National Basketball Association
Brooklyn at Miami
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
LeBron James has put Miami in position to close out the Eastern Conference semifinals and he will have a hard act to follow when the Heat host the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. James tied his personal playoff career high and set a Miami franchise record with 49 points in Game 4 as the Heat produced a 102-96 victory to take a 3-1 lead. Brooklyn won all four regular-season meetings but needs to come up with a strong effort to force a Game 6 at home.
The Nets had no answer from the outset for James, who was 16-of-24 from the field while matching the 49 points he scored against Orlando in 2009 while playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even with all those points, it was center Chris Bosh who drained the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 57.3 seconds left as James spotted him wide open in the right corner. “He just showed great poise and trust to make the right basketball play,” coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters of James’ decision to pass. “He reads the game as well as anybody that’s played the game.” Brooklyn set a franchise playoff record with 15 3-pointers in its Game 3 win before dropping off to 5-of-22 in Monday’s loss.TV:
7 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE NETS:
Only eight teams have rebounded from a 3-1 deficit to win an NBA playoff series and the task is harder for Brooklyn when you factor in it needs to win three straight against the two-time defending champs. The veteran club knows it is on the verge of elimination but continues to vow the series will tighten up. “We just got to get one game,” forward Paul Pierce told reporters after Game 4. “That’s the mindset. The series is far from over.” Getting a solid performance from Deron Williams would help the cause as the point guard is just 8-of-34 shooting over the past three games after being a solid 7-of-10 for 17 points in Game 1.ABOUT THE HEAT:
James could have reached 50 points but he split two free throws with 1.1 seconds left. He had 25 points in the first half and 15 more in the third as Brooklyn struggled to defend him. James was rubbed wrong by some trash talking from Pierce after the Nets won Game 3 and now has his focus on ending the series in five games and not making a return to Brooklyn until next season. “Play with a sense of urgency defensively, help one another, communicate, try to get the ball moving offensively from one side to the other and attack,” James told reporters of the Game 5 plan. “If we do those things, and do it with a clear mind but at the same time an aggressive mind, we give ourselves a good chance to win.”BUZZER BEATERS
1. SG Dwyane Wade, who is averaging 15.8 points in the series, held the former Heat playoff record of 46 points, set in 2010.
2. Brooklyn F Mirza Teletovic missed all three of his 3-point attempts in Game 4 after going 10-of-16 over the previous two games.
3. James has scored 30 or more points in four of Miami’s eight postseason games.PREDICTION:
Heat 101, Nets 93
Stats and Records