MIAMI - LeBron James and Kevin Durant exchanged words. Dwyane Wade and Serge Ibaka did a little shoving. Five technical fouls were called, and Russell Westbrook punched a table in frustration.
This NBA Finals rematch met expectations. And like that series, it ended with Miami on top.
James had 29 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds, and Wade scored 21 as the Heat survived a frantic finish Tuesday night to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 103-97.
"Felt a little bit like a different month," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Regardless of what your script is coming into the game, when you play this team, it's not going to go according to script. They're too good."
But on this night, much like last June, the Heat were better. Mario Chalmers scored a season-high 20 for the Heat, who were 19 for 19 from the foul line. Chris Bosh added 16 for Miami, which has beaten the Thunder five straight times going back to last June's title series.
Durant scored 33 points and Westbrook added 21 for Oklahoma City, but both stars missed potential game-tying three-point attempts in the final seconds.
"It was a great game. I can't complain," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "We could have done a better job of not turning the ball over in the first half. All in all, it was a great game to play and a great game to coach. Unfortunately, we didn't come out with the win."
It's the first losing streak of the season for the Thunder, who had been 4-0 after losses. Ibaka and Kevin Martin each scored 15 for Oklahoma City.
The game had a little of everything - a fast start by the reigning champions, a one-handed dunk by James on an offensive rebound that will be added to his copious highlight reel, a scrum after a hard foul that led to double-technicals on Wade and Ibaka early in the fourth quarter, an easy rally by the Thunder from an early double-digit deficit, and even workout partners in Durant and James barking back and forth in the final minutes.
Such was the intensity that James slumped over the scorer's table with 1 minute, 8 seconds left, exhausted.
"I'm tired as hell right now," James said - and that was more than an hour after the game ended.
Wade lost the ball on a behind-the-back dribble, and the turnover set up Durant for a two-handed dunk that got the Thunder within 96-95 with 44.1 seconds remaining.
Needing a stop on the next trip, the Thunder forgot to play defense instead. Kendrick Perkins and Ibaka both were confused on the ensuing Miami possession, and Bosh was left alone to throw down a dunk that restored Miami's three-point edge.