LeBron has a prolific history in close-out games, and Sunday followed that trend until the Heat collapsed in the final 90 seconds. LeBron took the game over with eight points over three possessions during Minutes 36-38, but will wear the can't-close collar for his failure in Minute 48, when Elton Brand blocked a James layup attempt that would've tied the game.
His missed fadeaway with 37 seconds remaining marred an otherwise electrifying performance. After a skittish first frame, Wade used the transition attack and improvisational flourishes to jump-start his game and wake the Heat from their slumber in the second quarter (during which he had 14 points). He also tormented the Sixers defensively, racking up five blocked shots.
The 76ers clamped down on Bosh in the post, so he retreated to 17 feet, where he faced up or put the ball on the floor. He was marginalized when the game turned into a track meet, and missed open shots in the tight fourth quarter. Although his consecutive blocks on a key late possession could've potentially been big, he played small for much of the afternoon.
Mario Chalmers hit a trio of 3-pointers during the Heat's second-quarter rally, but those were the only three shots that fell in 15 field goal attempts for the Chalmers-Mike Bibby platoon at the point guard spot for Miami. While Chalmers' defensive pressure helped lock up the Sixers in the second quarter, Bibby was a cipher on both ends of the floor.
Game 4 was a case study of Philadelphia basketball circa 2011. They took control of the game in the opening quarter with their smooth early offense, and smothered the Heat with their active, prompt defense. Then they struggled for long stretches to create shots, only to have Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams drill a couple of bombs to save them.