Wade leads Heat back to tie NBA Finals at 2

Wade leads Heat back to tie NBA Finals at 2
June 14, 2013, 12:15 am
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SAN ANTONIO — Well it looks like old man Dwyane Wade is looking more like his old self, carrying the Miami Heat to an impressive 109-93 victory over San Antonio on Thursday night.

And with the win, the NBA Finals are tied, 2-2.

For the Heat, that means they have regained home court advantage with this series going at least six games.

Miami as a whole played a more aggressive brand of basketball on Thursday, but no one had it going like Dwyane Wade.

Wade, who finished with 32 points, was an absolute beast in every sense of the word.

He was scoring.

He was rebounding.

He was defending.

You name it, Wade did it with virtual ease from the game's opening minutes until Miami finally put the Spurs away in the fourth quarter.

And while so much attention of late has been paid to Lebron James and his struggles, he too responded with a strong game of 33 points and nine rebounds although a good chunk of James'  points came late in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach and the Spurs had a number of their end-of-the-bench players on the floor.

The way Miami surged away in the fourth quarter didn't seem likely considering how the Spurs began the game with a flurry of points led by Tony Parker whose hamstring injury suffered in Game 3 didn't seem to be a major issue for him on Thursday. He had 15 points and nine assists.

San Antonio opened the game with a 15-5 run, but the Heat began to chip away at the Spurs' lead with Wade leading the charge.

Wade, one of several Heat players who has been underwhelming to say the least in The Finals, made four of his five shots in the first quarter as Miami pulled ahead by as many as four points.

Joining Wade on the road to revival was James who like Wade, has struggled to find any kind of flow or rhythm in The Finals.

James was even more impressive in the first quarter with 11 points which was easily his best start to a game in this series.

Miami pushed its lead to as many as 10 in the second quarter while the Spurs' big guns from Game 3 - Danny Green and Gary Neal - were unable to recreate the potent 3-point shooting that had included San Antonio nailing an NBA Finals' record 16 3-pointers.

The Spurs were down, but not for long.

Throughout this series, their success has in part been predicated on the ability of someone from the shadows of their bench - such as Green and Neal in Game 3 - emerging to take center stage, if for just one night.

For San Antonio, that was Boris Diaw, who scored seven points in just over three minutes of court time which included a lay-up that tied the score at 49.

Miami had a chance to take the lead with a few ticks on the clock, but a driving dunk by Chris Bosh was waived off because he didn't release the ball before the clock had expired.

After an official review, the initial ruling - the basket was not good - was upheld.

The aggressive basketball that worked for the Heat in the first half was back in effect in the third.

With the Spurs ahead 58-56, Miami responded with an 18-8 run capped off by a 3-pointer by Mario Chalmers.

San Antonio cut into the Heat's lead which stood at 81-76 going into the fourth.

Miami did a better, more consistent job of attacking the Spurs at both ends of the floor, whether it was James driving into traffic or Wade looking to shoot elbow jumpers quicker into the shot clock.

Defensively, the Spurs were never able to free up shooters like Green or Neal for the kind of looks they had been getting in the previous games.

Part of that might have been Miami's decision to start Mike Miller instead of Udonis Haslem.

Miller came in as the hottest shooter in this series. On Thursday, it was his presence on the floor and how that freed up teammates for good looks, that was one of the more stealth factors in play for Miami.

The Heat were also aided by San Antonio's Manu Ginobili having his worst game of The Finals on Thursday.

Ginobili's first made field goal did not come until the fourth quarter, well after the game's outcome was all but decided.
One of the few bright spots for the Spurs was Tim Duncan who had 20 points and five rebounds.