With a pull-up jumper over David Lee late in the second quarter, James, 28, became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 20,000 points. James also passed the 5,000-assist mark in the first half with a pass to set up Dwyane Wade. Just as impressive was the way James spearheaded a rejuvenated and swarming Heat defense that set the tone early.
Wade, who turns 31 on Thursday, gets high marks simply for the professional manner in which he handled the aftermath of Monday's fourth-quarter benching in Salt Lake City. He sat again in the fourth against the Warriors, but under far different circumstances, as the Heat pushed their lead to 30 points. Wade had a well-rounded game and finished with a season-high five steals.
There's no way around it. Bosh is in a funk right now. It's been all downhill since that 29-point, four-block effort in Portland last week. He can barely hit shots, continues to get beat or outmuscled for rebounds and had a few careless turnovers against the Warriors. The fact that Bosh was a plus-23 shows you how irrelevant that statistical measure can be at times.
Safe to say Chalmers has regained his stroke on this West Coast trip. After knocking down another four triples Wednesday, Chalmers is 17-of-28 (.607) from beyond the arc through the first five games of this six-game trip that ends Thursday against the Lakers. He was 32-of-95 (.336) from 3-point range on the season before the start of the trip.
If Wednesday's performance doesn't prove just how valuable Stephen Curry is to this team, nothing likely will. Curry sat out with a sprained ankle he suffered during shootaround when he rolled it while chasing a loose rebound. The offense had no direction from the start, and was blitzed by a Heat defense that forced 21 turnovers and held the Warriors to just 36 percent shooting.