All it took were two looks.
One was between LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
Another was between Chris Bosh and James.
Two seasons ago, such unspoken connections were uncommon. Down the stretch, poise was elusive. And, after getting whiplashed the way the Heat did Sunday, they were more likely to crack than to counter.
But here, after Cleveland had outscored the Heat by an unfathomable 30 points during one 17-minute stretch, and after James had flubbed a layup on this very possession, James, Wade and Bosh exchanged those glances.
The result was a play that would seal a 109-105 victory.
“It’s always a good pick-and-roll with me and LeBron, mainly because a lot of (shooting guards) and (small forwards) don’t cover pick-and-rolls, they don’t know what to do exactly,” Wade said.
Earlier, the same play had resulted in Mario Chalmers springing open.
“This time, they covered Mario, so I came off the screen with LeBron and I think it was a miscommunication,” Wade said.
“They called switch, and they both kind of dropped and went with me,” James said.
“They didn’t know whether to switch or what, so I was able to get a clear lane to the basket,” Wade said.
“D-Wade was able to turn the corner and finish strong,” James said.
Wade’s slam with 24.4 seconds left put the Heat ahead by four, and after Dion Waiters’s drive cut it back to two, Chalmers’ two free throws again created the necessary distance.
While this won’t be classified as one of the Heat’s masterpieces during their 11-game win streak, it was a testament to some individual and collective resilience.
On the fourth game in five nights, after a quick turnaround, Wade saved his best for the final quarter, scoring 15 of his 24 points, yet another indication of his improved health.