A gimpy LeBron James and the Miami Heat are one win away from the second NBA championship in six years.
James had 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds before dealing with leg cramps late as the Heat rallied from 17 points down to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-98 to take a 3-1 series lead of the NBA Finals. James left the game briefly in the fourth quarter then hit a tiebreaking three-pointer with 2:51 left that broke the Thunder’s back.
Dwyane (dwayn) Wade and Mario Chalmers each scored 25 for the Heat, who could win the title in Miami on Thursday. Chalmers scored 19 in the second half.
Winning coach Erik Spoelstra (SPOHL’-struh) said this game again came down to “four or five plays,” and called the series “incredibly close.”
Russell Westbrook had a career playoff-high 43 points and Kevin Durant added 28 for the Thunder. They were the only Thunder players to score in the final 16:46.
A defiant Thunder coach Scott Brooks said afterward: “I can guarantee this — we have fight in us.”
If the Thunder win Thursday, the series moves back to Oklahoma City Sunday night for Game 6.
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