Notebook: Heat 109, Spurs 93

Posted Jun 14, 2013 7:48 AM

Tim Price for

THE FACTS: LeBron James reasserted his MVP credentials, and his Big Three cohorts showed up mightily and helped the Miami Heat place the NBA Finals into another gridlock with a 109-93 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Thursday's Game 4 at AT&T Center. James scored 33 points, and Dwyane Wade (32 points) and Chris Bosh (20 points) came in with their best games of this series by far to even it at 2-2 with two days off before Game 5.

The Spurs, who hold one more home game in the series on Sunday, got 20 points from Tim Duncan and 15 more from Tony Parker, who was scoreless in the second half while playing through a Grade 1 strain of his right hamstring that surfaced during Game 3 on Tuesday.

QUOTABLE: "I was going to play until the tank was empty. That's the way it's going to have to be in the rest of the series."

-- LeBron James, who added 11 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots in almost 41 1/2 minutes

THE STAT: The best game the James-Wade-Bosh trio had in this series was Game 1 when they combined for 48 points, yet the Heat lost that one while the Big Three shot 20-for-47. They totaled 85 points tonight and each shot better than 50 percent from the floor -- 37-for-64 combined (58 percent).

THE STAT II: Wade became just the fifth player in Finals history with at least 30 points, five rebounds and five steals in NBA Finals game, joining Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Julius Erving on that list.

THE STAT III: This marked the first time in 15 Finals games together that both Wade and James scored 30-plus points.

TURNING POINT: James has been searching for consistent help from his teammates this series, and when he went to the bench with 9 ½ minutes to go in the game for a rest, Wade and Bosh really warmed it up. The Heat were holding onto a five-point lead, but they got their next five baskets from either Wade or Bosh and jumped out to an 11-point lead when James came back in with just less than six minutes to go. The Spurs didn't get any closer than that.

QUOTABLE II: "The second half, I think I got fatigued a little bit. But overall I'm just happy I didn't make it worse. That was the goal, to not get hurt, because [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] was not really happy, meaning I wanted to play and took a little risk."

-- Tony Parker

HOT: Not only did James, Wade and Bosh each shoot better than 50 percent, they got off significantly more shots in Game 4 than they had in any previous game in this series. James went 15-for-25 (he had been averaging 18 shots in the previous three games), Wade was 14-for-25 (15 shots was his previous high) and Bosh was 8-for-14 (his last two games he had 10 shots in each contest).

NOT: The game was tied at halftime after Parker was 7-for-12 with 15 points in the first half. He was 0-for-4 after that and did not get to the foul line either.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Wade did not join James and Bosh with a double-double, yet his 32 points came with six rebounds, four assists and six steals.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Sebastian De La Cruz, who sang the National Anthem prior to Game 3, was invited back to do the honors again for Game 4. He was introduced by San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and, after being approached by Popovich at midcourt afterward, shook hands with the coach at midcourt. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had a seat near the court.

GOOD MOVE: The Spurs defense has been daring James to shoot from the outside in the first three games of the series. He didn't take the challenge. Instead, he put the ball to the floor, found open space and scored in and around the paint. His 33 points included just one basket from the 3-point line (he was 1-for-2).

BAD MOVE: Manu Ginobili finished tonight's game shooting 1-for-5 and came into the game 9-for-24 overall and 3-for-13 on 3-pointers. With the Spurs still trailing by single digits and 7 ½ minutes to go, Ginobili put up a 3-pointer and missed (he was 0-for-3 from distance tonight) and turned the ball over. San Antonio committed 19 turnovers that led to 23 Miami points (San Antonio scored eight off the Heat's mistakes). Ginobili hasn't shot 50 percent from the floor since Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against Memphis. Popovich: "When Bosh, Wade and James score the way they did tonight and shoot it the way they did tonight, your team is going to have a difficult time if you help them -- give them 20 points off turnovers. When those guys are playing like that, you better play a more perfect game."

ROOKIE WATCH: Nando De Colo got his first action this series -- and first in the playoffs since Game 3 of the first round against the Lakers, when Popovich emptied the Spurs bench with just less than four minutes to go and trailing by 15. De Colo failed to get off a shot but had a rebound and an assist.

NOTABLE: Miami now is 12-0 following a loss since Jan. 10, and the Heat have won those games by an average margin of 19.5 points. ... This is the first time in seven NBA Finals games against the Spurs that James has shot better than 45 percent from the floor (he met the Spurs in the 2007 Finals while with the Cleveland Cavaliers during a losing 4-0 series sweep). ... James passed the Houston Rockets' Hakeem Olajuwon for 10th in all-time playoff scoring tonight.

UP NEXT: Game 5, Sunday @ San Antonio, 8 p.m. ET.; Game 6, Tuesday @ Miami, 9 p.m. ET.