Basketball

Miami follows LeBron to win

MIAMI — Dwyane Wade was ailing, so LeBron James and Chris Bosh more than picked up the slack.

Then Wade found his groove at the perfect time, and the Miami Heat, the team put together solely to win championships, moved one emotional victory away from the NBA Finals.

James scored 35 points, Bosh added 22 and the Heat overcame an early 11-point deficit to beat the Chicago Bulls 101-93 on Tuesday night, taking a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

Game 5 is Thursday in Chicago, when the Heat can wrap up its first finals trip since 2006.

Wade went scoreless for nearly 33 straight minutes, before making a jumper with 2:08 left in overtime to help Miami keep the lead. And after James made a contested jumper with 29 seconds remaining for a six-point lead, Wade soared to block Derrick Rose's layup from out of almost nowhere on the next Chicago possession.

At long last, it was over.

Bosh scored the first four points of overtime, and the Heat — now 8-0 at home in the playoffs — never trailed in the extra session. James closed it with two free throws with 1.4 seconds left, his 12th and 13th of the night, all without a miss. Bosh was 10 for 11 from the line, and Miami outscored Chicago 32-17 in that department.

The Heat made its final 24 free throws.

Rose scored 23 points for the Bulls, who got 20 apiece from Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer. Chicago has lost three straight games for the first time this season.

But what this game will be remembered for was how the Heat rallied around Wade — then watched him save his best for the very end.

The 2006 NBA Finals MVP was in the arena late Monday night, trying to work on some things in one of his customary playoff after-dark sessions.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. This seemed like it would be the latter.

Whatever answer he sought, he didn't find for much of Game 4. Wade made just 5 of 16 shots from the field, lacking his usual lift at the rim. He made a pair of free throws with 1:50 left in the first half for his seventh and eighth points, and didn't score again until overtime.

Better late than never.

That was just the start for the Heat.

Chicago turned the ball over on its next two possessions, Wade turned the second of those into a layup with 1:01 left for a 95-89 lead, and the Heat soon knew it was one win away from the title round.

CHICAGO (93): Deng 8-16 2-2 20, Boozer 7-14 6-9 20, Noah 3-10 0-0 6, Rose 8-27 6-7 23, Bogans 2-6 0-0 6, Brewer 2-3 2-3 7, Gibson 0-1 0-0 0, Asik 0-0 0-0 0, Korver 2-6 1-1 5, Watson 3-4 0-0 6. Totals 35-87 17-22 93

MIAMI (101): James 11-26 13-13 35, Bosh 6-12 10-11 22, Anthony 0-0 2-4 2, Bibby 2-5 0-2 5, Wade 5-16 4-4 14, Haslem 0-5 2-2 2, Miller 5-8 0-0 12, Chalmers 3-3 1-2 9. Totals 32-75 32-38 101

Chicago19 27 22 17 8—o 93 Miami16 28 19 22 16—101

3-Point Goals—Chicago 6-24 (Deng 2-5, Bogans 2-6, Brewer 1-1, Rose 1-9, Korver 0-3), Miami 5-13 (Chalmers 2-2, Miller 2-5, Bibby 1-3, James 0-1, Bosh 0-1, Wade 0-1). Fouled Out—Noah. Rebounds—Chicago 57 (Noah 14), Miami 49 (Haslem, Miller 9). Assists—Chicago 20 (Noah, Rose 6), Miami 12 (James 6). Total Fouls—Chicago 28, Miami 24. Technicals—Miami defensive three second 2. Flagrant Fouls—Boozer. A—20,125 (19,600).

  Comments