Dwyane Wade didn't add any fans with his performance for the Miami Heat in Game 3 against the Indiana Pacers, and it looked like he might be the goat if Miami was unable to advance past the second round of the NBA Playoffs. He made up for his ugly Game 3 performance on Sunday afternoon, though, turning in a much better performance in the third quarter than he had just a few days prior.
For those that don't remember, SB Nation colleague Andrew Sharp chronicled Wade's ugly third quarter in Game 3 pretty perfectly late last week, noting just how bad D-Wade looked as the Pacers bottled him up and frustrated him to the point that he had an on-camera altercation with head coach Erik Spoelstra.
Sunday's third quarter was quite a bit different for Wade, however, as he overcame a sub-par first half to look like the Wade of old on his way to 30 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two blocks and nary a turnover before all was said and done.
Greg Cote of the Miami Herald compared Wade's performance in Game 4 to that of Game 3, noting what a difference a few days can make.
James had been a force the entire game - the league MVP that he is - but for Wade it was that third quarter that jump-started him after he had been shooting only 31 percent in this series.
That was the same quarter when he had his frustrated Game 3 meltdown, raging at his coach on the sideline in a caught-on-camera incident that, coupled with his five-point night, heaped on Wade the kind of national vilification normally reserved for James.
The vilification was real, and it likely hurt, but Wade needed just one game to turn everything back into his favor ... for now, anyway.
"I've been doubted before, I'll be doubted again," Wade said after Sunday's game, feeling obvious vindication, enjoying its taste. "When things are going great, everybody pats you on the back. When they're not, sometimes they turn their backs."
It's funny, but during the two-day break in this series Pacers players were shown a montage of Wade's greatness by Indiana coach Frank Vogel, who wanted to remind his team to not get lulled by the misfiring Wade they had been seeing in this series. In the third quarter Wade began to show the Pacers a live version of that highlight reel.
Fans watching the NBA Playoffs are a fickle bunch, to be sure, meaning Wade needs to have a similar performance in Game 5 if he's going to keep everyone off of his back.
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