James, Heat pull away to 3-0 lead over Knicks

By Brian Mahoney

Associated Press

Published: Friday, May 4 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, right, tangles with Miami Heat forward Shane Battier (31) as they fight for the ball during the second quarter of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series at Madison Square Garden in New York, Thursday, May 3, 2012. Anthony was called for a technical foul after the play.

Kathy Willens, Associated Press

NEW YORK — LeBron James had more turnovers and fouls than baskets, and still the Miami Heat were ahead.

James didn't like having to sit, but he sure liked what he saw.

"I'm not a guy who's in foul trouble a lot, so it was difficult for me to sit down early in the third," he said. "But we have a great supporting cast. Our defense was tremendous in the third quarter. It allowed us to go into the fourth quarter with a lead."

Then James came back and increased it.

James scored 32 points, including eight straight to start the fourth quarter and break open the game, and the Heat took a 3-0 series lead, sending the New York Knicks to an NBA postseason-record 13th straight loss, 87-70 on Thursday night.

James had 17 points in the final period for the Heat, who held the short-handed Knicks to eight field goals in the second half and will go for the sweep Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

"He just has to stay with it," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He had some turnovers, he had some mistakes but he was able to keep his head in it."

Wade added 20 points for the Heat and Mario Chalmers had 19, hitting consecutive 3-pointers in the fourth quarter when the Heat finally brought some beauty to what had been an ugly game.

Wade was forced to go the whole third quarter while James was limited to just 4 1/2 minutes by fouls. Wade had 12 points in the period, knowing the two-time MVP would be coming back with fresh legs.

"I thought probably sitting over there that whole third quarter was probably good for him, because he came right in right away and got right at it. He didn't waste any time," Wade said. "He's never really in foul trouble, so I thought it was good for him."

Carmelo Anthony scored 22 points but shot 7 of 23 for the Knicks, who are playing without Amare Stoudemire, Jeremy Lin and Iman Shumpert and needed a super effort from Anthony that he didn't come close to providing.

"When you can't score the basketball, that makes the game extremely hard, no matter how much defense we go down there and play," Anthony said.

The Knicks broke the record set by Memphis from 2004-06. They haven't won a playoff game since April 29, 2001, Game 3 of a best-of-five series against Toronto.

No NBA team has overcome a 3-0 deficit.

"It's a tough one. It's an uphill battle, but it's one we have to go through," center Tyson Chandler said. "Obviously no one wants to be in a hole 0-3, you know in the playoffs especially against a tough team like (Miami), but that's the way it is and we've got to keep fighting."

Chris Bosh had nine points and 10 rebounds hours after the birth of the couple's first child. He flew to New York with the Heat on Wednesday, then quickly hopped on a flight back to Miami after learning his wife was in labor. He returned Thursday afternoon following the birth of his son, arriving at the arena about 30 minutes before the game.

In a sloppy game, Miami went 10 minutes without a field goal in the second half, followed by the Knicks managing just three baskets in the third quarter.

Then James, who finished with eight turnovers, took over.

He came off the bench to start the fourth after sitting most of the third in foul trouble, quickly providing the best offensive stretch in the game. He nailed a 3-pointer, followed his own miss, then hit again from behind the arc, turning the Heat's two-point lead into a 66-56 cushion with 10:36 remaining.

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