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LeBron scores 49, Heat inch closer to ECF

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - Updated: 8:41 AM

NEW YORK (AP) -- LeBron James had done his part to put the Miami Heat in control of the Eastern Conference semifinals, and one last free throw was meaningless except to him.

He missed, leaving him one shy of his first 50-point playoff game, muttering to himself after.

"That's the first time I've been disappointed in myself in a win," James said.

Then he smiled, realizing his performance left nothing to complain about.

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 Brooklyn Nets 102-96 on Monday night for a 3-1 lead.

James carried the Heat nearly the entire way until Bosh hit the shot that put Miami ahead for good -- a play where James resisted the temptation to force a shot, instead passing to Mario Chalmers, who swung it to a wide-open Bosh.

Ray Allen followed with four free throws and James finished it off with one more, putting the Heat in position to wrap it up at home Wednesday in Game 5.

James was 16 of 24 from the field and 14 of 19 from the free throw line in matching the 49 points he scored for Cleveland against Orlando in the 2009 Eastern Conference finals. He missed his second free throw with 1.1 seconds left.

"He was what was needed on the road and that's what makes him the best player in the game," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

     

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