NBA Finals 2013: Dwyane Wade's Huge Game 4 Raises Bar for LeBron James

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIJune 14, 2013

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 13:  LeBron James #6 and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat celebrate in the fourth quarter while taking on the San Antonio Spurs during Game Four of the 2013 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 13, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 2013 NBA Finals took yet another swing in momentum, as the Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs by a score of 109-93 to bring the series to a count of 2-2. At the forefront of the victory was Dwyane Wade, who dominated on both ends of the floor.

With D-Wade's huge Game 4 performance, the bar has been risen for LeBron James to step up and lead the Heat to the NBA championship.

Wade was sensational, scoring 32 points on 14-of-25 shooting from the floor and making all four of his free throws. The former Marquette star added six rebounds, four assists, six steals and a block with no turnovers, rounding out a dominant two-way performance.

Behind his dominant outing, the Heat were able to pull out a huge victory and even the series up.

 

Dwyane Wade becomes first player in 25 years to tally 32 points & 6 steals in a Finals game (Isiah vs. LAL in 1988).

— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) June 14, 2013

 

It doesn't end there.

 

Via @eliassports Wade 5th player in NBA Finals history w/ at least 30 pts, 5 rebounds & 5 steals in NBA Finals game pic.twitter.com/IPaUuYh4x8

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 14, 2013

 

An outstanding evening of play—it's now time to close the series out.

 

Even Ground

There are times when fans use the argument that championship rings have little to do with an individual's legacy. Those folks often use that argument for their favorite players who have not won rings, ignoring the validity of the argument.

Teams may win titles, but superstars lead their teams to the gold once they've reached the stage of legends.

As it presently stands, LeBron James is 1-for-3 in his career NBA Finals appearances with one NBA Finals MVP award. Dwyane Wade, meanwhile, is 2-for-3 with a Finals MVP award.

If the series ended today, LeBron would be far from a lock to win Finals MVP for a second time—he and D-Wade would be on even ground.

During Miami's Game 2 victory, James finished with 17 points on 7-of-17 shooting. Nine of those points came during the fourth quarter, when the Heat had already extended their lead to double digits and the outcome was decided.

Wade may not have performed much better—10 points and six assists—but the two Miami wins were led by Mario Chalmers and Wade, respectively—it's time the King takes his throne.

 

Second Tier in Superstar Fashion

Dwyane Wade was absolutely sensational during Game 4 and led the Miami Heat to their victory. He made the key baskets when they counted most and was directly responsible for Miami pulling away during the fourth quarter.

With that being said, LeBron James put on one of the best performances of the series.

LeBron picked up 33 points on 15-of-25 shooting, adding 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. While some of that scoring may have been stat padding when the game was decided, LeBron was nothing short of extraordinary.

Even still, he was second tier with a stellar performance—you know, how D-Wade has been living.

In Game 5—and for the rest of the series—LeBron will need to shoulder the load and get over the hump. While this is not going to be a Finals series that enters the record books, James has the chance to solidify his legendary status with a second ring.

Winning it as the second-tier star simply is not an option—it's time LeBron reminds us why he's a four-time regular-season MVP.