LeBron James tied his playoff career high with 49 points, Chris Bosh made the tiebreaking three-pointer with 57 seconds left, and the Miami Heat beat the Brooklyn Nets, 102-96, on Monday night in New York for a three-games-to-one lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
James carried the Heat nearly the entire way until Bosh hit the shot that put Miami ahead for good. Ray Allen followed with four free throws and James finished it off with one more, putting the Heat in position to wrap it up at home Wednesday.
James was 16 of 24 from the field and 14 of 19 from the free-throw line in matching the 49 points he scored for Cleveland against Orlando in the 2009 Eastern Conference finals. He missed his second free throw with 1.1 seconds left, muttering to himself after it fell out.
Joe Johnson scored 18 points for the Nets, who were 15 of 25 from three-point range in their Game 3 victory but only 5 of 22 in this one. Paul Pierce scored 16 points, while Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston each had 13.
Dwyane Wade scored 15 points on the night his Heat postseason record of 46 points was shattered. Bosh finished with 12.
Miami pulled out a thrilling victory in a game neither team led by double digits and has won at least one road game in 14 straight series, breaking the record set by the Chicago Bulls from 1991-94.
Cavs fire Brown
Mike Brown's second shot with the Cavaliers lasted one season.
Brown was fired Monday for the second time in four years by owner Dan Gilbert, who last April brought back the only coach to get the Cavs to the NBA Finals but then dismissed him after the team failed to make the playoffs.
The Cavs went 33-49 under Brown, who had four years remaining on his contract. Brown was fired last year by the Los Angeles Lakers just five games into his second season.
"This is a very tough business," Gilbert said in a statement. "It pains all of us here that we needed to make the difficult decision of releasing Mike Brown. Mike worked hard over this last season to move our team in the right direction. Although, there was some progress from our finish over the few prior seasons, we believe we need to head in a different direction. We wish Mike and his family nothing but the best."
Gilbert also said David Griffin would be retained as general manager. Griffin had been the interim GM since Feb. 6, when Gilbert fired Chris Grant.
Just a year ago, Gilbert admitted he made a mistake in firing Brown the first time.
Now he's done it again.
Brown was let go in 2010 after the Cavs failed to advance past the Eastern Conference semifinals.
- Associated Press