Heat Check: The King steps up to help Miami hold off Brooklyn
MAY 12, 2014 11:01p ET
James matched his career playoff-high with 49 points and helped set up Chris Bosh for the go-ahead 3-pointer with 57 seconds remaining to lift the Heat to a 102-96 victory against the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday night.
James would have scored 50 if he hadn't missed the second of two free throws with a second remaining.
"That's the first time I've been disappointed in myself in a win," James said. "But it definitely won't take away from the fact it was a huge game for us, to be able to win this ballgame. But it's a free throw, and I hate missing free throws."
Miami leads 3-1 and will try to win the series in Game 5 at AmericanAirlines Arena on Wednesday night.
With Indiana leading Washington 3-1, the Pacers and two-time defending NBA champions appear on a collision course to meet in the conference finals for a second year in a row.
The Nets fought hard and certainly played like a team desperately trying to avoid falling into a huge series hole, but James & Co. refused to be denied.
James shot 16 of 24 overall and 14 of 19 from the free-throw line. He also had six rebounds.
"He was simply indefatigable on both ends of the court, the entire game," coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Following a timeout with 1:15 left, the Heat held the ball until Dwyane Wade passed to James, who was in the paint. Drawing defenders, the King threw the ball to Mario Chalmers, who swung it to Bosh in the right corner. The center nailed a 3-pointer to give Miami a 95-92 lead.
"I work on that shot tirelessly. I'm always working on my shooting," Bosh said.
After Brooklyn's Joe Johnson missed a 11-foot jumper, Wade grabbed the rebound with 39 seconds to go. James then missed an 18-foot jumper with :17 showing, and Wade hauled in the offensive rebound.
"We got some stops -- it's all about defense down the stretch for us," Wade said.
Ray Allen then sank four of four free throws in the final 10 seconds to help secure the win and make Game 5 a potential series-clincher.
"We're going to have to go back and regroup," Spoelstra said. "There is nothing easy that's going to happen in this series."
The Heat won Games 1 and 2 at home by a combined 33 points before losing Game 3 at Brooklyn 104-98.
Miami led 79-76 through three quarters.
The Heat shot 63 percent and scored 30 points in the pain while building a 56-49 halftime lead.
THE TURNING POINT
Bosh's 3-pointer from the corner was the decisive moment, after a fourth quarter in which the largest lead during the first 11:50 was three points.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
The King, who played a game-high 43 minutes.
STAT OF THE GAME
After allowing Brooklyn to hit 15 from behind the arc in Game 3, the Heat held the Nets to 5 of 22 from long distance in Game 4.
The Heat and Nets will play Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series at AmericanAirlines Arena on Wednesday night. It'll be a 7 p.m. start if San Antonio-Portland play Game 5 and an 8 p.m. start if the Spurs swept the Blazers on Monday night.