Updated: 21/06/2012 21:50 | By pa.press.net

Heat move to brink of victory



Lebron James was in sparkling form for the Miami Heat

Lebron James was in sparkling form for the Miami Heat

The Miami Heat opened up a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven NBA finals with a 102-96 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Florida.

LeBron James top-scored for the home side with 26 points and Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers scored 25 each.

The Thunder's score was built around a stunning 43 points from Russell Westbrook, though the guard's foolish late personal foul handed Chalmers the chance to see his side home from the free-throw line. Kevin Durant added 28 points.

Oklahoma dominated the first quarter, opening up a 33-19 lead, but Miami roared back in the second to go into the half-time break only three points in arrears at 49-46.

Wade scored four points to put the Heat ahead at 50-49 four minutes into the third quarter and from 60-60 they pulled away into a lead which peaked at seven points.

Leading 92-90, they had a scare when key man James limped off with cramp and the Thunder regained the lead for the first time in over 18 minutes at 94-92, but James' return then heralded a 7-0 run for his side.

Westbrook cut the gap to three but an underarm lay-up by Chalmers took his side into three figures, and into a two-possession lead with 44.6 seconds remaining.

The Heat have their first chance to clinch the series on Thursday night in game five.

0Comments
10 reasons to make MSN UK your homepage (© Microsoft)

latest sport news

  • Manager Jose Mourinho can understand why a "top professional" like Petr Cech is not happy at losing his status as Chelsea's first-choice goalkeeper - but will not offer any players selection guarantees.

    Manager Jose Mourinho can understand why a "top professional" like Petr Cech is not happy at losing his status as Chelsea's first-choice goalkeeper - but will not offer any players selection guarantees.

  • Georgios Samaras left Celtic at the end of last season after six years at the club

    Georgios Samaras left Celtic at the end of last season after six years at the club

  • Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet, pictured, has warned transfer target Fabio Borini he is primed to look elsewhere

    Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet, pictured, has warned transfer target Fabio Borini he is primed to look elsewhere

  • England captain Chris Robshaw, pictured, could regret stepping down as Harlequins skipper according to John Smit

    Chris Robshaw will lose vital opportunities to "fine-tune" his Rugby World Cup captaincy after stepping down as Harlequins skipper this season, according to John Smit.

  • Gary Mercer, pictured, has succeeded James Lowes

    Yorkshire Carnegie have appointed former New Zealand rugby league international Gary Mercer as their new head coach ahead of the new Greene King IPA Championship season.

  • Connor Braid aims to show his ball skills at Glasgow

    Glasgow have signed Canadian international back Connor Braid on an initial three-month contract.

  • Lewis Hamilton was easily the fastest in second practice ahead of Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix

    Lewis Hamilton produced a bruising practice performance that put even Formula One title rival and team-mate Nico Rosberg in the shade.

  • Marussia's Max Chilton will now compete in this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix after all

    Max Chilton has dropped a hint Marussia majority shareholder Andrey Cheglakov played a part in his U-turn reinstatement following words with his management team.

  • Bernie Ecclestone is adamant Formula One will be in Russia as planned

    Bernie Ecclestone has no doubt Formula One will be making its debut in Russia in early October.

  • Surrey's Kevin Pietersen will be a star attraction at NatWest T20 Blast finals day

    Surrey's Kevin Pietersen heads the cast list as four sides head to Edgbaston to contest NatWest T20 Blast finals day on Saturday.

  • Virat Kohli captained the Indians to victory over Middlesex

    Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu were the difference as t he Indians eased to a 95-run victory over Middlesex at Lord's ahead of the one-day series against England next week.

  • Zimbabwe all-rounder Prosper Utseya's action has been reported to the International Cricket Council

    Zimbabwe's Prosper Utseya has been reported to the International Cricket Council for a suspected illegal bowling action.