NBA Playoffs: LeBron’s 49 Enough For Heat
NEW YORK (AP) — Pick any three Brooklyn Nets from Monday night's game against Miami, and they didn't combine to score as many points as LeBron James produced in helping the Heat take a 3-1 series lead in the NBA's Eastern Conference semifinals.
James tied a playoff career high with 49 points, going 16-for-24 from the field in a 102-96 win over the Nets in Brooklyn. He had 15 of Miami's 23 third-quarter points and added nine more in the final period. But the Heat couldn't shake the Nets until Chris Bosh drained a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 57.3 seconds left. Ray Allen secured the victory by hitting four free throws in the final 11 seconds.
Dwyane Wade finished with 15 points and helped the Heat shoot 53 percent for the game, going 7-for-13. Chris Bosh had 12 points for the Heat, who can wrap up the series Wednesday in Miami.
Joe Johnson had a team-high 18 points but shot just 5-for-15 for Brooklyn.
The Portland Trail Blazers have avoided a four-game sweep after losing the first three by an average of 19 points.
Damian Lillard scored 25 points and the Blazers dominated the third period of a 103-92 win over San Antonio. Nicolas Batum delivered 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Blazers, who took control by outscoring the Spurs 35-20 in the third period. LaMarcus Aldridge added 19 points to the win.
Tony Parker had only one assist and led the Spurs in scoring with just 14 points. Tim Duncan and Boris Diaw each had 12 points for the Spurs, who can wrap up the series at home on Wednesday.
Cavs bounce Brown
CLEVELAND (AP) — Mike Brown went 272-138 with one conference championship over five years in his first stint as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Turns out, his second stint was shorter and not nearly as successful.
Brown has been let go again after one season and a 33-49 record. The Cavs fell six victories short of making the playoffs as both Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters missed significant time due to injuries.
Brown had been re-hired last April by Dan Gilbert, who regretted dismissing him four years earlier. Brown had four years remaining on his $20 million contract.
Another Sterling moment...Clippers CEO: sale very likely
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has apologized for the racist comments that got him banned from the NBA for life, telling CNN's Anderson Cooper that it was a "terrible mistake" and that he is not a racist. Sterling also repeatedly disparaged Magic Johnson's HIV-positive status in an interview that aired Monday, saying he was not a fit role model for children and dismissing his work in business and charity.
Sterling says years of good behavior as an owner should count toward his future and is hoping his fellow NBA owners will give him a second chance.
Meanwhile, the interim CEO chosen by the NBA to run the Los Angeles Clippers says he's confident the league will succeed in forcing a sale of the team owned by Sterling since 1981. Dick Parsons says a prolonged legal battle is in no one's interest, and he would hope one could be avoided.