Here we go.
Kind of an easy breakdown to this one, but let's start with this: LeBron James' performance is not all about his two points in the fourth quarter. Offense wasn't the issue with this team the entire game, and that was also the case in the fourth quarter.
The Heat shot 56.3 percent in the fourth. The Heat had seven assists on nine field goals in the fourth quarter, with LeBron getting four of those assists.
But overall, 17 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and a blocked shot is a good performance. Not great. Not ideal because it came with four turnovers and only featured two free throw attempts, but to start calling him out or blaming him for this one is kind of dumb. He also played a good portion of the game either without Dwyane Wade (who only played 34 minutes) or without a completely healthy Wade. And in that stretch, he kept the team afloat despite being the single focus of the Mavericks defense. James also appeared to get fouled at least twice on shot attempts and those fouls weren't called.
"Triple double," Chris Bosh said of LeBron. "We just didn't win the game."
Now, to the rest of this one.
The defense wasn't terrible. It was bad long enough in the beginning to get the Mavericks into a rhythm. But overall, Dallas had one of those shooting games that they were capable of having. Jason Terry hit a couple shots with a defender in his face, particularly the last three that essentially sealed the game. Kidd made three threes. Dirk Nowitzki hit that one rainbow three-pointer with a hand in his face and the shot clock expiring. And the ultimate killer, J.J. Barea was an absolute menace, not only hitting four of five threes, but getting to the lane for a pair of scores.
Basically, the Heat would expect to win any game in which it scores 103 points and shoots 53 percent. The Mavericks were just a better offensive team in this one. And that's not how the Heat normally plays. Trying to outscore a team isn't in the way Miami operates.
Finally, it was the Heat's turnovers. Miami committed 18 turnovers that resulted in 21 Mavericks points, and the Mavs managed a 14-11 fastbreak points mostly as a result of those Heat turnovers.
The turnover breakdown goes like this: Four for LeBron, which is understandable given how responsible he was for creating offense and given he had 10 assists. Four for Wade, which is probably one or two more than you'd want given that he played a few less minutes than usual, but overall not that bad. Four for Bosh. That's too much for him. One of them, granted, was a terrible offensive foul call on the fastbreak (Kidd was absolutely moving on that play), but he still can't be careless as he was with the ball on a couple possessions in games that are this close. The other six were scattered, including a pair of 24-second violations.
Some of those things might change at home. But then again, the pressure of being one game from elimination might also affect the Heat players.
When the Mavericks are capable of shooting like this, it must make the Heat kick itself for essentially giving away Game 2 and not being up 3-2 right now.