Now that was an MVP performance. Doing his best Kevin Durant impression, LeBron got his 3-point shot going early, spotting up on the perimeter in rhythm and looking for his shot in the flow. But in classic LeBron form, he kept his head up as a ball handler and routinely hit his teammates with passes in stride. That's LeBron being LeBron.
Sore knee, shmore knee. Wade came out with reckless abandon, jumping out in transition and asserting himself in the half court. But the fast breaks came to a halt quickly. Wade kept putting the pressure on the imposing Thunder front line, but he was uncharacteristically sloppy around the rim and took unnecessary 3-pointers.
Boy, did he need that jumper with a minute left or what? That was huge, but it's true, sometimes you had to remind yourself that Bosh was out on the floor -- that's how inconsequential his play was over long stretches. Whether it's the condensed season or something else, he just hasn't been the six-time All-Star the Heat need right now.
There isn't a blueprint on the planet that can reliably stop Durant, but the Heat tried to limit his impact Wednesday. After getting lit up in the last meeting, LeBron stuck to Durant like glue, but Durant made LeBron pay when he broke free. Durant was abnormally cold from downtown, and that made all the difference.
Can we please be treated to this Finals matchup? Judging by the relative home-court advantages, you could pencil it in for seven games, no doubt. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant shoulder the load for the Thunder, but they couldn't do it alone. The easy buckets from the last matchup didn't come so easily this time around.