NBA: Miami Heat teammates rouse Bosh from series-long slump

5:14 a.m. EDT May 27, 2014  MIAMI — Perhaps all Chris Bosh needed to spark himself from his series-long slumber was a surprise visit from a few of his teammates during Saturday night's postgame dinner.

So, perhaps in a strange way, the Miami Heat can thank Dwyane Wade for orchestrating Bosh's sudden scoring spurt in Monday night's 102-90 Game 4 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Because whatever Wade said while dropping in on Bosh's late-night meal Saturday certainly worked. By night's end Monday, Bosh had tallied 25 points, the most he's scored in the postseason in more than three years.

Even with Bosh's perpetually even-keeled disposition through three lackluster performances to start these Eastern Conference finals, Wade wanted the message to be clear: We've got your back.

To his credit, Bosh's demeanor, both on the court and off it, varied little while he slogged through off-shooting nights and uninspiring stat lines. He'd figure a way, he said over and over. He remained unworried. Miami was winning, and that was most important.

Yet the forgotten member of Miami's Big 3 was, to a certain degree, exactly that — forgotten. While Wade and LeBron James shouldered much of the scoring load, Bosh was nearly inconsequential, never reaching double digits in scoring while grabbing just 12 combined rebounds in three games.

Heading into Game 4, the Heat All-Star had failed to reach double digits against the Pacers for seven consecutive playoff games.

Bosh took care of that quite quickly Monday night. Soon after, the streak was history.

It was apparent from the opening tip he was resolute to assert himself more on the offensive end. He attempted five of the Heat's first seven shots, making four, while Miami sprinted to a 10-2 lead. By the end of the quarter he'd tallied ten points — more than he'd had in any entire game this series.

"The one cool thing about it was that his teammates were real aggressive to try to get him going," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. "That's nice to see when your brothers are wanting you to be aggressive to get you opportunities."

Bosh was back. The Heat kept feeding him, and he kept delivering. The Pacers, particularly Roy Hibbert, offered too much space on the perimeter. Bosh made them pay.

"I hate the story lines of the last few days, because Chris has to do a lot of those things for our game to work," Spoelstra said. "And he gets criticized for that, but he impacts the game in so many winning ways that the average eye doesn't necessarily see."

It's no coincidence that with Bosh back in the fold, the Heat subsequently put together their finest 48-minute effort of the series.

It was 48 hours prior, late Saturday in a Miami restaurant, when Wade and a few others interrupted Bosh's dinner. The bulk of the next few hours, Wade would say later, was spent in heavy laughter.

"A great, great, great night last night," Wade said Sunday. "A fun, unexpected night."

As he has in the past, Wade could sense his struggling teammate needed a pick-me-up.

"We could sense it," Wade said of Bush's mounting frustration, which earned him a technical foul in Game 3. "And they've done it to me. So you could kind of sense it, and understand that sometimes it's not always about here, sometimes it's about away from here, and how you can make a guy feel ... that can change everything."

It paid off nicely Monday night, just in time for the Heat to move 48 minutes away from a fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.

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