Heat close strong to push Knicks to brink
NEW YORK - Agence France-Presse
LeBron James was instrumental in the Heat’s Game 3 victory over the Knicks.LeBron James scored 17 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter on May 3 as the Miami Heat defeated New York 87-70 to take a commanding 3-0 lead over the Knicks in their NBA Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.
James scored eight straight points to start the fourth and Miami’s first 11 points of the period as the Heat pulled away from the injury-depleted Knicks.
The Heat, seeded second in the Eastern Conference behind the Chicago Bulls, will try to complete the sweep of the best-of-seven series on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
No team in NBA history has overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series.
New York, their backs against the wall, led by four points at half-time, but were outscored 51-30 in the second half.
Dwyane Wade added 20 points and Mario Chalmers chipped in 19 on 5-of-8 shooting from three-point range for Miami.
Chris Bosh, who returned to Florida from New York on Wednesday to be with his wife as their first child was born, returned to New York shortly before the game and scored 9 points with 10 rebounds.
“What I told the guys was it was a good team win,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, whose players had their struggles.
Wade got off to a slow start, and James was hindered by foul trouble in the third quarter.
“Coaches like those kinds of wins, when you’re not necessarily playing well,” Spoelstra said. “Some periods of the game were ugly.
“You like to see your team show some resiliency, some toughness, some resolve to dig back into it.”