NBA experts have been critical of LeBron James's supporting cast for stretches of the NBA playoffs, and even in the first three games of the NBA Finals, but those critics were silenced on Thursday night in Game Four as Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh sparked the Miami Heat to even the series in a road victory over the San Antonio Spurs, 109-93.
Wade, who had only scored 20 or more points in one postseason game this year, finished with 32 points on 14-of-25 shooting. He also had six steals, six rebounds, and four assists. Bosh added 20 points on eight-of-14 shooting, and finished with a game-high 13 rebounds.
It looked like a different Wade in Game Four, as the shooting guard was able to penetrate with ease. Wade had looked rather fatigued in the series, but the 31-year-old cruised by defenders, and didn't have trouble knocking down his jump shots.
James did his part, as well. After Game Three, James emphasized to reporters that he had "to do better." The regular season MVP did just that, by leading all scorers with 33 points, while also pulling down 11 rebounds. It was an impressive shooting performance by James, who converted 15 of his 25 shots from the field, compared to the previous three games of the title series in which he failed to shoot above 43 percent.
"[Wade] was 'Flash' tonight," said James. "He was amazing."
"We played well -- offensively and defensively," James said. "We still have work to do. There were stretches where we didn't play well."
"The Big Three" took over in the second half after a 49-49 score at the break. Aside from a combined nine points from Mario Chalmers and Ray Allen, the trio of James, Wade, and Bosh combined to outscore the Spurs, 51-44.
Miami shot nearly 53 percent from the field, compared to San Antonio's 44 percent shooting. Ball possession also played a key factor in the outcome, with the Spurs turning the ball over twice as many times as the Heat, 18-9.
Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 20 points, but the Spurs' role players did not respond as they had in Game Three. Danny Green, who entered the game shooting 63 percent from the field and after scoring 27 points in Game Three, scored just 10 points off three-of-eight shooting.
"We'll give credit to Miami," said Duncan, who pointed out that the Heat did a better job of getting loose balls.
It was a tale of two halves for Tony Parker. The All-Star guard, who was listed as questionable for the game with a hamstring strain, converted seven-of-12 shots in the first half, but failed to score off four attempts in the second half.
"Hopefully, I will be better on Sunday," said Parker, in the post-game press conference.
Game Five is on Sunday in San Antonio. Neither club has won two games in a row in the Finals.