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Homer D. Sayson
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List of Articles by Homer D. Sayson


 

NBA PLAYOFFS -- LeBron shines, Heat leads Knicks 3-0

By Homer D. Sayson
PhilBoxing.com
04 May 2012



THE good news is that after surrendering 204 points in their Games 1 and 2 defeats, the New York Knicks held the Miami Heat to a mere 87 points Thursday night at the Madison Square Garden in New York.

The bad news is that the Knicks couldn't find any offensive footing and managed to score just 70. The lack of production plus Heat forward LeBron James going wild in the fourth quarter proved to be a dangerous, fatal mix for the Knicks, who are now on the brink of playoffs elimination after losing Game 3.

With an imposing 3-0 bulge in this best-of-7 matchup, the Heat gun for the four-game sweep Sunday afternoon at The Garden in New York.

Game 3 was an ugly. plodding contest that saw both teams labor with their shooting accuracy. It was a toss-up after three quarters of play, with the Heat nursing a dental floss thin 58-56 advantage.

Unfortunately for New York, LeBron James turned into a one-man wrecking ball.

Sitting out most of the third quarter with four fouls, James stormed the final stanza with purpose and bad intentions. In a devastating blur of 1 minute and 23 seconds, the 6-foot-9, 250-pound juggernaut unreeled eight consecutive points ---- a layup sandwiched between two 3s --- to put Miami comfortably ahead 66-56.

It was a blow the Knicks would never recover from. In fact, things only got worse from that point on as the Knicks, who shot just 22-of-69 from the field (31.9 percent) can't get going offensively.

Miami, on the other hand, kept pressing and when starting point guard Mario Chalmers hit back-to-back 3s with 5:40 left to play, the Heat were safely beyond reach, 77-62.

James had 17 points in the pivotal fourth quarter and 32 overall. He nailed 9-of-21 shots, 2-of-5 threes, and 12-of-13 free throws. James also tallied eight rebounds and five assists.

"My mindset was to make plays, make plays for our team to try to help us win down the stretch. I was able to come in and make some plays to help us win," said James.

The Heat offense was cold all night -- 29-of-68 field goals (42.6 percent) and 11-of-29 from 3-point range (37.9 percent). But Dwyane Wade and Chalmers combined for 39 points to help LeBron and it was more than sufficient to hold off the injury ravaged Knicks, who played minus Jeremy Lin (knee surgery) and Amare Stoudemire (lacerated hand).

Carmelo Anthony paced the Knicks with 22 points on 7-of-23 shooting. J.R. Smith added 12 points while Steve Novak chipped in 10.

"Offensively, we just didn't have it. I gotta take the heat for that," Knicks interim head coach Mike Woodson told reporters. (Homer D. Sayson)


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