Apr 26, 2014, 11:26 PM EDT
LeBron James made two free throws with seconds remaining in the second quarter, and for all intents and purposes, it seemed time for halftime. The Heat, after going back and forth with the Bobcats, had developed a small lead, and LeBron’s charity shots would have ended the half on a high note.
But LeBron wasn’t done.
He stole a pass, drew a foul on a 3-pointer and then made all three free throws.
LeBron scored five points in the final 3.3 seconds of the first half, sending Miami to a 98-85 win over Charlotte in Game 3 Saturday. The Heat are now within one game of their first series sweep of a team with a winning record in the Big Three era.
Consider LeBron turned up.
He finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Even between his second set of half-ending free throws, he was shouting instructions for his teammates for the final 0.2 seconds.
For the most part, his teammates did only an OK job of keeping up with his demands.
The Heat ended the first half on a 16-4 run, the final nine points coming from LeBron, and they made the first two shots of the second half to push their lead to 16 points. Miami led comfortably from there.
But only Dwyane Wade (17 points on 16 shots with six assists) scored double figures – not that anyone else needed to step up in this one.
In the Bobcats’ first home playoff game in four years and just the third in franchise history, Charlotte started with plenty of energy. Al Jefferson (20 points on 13 shots) and Chris Douglas-Roberts (17 points on eight shots) had their moments, but beyond a couple early bursts, the Bobcats couldn’t sustain any momentum. They didn’t make a shot in the in the first half of the third quarter as Miami pulled away.
This was probably Charlotte’s last stand. No NBA team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit.
The Heat’s run is just beginning, and LeBron seems intent on inspiring the Heat to ready for it.
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- Kevin Durant reiterates that rest was his reason for withdrawing from Team USA 8
- Kobe Bryant says he will not be same player as before, says he’s evolved into something equally good 19
- Report: Agent for Greg Monroe pursued sign-and-trade deals with five teams, including Thunder and Blazers 25
- Derrick Rose sits out another Team USA practice, not likely to start Wednesday 22
- DeMarcus Cousins practices with team USA Tuesday, says he’s 50-50 for Wednesday game 2
- Jim Boeheim says of Carmelo Anthony, “it would have been better to go to Chicago” 31