He was more of a transition specialist than a ball dominator, scoring most of his buckets inside on the break. When he struggles from the perimeter, LeBron often facilitates, but he didn't do much of that, either -- tying his low for fewest assists of the season. Back in January, he had his best defensive game of the season shutting down Kevin Durant, but he wasn't quite as locked in Wednesday.
His acrobatic spin move and two-handed dunk on Kendrick Perkins ignited a 13-2 run that brought the Heat even before halftime. Apart from that, he wasn't productive -- even in attack mode. Every time Wade turned the corner, Thunder big men met him in the paint. He tried to draw contact on virtually every drive, but to no avail.
In the first half, Bosh had a lot of success putting the ball on the floor and driving against a scrambled Thunder defense. He also bailed out the Heat from the elbow on a few broken possessions. But in the second half, the firm of Ibaka, Collison, Mohammad and Perkins picked him up off screens, and he couldn't find the net on his jumper.
Normally a lackluster effort on the defensive boards can be chalked up to bigs being out of position after lending help, but the Heat's frontcourt simply got beat to the ball against the active Thunder front line. Oklahoma City generated 24 second-chance points, and its 35.4 percent offensive rebound rate was the highest for any Heat opponent this season.
The Thunder succeeded last season as a pesky defensive unit, and for the third straight game, that old formula was back. Serge Ibaka has become an all-purpose defensive big -- weakside menace, quick-footed on the pick-and-roll and impossible to shoot over. Durant drained some otherworldly shots, but very little worked offensively outside of the 3-ball.