scored or assisted on 12 of San Antonio's initial 16 field goals and finished with 15 points and nine assists, but was scoreless in the second half.
"It was kind of weak. I didn't know what to expect, so the first three or four minutes, I was testing it," Parker said. "The first half, it felt OK. The second half, I think I got fatigued a little bit.
North Babylon product Danny Green finally cooled off after his near Finals record-breaking display from three-point range in Game 3, scoring 10 points and hitting 3 of 5 three-pointers. Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 20 points.
The Spurs didn't have enough offensive gas to keep up with Miami. Things were all squared at 49 at halftime and the Heat led 81-76 heading into the fourth quarter. But Miami put the stranglehold on San Antonio in crunch time, scoring on eight straight possessions late in the fourth quarter to seize a 102-87 advantage with just more than four minutes left.
With the Heat struggling offensively in Game 3, unable to solve the Spurs' defensive code, Spoelstra figured he was going to switch thing up.
By inserting Mike Miller into the starting lineup Thursday night, he was hopeful that it would loosen things up on the interior and alleviate some of San Antonio's lockdown defense inside the paint.
Miller had been red hot from the perimeter in the first three gams of the Finals, canning all but one of his 11 attempts. But last night he only took one shot -- a three -- and missed it, going scoreless in 22 minutes.
But it didn't matter.
Once the Heat's Big 3 got going, there was no way they were going to lose this one.