As LeBron James walked off the court of the Chesapeake Energy Arena during the middle of the fourth quarter (due to the fountain of blood rushing out his nose), the Miami Heat were up 16 points with plenty of time left for the Oklahoma City Thunder to make a comeback. The problem with this logic is this: Even in the absence of LeBron for the rest of the game, the Heat have two other players who aren’t too shabby either. The efforts of both Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade ballooned what was a 16-point lead for the Heat into a 22-point lead almost immediately, putting to rest any doubts that this team could close a game without their best player.
The collective efforts of Bosh, James and Wade are what won this game for Miami. Aside from Chris Andersen, Ray Allen and Norris Cole, no other role player was given time during the game, so the bulk of the scoring and defending load came on the shoulders of the starters. The Heat’s Big Three combined for 81 points, 22 rebounds, 16 assists and a whopping 10 steals. Wade even messed around and almost had a triple-double. This was the first game that each member of Miami’s Big Three has scored over 20 points since Dec. 16 against the Utah Jazz. That’s over two months since Miami’s Big Three has had a game with this much dominance.
Outside of James almost getting his nose removed by Serge Ibaka, this was a game of all positives. The starters played extremely tight and pressured defense (which is a major reason why Kevin Durant only had five points mid way through the second quarter), and Miami’s Big Three led the offensive charge, shooting a blistering 67 percent from the field collectively. This was a game that Miami wasn’t losing, and the Big Three made sure of that.