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Wade looks like Flash from the Past, in Game 4

Game 4

After an embarrassing Game 3 break down by Miami’s Big 3, the team has been highly criticized. Every rumor that could have surfaced did, including a proposed trade of Bosh to the Bobcats, and Wade, Miami’s long time franchise face, declared too old to play at the tender age of 31. Miami would needed to play this game as if it were an elimination game because going down 3-1 in a series is the demise of any team, even one that possessed “the world’s greatest player”. Something to watch will be Tony Parker who left the game early Tuesday and was diagnosed with a strained calf with no tear.

The Spurs started the game off strong racing to a 10 point lead out of the gate. Miami returned the favor and turned the score around with impressive first quarter performances by Wade, who had 10 points, and James, who had 11. In the 2nd quarter Miami continued their hot streak, aggressively attacking the paint along with using stingy defense in the paint. San Antonio suffered primarily due to turnovers as they had already piled up 8 of them midway through the quarter. The Spurs never wavered in their scheme though, and closed the gap to tie the game at 49 going into the half. A good sign for the Heat came with James and Wade scoring 15 and 14 points, respectively on 11 shots each. James made 7 of his while Wade made 6. Bosh added in 8 points of his own during the half. Up until this point in the series the Heat’s Big 3 had been matched in total points by the Spurs’ own “little 3” consisting of Danny Green, Gary Neal, and Kawhi Leonard. It seemed that the tide may just turn for the team, or at least this game would be more like Game 1 of the series.

In the 3rd quarter, the teams stayed even with gritty offense from both sides. The refs really allowed the teams to play as the quarter included a series of 4 consecutive blocks by both teams combined. Things looked shaky for the Heat with Wade catching his 4th foul early in the quarter. The Heat coach, Erik Spoelstra, decided to leave him in and Wade continued to orchestrate a masterful performance playing solid defense and leading the team with 19 points. The Spurs continued to receive a solid performance from Parker, who at this point had 15 points and 6 assists with the game still tied with midway through the quarter. Miami went on a quick run and LeBron James finally gave the Heat a 20 point performance by any player in the finals reaching 21 points on a fast break dunk. The Heat tried their hardest to pull away, but the Spurs kept the game close going into the 4th quarter, down by 5.

In the 4th quarter Wade led Miami to an 11 point lead with 6:33 to go, going for 30 points, his highest total of this post-season. James was no slouch himself with 26 points in the game. Tony Parker had been struggling since the first half ended. After scoring 15 in the first, he managed 0 in the second before being sat with 4:27 left in the game. Miami’s Big 3 all scored 20 or more reminding all those watching of why they won 66 games this season, and recorded the second longest winning streak in the NBA at 27 games in a row. James ended the scoring for the night with a 3-pointer at the end of the clock to finish the game with 33 points. Wade finished with 32 points and Bosh with 20. San Antonio had 19 turnovers. Tony Parker will need all the rest he can because he will need it to beat the Heat if they keep this momentum heading into the next game. Even though Duncan scored 20 points, his Big 3 companions struggled and now the series is reset. The final score was 109-93.

Tune in on Sunday at 8 pm on ABC to catch a decisive Game 5 in San Antonio.

Erick S. Taylor Jr., Guest Columnist
Photo Credit: Michael Conroy/Associated Press

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