In a matchup featuring an unbeaten home team with three of the best players in the league facing a group with only one road win and missing its best player, a fourth consecutive victory seemed to be a foregone conclusion for the Miami Heat.
Apparently, somebody forgot to pass that message along to the undermanned Cleveland Cavaliers.
Looking every bit the team that was more pumped in preparation for the game, the Cavaliers attacked the Heat early and often, exploiting Miami's lack of size in the paint and eventually spreading their offense to the perimeter.
And that's when the lethargic Heat's nightmare would really begin.
What was largely a tightly-contested first half quickly became another early warning sign that the Heat were in for a long night, as the Cavaliers closed the half with 10 three-pointers—a theme that had become a calling card in all of Miami's previous losses.
Nevertheless, the Heat entered the third quarter playing with the kind of aggressive demeanor you'd expect from a team that was clearly outperformed by its overmatched opponent. And LeBron James would finally leave his imprint in the game, picking up much of the scoring slack that was primarily carried by Chris Bosh throughout much of the first half.
Feeding off the energy of the crowd and utilizing their championship pedigree against the inexperienced Cavs, the Heat used every weapon at their disposal to eek out a gritty win.
Ultimately, a game-saving three-pointer by Ray Allen and a game-clinching block by Dwyane Wade allowed Miami to compensate for what was an otherwise half-hearted performance that would have probably had a different ending against a more elite team.
Be that as it may, Miami lives to fight another day with its head barely left intact after the 110-108 victory.