Missed free throws aside, the bigger crime was fouling a 3-point shooter in a one-possession game. Once again, LeBron came out of the gate attacking as if the rim owed him lunch money and the only way to get it back was to bully it. The eight missed freebies will justifiably drive fans crazy, and LeBron's late-game aggressiveness didn't get results.
Wade showed some ill-effects from his foot soreness after Tuesday, but he didn't show it on that amazing save. Generally, his bounce wasn't quite there and he mainly stayed in third gear. On the plus side, he kept Chauncey Billups in check and stayed active on the defensive end. Wade benefited from some questionable calls (and no calls), but he played his heart out.
Bosh got off to another slow start, coughing up the ball and needing to switch off Blake Griffin early in the first quarter. Nine different players scored before he did, but he turned it on in the third quarter and flashed his perimeter game. His tentativeness in the fourth quarter probably cost the Heat a point or two. The non-goaltending call will hurt.
The Norris Cole fever has died down a bit, hasn't it? Give Chalmers credit. The Heat point guard was the unlikely leading scorer for much of the game and provided a rare calming presence out front. It's true that Chris Paul had a huge game, but that's not all on Chalmers. The 3-point shot from the corner in overtime was huge, but didn't change the outcome.
Chris Paul's third-quarter performance was a treasure to watch. Wait, check that; his entire game was a treasure to watch. If it was possible to single-handedly beat the Heat, it would look a lot like Paul's outing. Foul trouble neutered Blake Griffin after a strong start, but they were saved by LeBron's defensive miscue and his missed free throws.
-- Grades by Tom Haberstroh