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Heat 102, Nets 96

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- LeBron James tied a playoff career high with 49 points to pace the Miami Heat to a 102-96 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Monday night at Barclays Center.

The Heat take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, which moves back to Miami for Game 5 Wednesday night.

Guard Dwayne Wade added 15 point and forward Chris Bosh had 12 for the Heat, who bounced back from a 104-90 loss in Game 3.

Guard Joe Johnson had a team-high 18 points, forward Paul Pierce had 16 points, guards Shaun Livingston and Deron Williams had 13 points apiece and forward Alan Anderson added 10 points for the Nets, who scored 23 second-chance points.

When he wasn't striking up a conversation with Jay Z and Beyonce, who sat courtside, James was scoring at will in a variety of ways. Despite sitting out nearly four minutes to start the second quarter, James scored 25 first-half points. He was 16-of-24 from the field and 14-for-19 from the free throw line for the game.

The Nets scored the first six points of the fourth quarter and took their first lead since the second quarter on a Pierce dunk.

Miami regained its lead on a Bosh 3-pointer with 5:52 remaining, but Pierce responded with an old-fashioned 3-pointer, drawing the foul on Wade while dropping a baseline floater, to put the Nets back in front, 90-89.

James followed with a deep 3-pointer to give the Heat a 92-90 lead with 4:08 left, but Johnson knocked down a pair of free throws after being fouled by James and tied the score at 92 with 3:55 to play.

With the score tied at 94, Bosh buried a corner 3-pointer with 57.3 seconds left.

Johnson missed a floater on the other end, and guard Mario Chalmers grabbed the rebound. James missed his next attempt, but Wade picked up the rebound with 15.6 seconds left.

Guard Ray Allen knocked down a pair of free throws with 10.9 seconds left to give Miami a 99-94 lead.

Forward Mirza Teletovic scored on a putback off a Pierce missed 3-pointer to pull Brooklyn within 99-96, but Allen buried two more free throws to put the Heat in front 101-96 with 5.4 seconds left.

James went to the line with a chance to set a career high, but went one of two from the line to put the finishing touches on the road win.

As was the case Saturday night, Miami raced out to a first-quarter lead, but Brooklyn went on 12-2 run capped by a three-point play by forward Andrei Kirilenko to take its first lead at 31-29 lead with 9:13 left in the second quarter.

Miami regained the lead on three consecutive buckets by James, including a thunderous dunk, and took a 56-49 advantage into the locker room at the half. The Heat scored 11 points off the Nets' seven first-half turnovers and scored 30 points in the paint.

NOTES: Game 4 picked up where Game 3 left off with double technical fouls issued to Nets F Paul Pierce and Heat F Shane Battier and to Nets F Alan Anderson and Heat F LeBron James in separate incidents in the first quarter. Anderson and Heat G Ray Allen received double technicals in the fourth quarter of Game 3. ... Heat G/F James Jones competed in his 100th career playoff game. ... James had two first-half steals, giving him 250 career postseason thefts. James is more than just a great player. He's also a great basketball mind, according to Heat coach Eric Spoelstra. "He's a sharp mind. ... He can remember things, not only things from that game, but from weeks ago that happened in a game or strategy or something we may have covered in the shootaround." ... Pierce moved past Kevin McHale into 25th place on the NBA's all-time playoff minutes-played list.

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