SAN ANTONIO - They were stung, angered and frustrated.
After the way they were pummeled two days earlier, the Heat knew Thursday night was essentially their season.
"If we go down 3-1 tonight, it's tough to climb back out that hole,'' Dwyane Wade said. "So to respond, that's kind of what you're going to be judged by as a man. I thought my team responded well, and I thought I responded well."
In vintage fashion, too.
LeBron James (33), 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 to climb right back into the Finals.
The series, tied at 2, resumes here Sunday night.
"I mean, it was on our shoulders, obviously," James said. "We had to figure out to will a game for us, to play at the highest level. When all three of us are clicking at the same time, we're a very tough team to beat."
Wade's 32 points are his most this postseason and it couldn't have come at a better time for the defending champs. 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.
"Yeah, I needed a game like this, but my teammates needed a game like this from me," Wade said. " . . . Most important, they needed the Big Three to play the way we're capable of. They depend on us a lot."
Said James: "He went back in his bag today. He was Flash tonight. We needed every bit of it."
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, canning 15 of 25 attempts and continuously igniting an offense that drained 52.9 percent from the field.
Tony Parker, playing with a Grade 1 strain in his right hamstring, scored or assisted on 12 of San Antonio's initial 16 field goals and finished with 15 points and nine assists. But he was scoreless in the second half and admitted he wasn't at full strength, making him not want to push himself too much.
"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.
But with the Heat's Big 3 virtually unstoppable, San Antonio simply didn't have enough offensive fire to keep pace in the fourth, getting outscored 28-17.
"Tonight was kind of one of the best performances that we all had in the playoffs together at the same time," Wade said. "Just being aggressive from start to finish, and hopefully that's what we can see for the next three games."