Chris Bosh looked around, just like everyone else.

"I noticed," he said. "I definitely noticed."

A game was in the balance, but Bosh was on the bench, alongside LeBron James, with Dwyane Wade back in the training room getting treatment for his balky knees.

It was as if the Miami Heat were in a time warp, pre-July 2010, with no Bosh, no LeBron, no Wade.

And, seemingly, not a care in the world.

With Bosh in foul trouble, with Wade unable to push his knees through the second night of the back-to-back, with James shouldering the burden of his third consecutive 30-point night, more was needed this time.

So more was delivered, by a most unlikely cast of characters, Norris Cole, Michael Beasley, Chris Andersen, Rashard Lewis and Roger Mason Jr. carrying the Heat to the finish.

"That," Spoelstra beamed afterward, "is what this is built on."

Yes, the Bobcats were lacking prime offseason free-agent acquisition Al Jefferson, but this was still more of a challenge than the Heat anticipated, the Bobcats making enough 3-pointers to force the Heat to play to the finish.

But it was a finish without James, who closed with 30 points, seven assists and four rebounds, but exited for good with 7:52 to play, the second time he asked out of the game.

Spoelstra said it was all part of the plan, to push as hard as possible for as long as possible through this second game of a back-to-back that began with Friday's victory over the Dallas Mavericks, then count on the supporting cast.

"I had intentions of going back in," James said. "But we had guys that came in and stepped up."

So instead of Wade-to-James, James-to-Wade or relief points from Bosh, there was a two-man game of Beasley-Cole, as well as the hustle of Lewis, Mason and Birdman.

"We all wanted to finish the game," Beasley said.

They did just that, Beasley closing with 15 points, Andersen with 10 points and seven rebounds, Lewis with nine points and nine rebounds, and Cole and Mason keeping it under control. In fact, of the foursome, only Cole didn't play the entire final period.

"I looked at LeBron before we ran out on the court and said we're going to need a big game from Bease tonight," Wade said. "He gave it to us."

While it was the first time the Heat failed to reach 100 points this season, it also was a surprising display of depth on a night Mario Chalmers was suspended for his Friday foul on Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, a night when Udonis Haslem and Ray Allen again were out, a night Wade scored just four points on 1-of-7 shooting and Bosh was on the floor for only 16 minutes because of his foul trouble.