The Heat took a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Brooklyn Nets, winning 102-96, behind an unbelievable performance by LeBron James.
The Heat jumped out in front early on in the First Quarter, taking a 27-22 lead. James had a another huge opening period, scoring 12 points. Shaun Livingston scored six points in the first frame for the Nets.
The Heat were able to eek out the Second Quarter as well by a score of 29-27, which translated into a 56-49 halftime lead for Miami. James again led the Heat, this time scoring 13 in the quarter. Deron Williams led the Nets with eight in the period.
The Third Quarter saw the Nets make a run to make the game close once again, winning the quarter 27-23, to trim the Heat lead to 79-76 entering the final period. Joe Johnson finished with eight points in the frame for Brooklyn, while James had another huge quarter for Miami with 15 points.
The Fourth Quarter was hotly contested and saw a flip-flop of the lead on several different occasions, but the Heat were able to close out the quarter, winning the final frame 23-20, to complete the victory. James (once again) led the team in the period with nine points, just missing four double-digit scoring quarters by missing a free throw with one second remaining. Paul Pierce scored seven points in the period for Brooklyn.
In all, for the Heat, James finished with a playoff career-high tying 49 points, to go along with six rebounds, and three steals. Dwyane Wade scored 15 points, and grabbed the biggest rebound of the game, with 15 seconds left to preserve possession. Chris Bosh finished with five rebounds and three blocks, to go along with his 12 points. None bigger than the six points on two big three pointers he hit in the final period.
For Brooklyn, Joe Johnson scored a team-high 18 points. Paul Pierce finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. Williams and Livingston each scored 13 points. Williams also added seven assists and six rebounds.
This game was reminiscent of James’ days in Cleveland, where he was doing pretty much all of the heavy lifting. At one point late in the fourth quarter, he had half the Heat points. The difference between Miami and Cleveland, however, is that the Calvary arrived in the form of Bosh’s threes.
The Heat can wrap this series up on Wednesday night, back in AmericanAirlines Arena. The tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm.