This is O'Neal's team now after taking a back seat to Wade during last year's title run and all of this season. O'Neal can't play second fiddle anymore with his leading man injured, and he knows it.
O'Neal said he is still not 100 percent after missing most of the season following knee surgery. But he's playing more aggressive and rounding into shape. Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas said this is the best O'Neal has looked in their three matchups this season.
O'Neal finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds. He also had a thunderous dunk with 5:22 remaining in the game, where he took a pass from Jason Kapono near the foul line, made one dribble and took off for a right-handed slam.
He looked like the Shaq of old and not an old Shaq.
"I'm getting stronger," O'Neal said. "By the end of March, I'll be back. Now we're coming to me more, and I'm programmed to do anything."
He also got help from Mourning, who had 15 points off the bench. Mourning led the second unit for Miami, which outscored Cleveland's bench 38-18.
There was no let-up in the middle for Miami.
"They were both great," Riley said. "We just have to keep finding ways to go to them and use them."
The Heat also kept going to Kapono despite a rough start. He was 2-for-12 from the field through three quarters and 0-for-6 from beyond the arc. But he closed the fourth quarter 4-for-6 from the field with his only 3-pointer to finish with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
It was his second double-double of the season, and Riley was impressed with Kapono's resolve.
"I thought it was me or something," Riley said. "I said, 'I'm not putting any pressure on you, am I?' You can't get down on him when he's missing shots. You have to keep going to him. Sometimes he'll have bad nights, but he'll bounce back. He bounced back for us tonight."
For one game the Heat showed they can play without Wade, and that required contributions from everyone. They had a new look, which wasn't fun to watch, but it was effective.
It may not be enough to win a title or even get Miami back to the playoffs, but Cleveland coach Mike Brown was still impressed. He knew the Heat would not be an easy opponent, even without their best player.
"You look at that team, they still have five or six All-Stars," Brown said. "It's a good team that is a well-coached team, and just because they didn't have Dwyane Wade ... I hope my team didn't think we can come in here and get a win. I hope that we knew we had to come down here and work in order to try and get a win, and we didn't get it done."