Thursday, April 19, 2018
Sports

Heat's big trio quick to move on

MIAMI — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh walked off the floor together after Sunday's Game 3 of the NBA Finals and were immediately wrapped up in conversation as they strolled to the Heat locker room.

Their talk had nothing to do with Game 3.

The Heat's "Big Three" were already working on their plans for tonight's Game 4 against the Thunder by going over what had just happened.

Like last year, Miami leads this series 2-1 — but last year Dallas won the next three to capture the title.

"We all got caught up in the lights and the negativity last year," Bosh said. "We let that take away our energy away from focusing on what we needed to focus on. This year we're good enough to win it. We were good enough last year. We had too many letdowns."

So they're trying to avoid those this time around, which is why they're going over things as diligently as ever.

"They made an adjustment how they (were) playing us throughout the game, and immediately we talked about what we have to do to kind of (make) that adjustment as three guys that are going to have the ball in their hand most of the time," Wade said.

The talk-it-out approach isn't only going on in one locker room in this series.

Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins — who won a championship with the Celtics — made sure some of the younger Thunder players knew that being down 2-1 is far from the end of the world.

Perkins thinks there can't be enough positive energy now.

"I know it's got to be in the back of their mind that we've got to win this game or something to that nature," Perkins said Monday. "But I told guys after the game (Sunday) that we're going to approach Game 4 that we're not going to look at the scoreboard, see who is in the lead or not. We're just going to play hard for 48 minutes, and go from there.''

STERN'S STANCE: David Stern is determined to stop the floppers, even if it takes until the next morning. The league commissioner believes too many players are deceiving referees into calling fouls by falling down, or flopping. So he and the league's newly reformed competition committee met to discuss how it can be prevented. One option, Stern said, is a "postgame analysis" in which a player could be penalized if it was determined he flopped.

BOBCATS coach: Charlotte reportedly hired St. John's assistant Mike Dunlap as coach, a surprise because Dunlap was not among three finalists and rejoined the picture late. No official announcement appears imminent. Dunlap, 54, replaces Paul Silas, whose contract was not renewed after Charlotte (7-59) finished with the worst winning percentage in NBA history. Meanwhile, Florida's Bradley Beal and Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist worked out for the Charlotte, which owns the No. 2 overall pick in next week's draft. Bernard James of FSU, a potential Round 2 pick, was among the others at predraft camp.

HORNETS: President Hugh Weber is leaving as new owner Tom Benson appointed top Saints executives Dennis Lauscha and Mickey Loomis to oversee both teams.

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