LeBron James scores 33 points, Heat beat Spurs 109-93 in Game 4 to tie NBA Finals

  • Article by: BRIAN MAHONEY , AP Basketball Writer
  • Updated: June 14, 2013 - 7:53 AM

SAN ANTONIO — Miami Heat owner Micky Arison had a message as he walked to the winning locker room.

"The death of the Big Three was overrated," he said.

Sure was. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, his three prized players, are just fine.

So are the Heat's championship hopes.

Riding big performances from their three All-Stars, the Heat tied the NBA Finals with a 109-93 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night in Game 4.

"It was on our shoulders," James said. "We had to figure out how to win the game for us and play at the highest level. When all three of us are clicking we're very tough to beat."

James had 33 points and 11 rebounds after failing to break 20 points in any of the first three games of the series, and Wade scored 32 points, 11 more than his previous high this postseason.

Bosh matched his playoff high with 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, he and Wade supplying the baskets that finally put the Spurs away for good midway through the fourth quarter.

Three players, 85 points. Just the way the Heat envisioned it when they signed James and Bosh to play with Wade in 2010.

"When Bosh, Wade and James score the way they did tonight and shoot it the way they did tonight, a team is going to have a difficult time if you help them like we did," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

"When those guys are playing like that, you better be playing a perfect game."

The Spurs weren't, committing 19 turnovers that led to 23 points.

And just like they have for the last five months, the Heat bounced back from a loss with a victory. They are 12-0 after defeats since Jan. 10, outscoring opponents by an average of nearly 20 points in the previous 11 victories.

Tim Duncan scored 20 points for the Spurs, who have one more game here on Sunday. They fell to 10-3 at home all-time in the finals, failing to back up their 113-77 victory in Game 3 that was the third-most lopsided score in the history of the championship series.

James insisted he would be better after shooting 7 of 21 from the field with no free throws in that game, saying he was the star and it was his job to lead his team. He was 15 of 25 on Thursday.

But while James — and millions of critics worldwide — wanted to pile all the pressure on the league's MVP, it was Wade on Wednesday who said it was the Heat's three All-Stars who had to lead them together, or there would be no championship.

He was right. And now those championship hopes are right back on track.

"It was all about myself, Chris and LeBron coming out and leading this team to a victory," Wade said.

"The thing we talked about is we all have to make an impact in this game, somehow, some way."

Wade shot 14 of 25, adding six steals, six rebounds and four assists in a performance that James compared to when Wade was MVP of the 2006 finals.

Tony Parker had 15 points and nine assists for the Spurs, who made a finals-record 16 3-pointers on Tuesday but got up only 16 attempts in this one. Gary Neal scored 13 points and Danny Green had 10, solid nights but nothing like when they combined for 13 3-pointers two nights earlier.

"They play very aggressive defense," Parker said. "They gamble and they take a lot of chances, and tonight it worked."

The Heat guaranteed they will get at least one more game on their home floor. Game 6 will be Tuesday night, where they could have a chance to celebrate a second straight championship.

The revelry in south Florida was marred Thursday by an accident in which the deck behind a popular sports bar collapsed during the game, spilling patrons into Biscayne Bay. Miami Dade Fire Chief David Downey said 24 people were transported to area hospitals, and that two people were in serious condition.

"We share our concerns for all that was injured at Shuckers restaurant," Wade said as he started his postgame news conference.

Wade, battling right knee pain throughout the spring, helped the Heat put it away in the fourth quarter. He followed a basket with a steal and dunk, pushing the lead to 90-81, and after he made another jumper, Bosh scored the next six Heat points, taking the load off of James.

"We're not going to put him on an island," Bosh said. "He's never alone. We're out there with him."

The Heat switched their lineup, inserting Mike Miller, who made 10 of his 11 shots, going 9 of 10 on 3-pointers, in the first three games of the series. They changed uniforms, too, switching from their road reds to their blacks.

The only change they really needed was in the performances of their Big Three.

James called it a "must-win" and it probably was: No team has overcome a 3-1 deficit in the finals.

And the way their three stars played, they couldn't lose.

The Heat blocked shots, made stops, and occasionally flopped, playing with renewed aggression after what coach Erik Spoelstra called a "miserable" day of watching and analyzing their passive performance from Tuesday.

They still haven't lost two in a row since Jan. 8 and 10.

Parker played through a strained right hamstring, shooting 7 of 16, but the Spurs couldn't match the Heat's speed.

After the teams traded blowouts in the previous two games, momentum swung wildly in a first half that ended tied at 49. San Antonio raced to a quick 10-point lead, fell behind by 10 with 7 minutes left in the half, then finished with an 11-2 spurt sparked by reserve Boris Diaw. Bosh dove for a dunk that came just after the buzzer, Spurs owner Peter Holt waving it off from his seat along the sideline.

James rocked back and forth during the national anthem, a bundle of energy ready to get going. It took a few minutes after the game started, but he began playing with the speed and power that can make him unguardable, grabbing rebounds on defense and rushing the ball up the floor himself to get the Heat into their offense.

He and Wade combined to make 10 of 11 shots and score 21 points in the first quarter, helping the Heat erase their early 10-point deficit to go ahead 29-26.

Popovich even lit into Duncan during an early second-quarter timeout with Miami on its way to a 41-31 advantage, but the Spurs had it back to even by the time the teams headed to the locker room.

Notes: Sebastien De La Cruz, an 11-year-old mariachi singer, sang the national anthem again after his Game 3 performance set off a barrage of racist tweets by what Popovich called "idiots." Popovich and Spoelstra congratulated him at midcourt after his performance, which earned him a rousing ovation. ... James passed Hakeem Olajuwon (3,755 points) and John Havlicek (3,776) to move into ninth place in career playoff scoring. James has 3,777. James has 3,777.

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Milwaukee 59 3rd Qtr
Orlando 44
New York 49 3rd Qtr
Indiana 54
Denver 11 1st Qtr 2:41
Memphis 22
Chicago 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Montreal 0 2nd Prd 14:26
NY Rangers 0
Winnipeg 2 2nd Prd 13:21
Philadelphia 3
Boston 2 2nd Prd 10:30
NY Islanders 1
Arizona 0 2nd Prd
Toronto 1
Dallas 3 1st Prd :13
Ottawa 2
Detroit 1 2nd Prd
Tampa Bay 2
Columbus 0 2nd Prd
Florida 0
Nashville 0 1st Prd 15:00
St. Louis 0
Minnesota 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Anaheim 9:00 PM
San Jose
DePaul 72 FINAL
Providence 83
Michigan State 71 FINAL
Rutgers 51
Boston Univ 37 2nd Half
Army 32
Fla Atlantic 37 2nd Half 14:00
Charlotte 53
Youngstown St 38 2nd Half 15:00
Detroit 45
East Tenn St 37 2nd Half 12:10
Furman 37
Saint Louis 29 2nd Half 15:46
George Mason 41
USC Upstate 50 2nd Half 15:44
Jacksonville 38
High Point 33 2nd Half
Liberty 26
Central Conn St 42 2nd Half 8:41
Long Island 56
Western Ky 32 2nd Half 13:09
Louisiana Tech 47
Dayton 48 2nd Half 11:19
Massachusetts 52
Chattanooga 38 2nd Half 12:38
Mercer 44
Wofford 40 2nd Half 13:04
UNC Greensboro 32
Maryland 35 2nd Half 15:49
Ohio State 48
FIU 38 2nd Half 13:07
Old Dominion 43
Fair-Dickinson 37 2nd Half 13:38
Robert Morris 52
Mount St Marys 38 2nd Half 14:15
St Francis-NY 37
Bryant 46 2nd Half 11:52
St Francis-PA 55
Northern Ky 27 2nd Half
Stetson 37
Coll of Charleston 27 2nd Half 12:37
Towson 38
Western Carolina 55 2nd Half 15:26
Va Military 44
Sacred Heart 33 2nd Half
Wagner 30
Lipscomb 34 2nd Half 13:12
Fla Gulf Coast 48
Kennesaw St 32 2nd Half 15:40
North Florida 59
Appalachian St 16 2nd Half
Ga Southern 33
Holy Cross 18 1st Half 0:04
Loyola-Maryland 26
Eastern Ill 22 2nd Half
UT Martin 43
Jacksonville St 8 1st Half 12:40
Belmont 18
Connecticut 9 1st Half 11:24
Cincinnati 16
Rider 11 1st Half 11:52
Saint Peters 7
SIU Edwardsville 13 1st Half 11:06
SE Missouri St 13
Marshall 20 1st Half 12:03
Southern Miss 8
Tenn Tech 9 1st Half 11:41
Tennessee St 11
Middle Tennessee 11 1st Half 14:41
TX-San Antonio 12
Ill-Chicago 9 1st Half 12:17
Milwaukee 10
Weber State 10 1st Half 13:25
North Dakota 8
Denver 11 1st Half 12:06
North Dakota St 5
IUPU-Ft Wayne 11 1st Half 11:57
South Dakota 13
Louisiana 7 1st Half 14:33
South Alabama 8
Georgia State 7:15 PM
Texas-Arlington
Ark-Little Rock 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
ULM 7:30 PM
Troy
Portland 8:00 PM
Gonzaga
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Missouri
Eastern Ky 8:00 PM
Murray State
UAB 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
UMKC 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Chicago State 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Colorado 8:30 PM
USC
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
Hawaii 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Pepperdine 9:00 PM
Pacific
Santa Clara 9:00 PM
San Diego
Utah 9:00 PM
UCLA
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Montana 9:05 PM
Portland State
Montana State 9:05 PM
Sacramento St
Long Beach State 9:30 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Loyola Marymount 9:30 PM
St Marys-CA
San Francisco 10:00 PM
BYU
California 10:00 PM
Washington St
Louisiana 47 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Saint Josephs 51 FINAL
Saint Louis 52
Appalachian St 77 FINAL
Georgia Southern 74
Niagara 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 65
Old Dominion 80 FINAL
FIU 67
Southern Miss 65 FINAL
Marshall 67
Georgia State 45 FINAL
TX-Arlington 57
Ark-Little Rock 69 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
ULM 51 FINAL
Troy 90
Pittsburgh 45 FINAL
(17) Duke 62
(6) Tennessee 38 2nd Half 13:41
(10) Kentucky 41
(24) Oklahoma 44 2nd Half 13:32
(14) Texas 39
Nebraska Omaha 36 2nd Half 11:38
IUPU-Ft Wayne 45
UC-Riverside 48 2nd Half 11:23
CS-Northridge 40
Army 44 2nd Half 13:48
Boston U 21
New Orleans 26 2nd Half 11:46
Nicholls 43
Charlotte 32 2nd Half 18:51
Florida Atlantic 39
Towson 31 2nd Half 8:26
Delaware 51
Hofstra 39 2nd Half 16:28
Northeastern 27
New Hampshire 39 2nd Half 11:11
Maine 65
Albany 55 2nd Half 12:54
Vermont 33
Hartford 41 2nd Half 11:14
Stony Brook 46
UNC-Wilmington 43 2nd Half 8:05
William & Mary 54
Clemson 39 2nd Half 16:30
Wake Forest 36
Alabama 30 2nd Half 15:34
(1) South Carolina 48
(23) Syracuse 38 2nd Half 13:20
(8) Louisville 48
Missouri 37 2nd Half 18:23
Florida 31
Iona 45 2nd Half 11:32
Fairfield 56
Manhattan 23 2nd Half 15:54
Marist 56
NC State 51 2nd Half 11:03
Virginia 44
(4) Notre Dame 51 2nd Half 15:04
Virginia Tech 24
(22) Rutgers 30 2nd Half 15:56
Purdue 30
(5) Maryland 61 2nd Half 14:04
Michigan 48
Milwaukee 37 2nd Half 12:49
Cleveland State 41
Wright State 73 2nd Half 13:32
Oakland 57
Jacksonville 29 2nd Half 17:10
USC Upstate 34
North Florida 36 2nd Half 8:37
Kennesaw St 31
Stetson 25 2nd Half 15:21
Northern Ky 48
Loyola-Maryland 36 2nd Half 11:08
Holy Cross 32
Lamar 42 1st Half 2:03
Sam Houston St 32
Fla Gulf Coast 31 1st Half 1:37
Lipscomb 17
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
McNeese State 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Vanderbilt 4 1st Half 15:9
(18) Miss State 4
IUPUI 9 1st Half 13:39
Western Ill 16
Abilene Christian 20 1st Half 12:08
Houston Baptist 12
Oral Roberts 13 1st Half 14:32
South Dakota St 4
Louisiana Tech 4 1st Half 15:58
Western Ky 10
TX-San Antonio 8 1st Half 11:48
Middle Tennessee 17
Texas-El Paso 7 1st Half 11:29
UAB 12
Auburn 8 1st Half 12:42
Arkansas 11
Grand Canyon 4 1st Half 12:38
UMKC 8
Illinois 6 1st Half 15:34
(15) Nebraska 1
(20) Iowa 20 1st Half 13:09
Northwestern 15
Utah Valley U 4 1st Half 15:20
Chicago State 6
Green Bay 16 1st Half 11:56
Valparaiso 5
Ole Miss 8:00 PM
LSU
Portland State 8:00 PM
Montana
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Montana State
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Weber State
Ohio State 8:00 PM
Wisconsin
Northern Colorado 8:00 PM
Idaho State
BYU 9:00 PM
San Francisco
St Marys-CA 9:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Pacific 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
San Diego 9:00 PM
Santa Clara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Long Beach St 10:59 PM
Hawaii

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