LeBron scores 49, Heat take 3-1 lead over Nets

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 13, 2014 at 2:12 am •  Published: May 13, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — His opponent couldn't stop him, and LeBron James didn't quite know what to think when his coach tried.

Erik Spoelstra asked James about taking a fourth-quarter rest, but the game was too important to sit.

So the answer was no — just not said so politely.

"He asked me and I didn't know if he was serious or not, and what I told him I cannot say again," James said. "So I wanted to finish out the game. I felt like it was a must-win for us."

James tied his playoff career high with 49 points, Chris Bosh made the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 57 seconds left, and the Miami Heat beat the Brooklyn Nets 102-96 Monday night for a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

James carried the Heat nearly the entire way until Bosh hit the basket that put Miami ahead for good — a play where James resisted the temptation to force a shot, instead passing to Mario Chalmers, who swung it to a wide-open Bosh.

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 in Game 5.

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.

"That's the first time I've been disappointed in myself in a win," James said before smiling, realizing his performance left nothing to complain about.

"He was what was needed on the road and that's what makes him the best player in the game," Spoelstra said.

Joe Johnson scored 18 points for the Nets, who were 15 of 25 from 3-point range in their Game 3 victory but only 5 of 22 in this one. Paul Pierce added 16 points.

"This is very difficult to swallow," Nets center Kevin Garnett said. "Hard to take, but it's what it is. Coulda, shoulda, woulda doesn't help us at this point."

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 in which 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.

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