When it was over, after the Miami Heat had avenged their earlier blowout home loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder with this 103-81 victory Thursday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena, LeBron James sat alone, silent, with a towel draped over his head, cotton plugs in each nostril.

The Heat forward already had passed the concussion tests, X-rays later at home to determine whether his nose was broken or merely bruised by an inadvertent fourth-quarter blow across the face from Thunder forward Serge Ibaka.

Around him there was yelping, cheering, a sharp juxtaposition as their leader sat silently, unavailable for comment.

Their leader had carried them to the verge of something special; his teammates finished the task after he departed midway through the fourth quarter.

Except for one face, it all felt particularly good, especially amid the sentiment that their leader's good looks might have been the only thing impacted.