NEW YORK — LeBron James tied his playoff career high with 49 points, Chris Bosh made the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 57 seconds left, and the Heat beat the Nets 102-96 on Monday night for a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
James carried the Heat nearly the entire way until Bosh hit the shot that put Miami ahead for good. Ray Allen followed with four free throws and James finished it off with one more, putting the Heat in position to wrap up the best-of-seven series Wednesday at home in Game 5.
James was 16 of 24 from the field and 14 of 19 from the free-throw line in matching the 49 he scored for Cleveland against Orlando in the 2009 Eastern Conference final. He missed his second free throw with 1.1 seconds left, muttering to himself after it fell out.
Joe Johnson scored 18 for the Nets, who were 15 of 25 from 3-point range in their Game 3 victory but 5 of 22 in this one. Paul Pierce scored 16 and Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston each had 13.
Dwyane Wade scored 15 on the night his Heat postseason record of 46 was broken. Bosh finished with 12.
Miami has won at least one road game in 14 straight series, breaking the record set by the Bulls from 1991-94.
Brooklyn opened the fourth quarter with six straight points to grab an 82-79 edge, and neither team had a bigger margin than that in the period until Kevin Garnett's two free throws tied it with 2:30 remaining.
Bosh missed a pair of jump shots before getting a third attempt when the Heat swung the ball around to him in the corner in front of the Brooklyn bench for a 3-pointer that made it 97-94.
Johnson then missed a jump shot while trying to draw James' sixth foul, and Allen's free throws put it away.
Heat 102, Nets 96
MIAMI (102): James 16-24 14-19 49, Battier 1-1 0-0 2, Bosh 5-9 0-0 12, Chalmers 3-7 0-0 8, Wade 7-13 1-2 15, Andersen 2-2 1-2 5, Allen 3-7 4-4 11, Lewis 0-3 0-0 0, Cole 0-2 0-0 0, Jones 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 37-70 20-27 102.
BROOKLYN (96): Johnson 5-15 6-6 18, Pierce 6-11 4-5 16, Garnett 3-5 2-2 8, Williams 5-14 2-2 13, Livingston 4-9 5-7 13, Anderson 3-5 2-3 10, Blatche 4-10 0-0 8, Teletovic 2-6 0-0 4, Kirilenko 2-3 2-3 6. Totals 34-78 23-28 96.
Miami 27 29 23 23— 102
Brooklyn 22 27 27 20— 96
3-Point Goals—Miami 8-24 (James 3-6, Chalmers 2-3, Bosh 2-6, Allen 1-5, Lewis 0-1, Jones 0-1, Cole 0-2), Brooklyn 5-22 (Anderson 2-4, Johnson 2-7, Williams 1-3, Blatche 0-1, Teletovic 0-3, Pierce 0-4). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Miami 41 (Allen 7), Brooklyn 48 (Blatche 8). Assists—Miami 14 (Chalmers 7), Brooklyn 22 (Williams 7). Total Fouls—Miami 23, Brooklyn 22. Technicals—Battier, James, Anderson, Pierce. A—17,732 (17,732).
CAVS FIRE BROWN AGAIN: Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert felt he made a big mistake when he fired Mike Brown as his coach in 2010. That didn't stop him from doing it again.
Brown's second shot with the Cavs ended after one just one season as Gilbert dismissed the only Cleveland coach who has ever made it to the NBA Finals.
Brown had been re-hired last April by Gilbert. The Cavaliers went 33-49 this season, missing the playoffs. Brown went 272-138 in his first stint with Cleveland. Led by LeBron James, the Brown-coached Cavs lost the 2007 NBA Finals to the Spurs in four games.
In addition to firing Brown, Gilbert retained David Griffin as the club's full-time general manager. Griffin had been interim GM since Feb. 6, when Gilbert fired Chris Grant.
Brown had four years remaining on his $20 million contract. Brown, who was fired last year by the Lakers five games into his second season, could not be reached for comment.
STERLING SAYS MAGIC A BAD EXAMPLE: Banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling said Magic Johnson isn't a good role model for the children of Los Angeles, Sterling told CNN.
Sterling said Johnson, who is HIV positive, is not "a good example for the children of Los Angeles."
"He's got AIDS," Sterling said. "… Is this someone we want to respect and tell our kids about? I think he should be ashamed of himself. I think he should go into the background."
Sterling's girlfriend, V. Stiviano, had posted a photo of her and the Lakers Hall of Famer on her Instagram account.
Sterling told her to remove the photo and made racist comments, leading to his lifetime ban from the league and fined $2.5 million.
In the interview, Sterling said he has talked to Johnson twice since the audio recordings became public.
Commissioner Adam Silver apologized, on behalf of the league to Johnson for Sterling's remarks.