James ties his playoff career high with 49 points at Barclays Center on Monday…
The Miami Heat took a big step towards reaching the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night with their win in Game 4 against the Brooklyn Nets.
LeBron James tied his playoff career high with 49 points but was left to rue a late missed free throw which would have given him a 50-point game, but nevertheless he smiled and realised his performance was special in its own right.
The 29-year-old was 16-of-24 from the field and 14-of-19 from the free throw line as coach Erik Spoelstra insisted that James was exactly what was needed on the road and his performance underlined why he is the best player in the game.
However, it was Chris Bosh who hit the tie-breaking 3-pointer with 57 seconds left as the Heat return home with a 3-1 series lead and are now hopeful that they can close things out in Game 5 on Wednesday night.
Joe Johnson insists that the series is not over but the Nets will have to show more urgency in Miami on Wednesday, but ultimately the situation does look bleak for them.
Over in the Western Conference, the Portland Trail Blazers avoided a series sweep and elimination by defeating the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4.
No other team has come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series, but Nicolas Batum has asked his team-mates why they can’t become the first after this crucial win.
Damian Lillard had 25 points to lead the hosts while Batum added 14 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists as he was also asked to play defense on countryman Tony Parker who has been influential in this series so far.
Portland held Parker to 14 points, and the Spurs point guard gave credit to his opponents for their energy right from the start while Will Barton provided a much needed spark off the bench to finish the game with 17 points.
Despite their response, the Trail Blazers still face a monumental task in advancing to the Conference Finals, and with the series heading back to San Antonio for Game 5 on Wednesday, the odds are still stacked against them.
Miami Heat 102-96 Brooklyn Nets
San Antonio Spurs 92-103 Portland Trail Blazers