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BASKETBALL > James leading the way for Miami Heat

MIAMI - The Associated Press

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LeBron James. AP photo

LeBron James. AP photo

The Miami Heat have been here before, two wins from an NBA title.

The difference now? LeBron James isn’t letting his head get in the way of his talent.

James contributed 29 points and 14 rebounds as the Heat took a 2-1 series lead with a 91-85 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on June 17.

Miami also won Game 3 of the finals last year, but that was its last victory as the Dallas Mavericks stormed to the title.

“He had a game where he struggled and he kind of let that get into his mind a little bit and he was thinking too much. Now he’s playing, he’s on attack and being very aggressive,” Dwyane Wade said. “He’s playing very aggressive and that’s the difference obviously from last year to this year, and the difference in our team.”

Wade had 25 points for the Heat, who “carry that pain” from last year, according to forward Chris Bosh. “We think about it every day and that really helps us to succeed in this series,” Bosh said.

James’ performance was part of the problem then, but he seems on top of his game now. He scored five straight Miami points when the Heat were building enough cushion to hold off a late run by the Thunder.

“Last year I didn’t make enough game-changing plays,” James said. “I’m trying to make those plays, and whatever it takes for the win, just trying to step up in key moments and be there for my teammates.”

Game 4 is tonight.

June/19/2012

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