Miami needed every point, rebound, assist and more from forwards LeBron James and Chris Bosh and guardDwyane Wade to outlast Oklahoma City's Big Three.
James, Wade and Bosh combined for 72 points, and the Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-96 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals Thursday, tying the best-of-seven series at 1-1. It was the Thunder's first loss in 10 home playoff games this season.
"This is going to be probably like this every single game," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "And that's the beauty of competition at this level, and embracing competition at this level and seeing what it brings out of you."
When asked if he felt lucky to pull out the win, Spoelstra acted more pleased with his team's grit.
"It has shown that this group has resourcefulness, resolve, resiliency, we're all a very stubborn group," he said.
Game 3 is Sunday in Miami (8 p.m. ET, ABC), and the Heat now have home-court advantage.
James had 32 points, Wade had 24 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Bosh had 16 points and 15 rebounds, and they held off a fourth-quarter rally.
"It's great when we're all scoring," Wade said early Thursday afternoon. "We're a good team when all three of us are scoring, but also better when all of us are scoring and we get help, when we get timely makes from other guys."
Wade played well, start to finish, making 10-of-20 shots, and the Heat made a commitment to get Bosh the ball in the low post.
Down 82-69 with 8:35 left in the fourth quarter, the Thunder made it 94-91 on guardRussell Westbrook's dunk, but James' 15-foot bank shot made it 96-91 with 1:26 left.
"I love the way we came back and fought," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "Tough to make up 17 points ... and made it a one-possession game at the end. I give our guys credit, we did fight. We've got to come out better."
Thunder forward Kevin Durant, who was plagued with foul trouble, had 32 points, including 28 in the second half and 17 in the fourth quarter. Westbrook had 27 points and James Harden, the Sixth Man of the Year, had 21 points - 17 in the first half.
"It's tough to play with five, and four (fouls) in the third quarter," Durant said. "But I've got to stay aggressive ... tried to stay aggressive. Keep my team in it. They believe in me. But I've got to stay positive, we've got to stay positive."
But Miami had more from its role players. Forward Shane Battier had another strong game with 17 points.
Bosh started for the first time since sustaining a lower abdominal strain in Game 1 against the Indiana Pacers. It was his fourth game back after missing nine in a row, and he made an impact after Spoelstra promised Bosh would have a bigger role in the offense. Bosh had a double-double in the first half.
"He gave us a lot in the paint, and we needed that again and again and again," Spoelstra said of Bosh.
Battier, guard Mario Chalmers and reserves Norris Cole and Udonis Haslem had those "timely makes."
Thriving in the 2012 playoffs with adversity surrounding them, the Heat responded again. They did it trailing the Pacers 2-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals and after falling behind 3-2 to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals.
The Thunder started slowly, shooting 5-of-20 in the first quarter, and played most of the game from down 10 points or more. Durant and Westbrook, who were so difficult to defend in Game 1, shot a combined 5-of-19 in the first half. Unlike Game 1, Oklahoma City did not overcome this poor start.
The Heat played with heightened intensity on offense and defense and made a commitment to getting back on defense, slowing the Thunder's transition game. After scoring 24 fastbreak points in Game 1, Oklahoma City had no fastbreak points through the first two-and-a-half quarters.
The Heat had to answer the tough questions after Game 1, and Spoelstra and the Heat made the right adjustments.
"We understand that this whole thing can change," Spoelstra said. "All the storylines, everything, the momentum, all that stuff can change tonight and now there can be another reality."