Timely offense. Clawing defense. Not to mention undeniable energy.

For much of Tuesday's Eastern Conference finals slugfest, the Heat got all three from its oft-maligned bench, providing an essential lift as Dwyane Wade's shooting touch remained AWOL.

In short, the Heat got exactly the kind of production a balanced, championship team expects from its reserves. And the type of production that's been largely missing as Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh have been forced to carry the load this postseason.

But this is Miami. Everything is fashionably late. For Mike Miller, the long-lost shooting touch made quite a return.

Miller, who is playing with two ailing hands, scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting — including his first two three-pointers of the series — to provide an offensive spark off the bench as Wade was suffering through a brutal night.

"It's been a long time coming," Miller said. "I've been waiting for this. Obviously, there was a lot of energy in the building. Just fun to be a part of it."

Wade missed 11 of his 16 attempts from the field, but his bench had his back. Miami's reserves outscored Chicago's 23-18, a driving factor the Heat stands just one win away from its second NBA Finals.

Miami was out of sorts offensively and a step slow to the defensive glass early in the game, so Heat coach Erik Spoelstra made wholesale changes to his lineup, with James and Joel Anthony the only starters to finish out the first quarter.

It was no coincidence Miami closed the first period scoring eight consecutive points (all courtesy of James), part of a 14-0 push that flipped an 11-point deficit into a three-point lead.

While Wade struggled, Mario Chalmers couldn't miss.