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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, April 28th (All times Eastern)
(2) Miami Heat (3-0) at (7) Charlotte Bobcats (0-3), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat will try to close out the Charlotte Bobcats Monday night in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
The Heat will look for the sweep and the Bobcats will go for their first-ever playoff victory. This is Charlotte's second postseason appearance in the franchise's history and the Bobcats were swept in four games by the Orlando Magic in 2010.
In Saturday's Game 3, LeBron James showed why he's the game's best player.
James had 30 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and the Heat rolled to a 98-85 win. He was 10-for-18 from the floor, 9-for-10 on free throws and scored 28 of his 30 points in the first three quarters, including 12 in the third when the Heat stretched their lead to 26.
"That greatness, we don't take it for granted," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "He does it on a nightly basis. Sometimes he makes it look easy. He read the game extremely well -- when to be aggressive, when to turn it up and make plays and try to get into the paint."
Before Saturday's Game 3, James showed why he's the game's leading voice.
James was one of the NBA's only major stars to come down hard on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for the racist comments allegedly caught on tape.
"If the reports are true, it's unacceptable in our league," James said before the game. "You just can't have that in our league."
Dwyane Wade chipped in 17 points and six assists for the second-seeded Heat and Chris Andersen scored 12 off the bench. Chris Bosh, who hit a 3-pointer to put the stops on a 10-0 Bobcats run late in Game 2 on Wednesday, scored just eight on Saturday.
Miami has beaten Charlotte 19 straight times, including the three wins in this series.
Al Jefferson played again despite suffering a plantar fascia strain in his left foot in Game 1 and led the Bobcats with 20 points -- but scored just five after the first quarter (he and three other Charlotte starters sat out the entire fourth).
"They made it tough to be able to get him the ball," said Josh McRoberts, who scored 13 points two days after he was fined $20,000 for elbowing James in the neck in Game 2. "They're the best team in the NBA defensively by a long shot in terms of the athletes they put on the court."
Head coach Steve Clifford stated that Jefferson is doubtful to play Game 4 and if Jefferson couldn't go, Bismack Biyombo would start in his place
Chris Douglas-Roberts contributed 17 points off the bench for Charlotte, followed by 13 from Kemba Walker.
The Heat took the lead for good with a 23-7 run late in the second quarter and led by double digits throughout the second half. Charlotte and Miami rested key players over the final 12 minutes and the Bobcats cut the final deficit to 13.
If needed, Game 5 will be Wednesday night in South Beach.
04/28 11:02:30 ET
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