The only change they really needed was in the performances of their Big Three.
James called it a "must-win" and it probably was: No team has overcome a 3-1 deficit in the finals.
And the way their three stars played, they couldn't lose.
The Heat blocked shots, made stops, and occasionally flopped, playing with renewed aggression after what coach Erik Spoelstra called a "miserable" day of watching and analyzing their passive performance from Tuesday.
They still haven't lost two in a row since Jan. 8 and 10.
Parker played through a strained right hamstring, shooting 7 of 16, but the Spurs couldn't match the Heat's speed.
After the teams traded blowouts in the previous two games, momentum swung wildly in a first half that ended tied at 49. San Antonio raced to a quick 10-point lead, fell behind by 10 with 7 minutes left in the half, then finished with an 11-2 spurt sparked by reserve Boris Diaw. Bosh dove for a dunk that came just after the buzzer, Spurs owner Peter Holt waving it off from his seat along the sideline.
James rocked back and forth during the national anthem, a bundle of energy ready to get going. It took a few minutes after the game started, but he began playing with the speed and power that makes him unguardable at his best, grabbing rebounds on defense and rushing the ball up the floor himself to get the Heat into their offense.
He and Wade combined to make 10 of 11 shots and score 21 points in the first quarter, helping the Heat erase their early 10-point deficit to go ahead 29-26.
Popovich even lit into Duncan during an early second-quarter timeout with Miami on its way to a 41-31 advantage, but the Spurs had it back to even by the time the teams headed to the locker room.
Notes: Sebastien De La Cruz, an 11-year-old mariachi singer, sang the national anthem again after his Game 3 performance set off a barrage of racist tweets by what Popovich called "idiots." Popovich and Spoelstra congratulated him at midcourt after his performance, which earned him a rousing ovation. ... Back in south Florida on Thursday, scores of fans at a popular Miami-area sports bar spilled into Biscayne Bay when a deck on which they were watching Game 4 collapsed. Lt. Ignatius Carroll of Miami Fire-Rescue said that 100 people fell into the water. ... James passed Hakeem Olajuwon (3,755 points) to move into the top 10 in career playoff scoring. James has 3,777.
Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney
- The 1996 NBA Draft redone: How did the Jazz...
- 5 things to look for as BYU heads into fall camp
- 5 things to watch for as BYU, Utah and USU...
- 5 things Utah football needs for coming season
- Dick Harmon: Hanging with legacy players of...
- Brad Rock: Hill, Keeton, Booker not the best...
- Randy Hollis: Utah's Perrins is one of the...
- Mendenhall: BYU's 2015 schedule difficult...
- Dick Harmon: Big 12 expansion talk... 108
- Ute football team picked to finish 5th... 54
- Utah makes top 7 for 4-star offensive... 50
- Morning links: BYU, Utah and Utah State... 44
- 4-star basketball recruit Connor... 32
- Whittingham dishes on stadium... 27
- 5 things to look for as BYU heads into... 23
- Guard Elijah Bryant announces he is... 21