It took a fourth quarter comeback, but the Miami Heat inched closer to an NBA Championship, the goal put into place as the Big Three came together during the summer of 2010. After dropping the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals, Miami bounced back in a big way, taking the next four games to punch a ticket to the NBA Finals where the Dallas Mavericks await. And Thursday's win may have been the most impressive of them all as the Heat rallied in the final two minutes to down the Chicago Bulls, 83-80.
The Bulls were in control on Thursday night as the seconds ticked off the clock in the fourth. With three minutes to go, Chicago was up 10 and with two to go the lead stood at eight. But it all fell apart as Miami ratcheted up the defensive intensity and began burying clutch shots on the offensive end. A 36-second flurry cut the Chicago lead to just three and though the Bulls were clinging to a three-point lead, the game, and the series, felt as if it was over.
The fourth quarter was all about the Big Three on the offensive end as Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James teamed to score all 26 of Miami's points over the final 12 minutes. After a quiet game in which nothing was going his way, Wade came alive when it counted, scoring 10 of his 21 points in the fourth, including a four-point play with 1:30 to go to cut the Chicago lead to three. James was the catalyst, as usual, leading the way by clamping down on Derrick Rose and scoring 12 points in the final 12 minutes as the Heat mounted their furious comeback.
This was what many expected the Big Three to look like when James, Wade and Bosh combined like Captain Planet during free agency and it was more than impressive to watch the group go to work with the game on the line in Chicago. And when the Heat are playing as they did over the final three minutes of Thursday's game, there's little an opponent can do to slow it down.