LeBron James was the best player on the court, but it was Chris Bosh who hit the big shot that propelled the Miami Heat to a game 4 win over the Brooklyn Nets 102-96.
With the game tied at 94 and 57 seconds remaining, Bosh drilled a 3 in the corner to give Miami a 97-94 lead, and Miami never looked back. The Nets failed to convert a field goal over the final 4:24 of regulation until Mirza Teletovic got a put back to go with 7 seconds left.
It was Brooklyn’s failure to execute down the stretch that did them in. The Heat now lead the series 3-1 and will look to clinch a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals for the 4th straight year in game 5 on Wednesday night.
James scored 49 points, tied for the most he’s ever scored in a playoff game in his career (2009 Eastern Conference Finals against the Magic) and it was the most ever allowed by the Nets to an opposing player in the team’s playoff history (dating back to the New Jersey days). He did whatever he wanted, and there was no one that was going to stop him.
What killed Brooklyn in this game was the teams 3-point shooting. After hitting 15 of 25 three’s in game 3, the Nets hit just 5 of 22 such shots in game 4. Teletovic, who played a huge role in that game, was held to 4 points and failed to make a 3.
The Nets even outrebounded Miami 40-34, had 44 points in the paint to Miami’s 42, and had 22 assists to 14 for the Heat. In the end, it didn’t matter.
Dwyane Wade scored 15 points for Miami, Bosh contributed 12 points, and Ray Allen added 11 off the bench, including 4 free throws to seal the win.
For Brooklyn, it was a much more balanced attack with Joe Johnson leading the way with 18 points, Paul Pierce had 16 (0/4 from 3), and Deron Williams along with Shaun Livingston each had 13 points. Andray Blatche added 8 points and a team high 8 rebounds off the bench.
The Nets gave it all they had, but it wasn’t enough. Now, for the 2nd series in a row, Brooklyn is on the brink of elimination.