May 20, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) dunks the ball against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE
The Positives: The Heat's two superstars put together a marvelous stretch in the third quarter to give Miami a lead the team would never relinquish. James and Wade scored 38 straight points for the Heat at one point, turning a eight-point halftime deficit into an advantage that crested at 10. What was most impressive about the stretch was that James and Wade didn't devolve into the "my turn, your turn" offense; they synergized and made hard cuts to the basket for easy buckets.
The 3-time MVP and his superstar buddy combined for 70 points and filled the stat sheet, but Udonis Haslem made several clutch baskets to keep Indiana at bay in the fourth quarter. The veteran's performance was reminiscent of his breakout game last season in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, making a thunderous put-back dunk in the second quarter. Haslem has struggled with his mid-range shot all season long, but he made four jumpers in the final stanza of play, the last one extending the Heat's lead to 98-91 with 71 seconds left. Haslem made the shots Bosh usually makes, and it was good that the 6-foot-8 Miami native didn't hesitate on any one of them.
The Negatives: The Pacers have dominated Miami in the first few minutes of each game, and that didn't change Sunday. The Heat turned the ball over and couldn't even get into their offensive sets, and Indiana raced out to a 9-0 lead. Wade struggled to start the game, missing seven of his first eight field-goal attempts. But a hard foul from Roy Hibbert - and some subsequent needless jawing from Danny Granger - turned Wade into the aggressive assassin he has since 2003.
The Heat also had to play James nearly 44 minutes Sunday afternoon. But with the risk of going into a 3-1 hole, Erik Spoelstra made the right call.
The Bottom Line: All that talk about the Heat trading Wade or needing to blow up the roster? That was just the media being neurotic, with Miami back in control of the series. The crucial Game 5 will be in Miami Tuesday night.