LeBron James scored seven of his 22 points at the end of the third quarter as the Heat pulled away from the Bucks. Their 104-91 victory gave them a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, and the defending champs can close it out Sunday at the Bradley Center.
No NBA team has overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series.
Ray Allen led the Heat with 23 points, and his five 3-pointers gave him the NBA career playoff record with 322.
Allen set the record with 8:35 to play, then added his fifth of the night a few minutes later for No. 322.
Chris Bosh added 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Heat, who have won 11 in a row dating to the regular season. Dwyane Wade scored only four points, but he had 11 assists.
Larry Sanders and Brandon Jennings led the Bucks with 16 points each.
The defending champions still haven’t played their best game. But it doesn’t matter, not when they can make one of their patented runs.
After leading for much of the game, Milwaukee was trying to pull away early in the third. Jennings was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three free throws, then followed with a one-hand slam after Ersan Ilyasova’s steal. Luc Mbah a Moute made two sets of free throws, and the Bucks were back up 61-55 with 7:14 left in the third.
But the Heat have made a habit of putting the Bucks away with runs, and this game was no different.
BULLS 79, NETS 76
In Chicago, Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 16 rebounds, Luol Deng added 21 points and 10 boards, and Chicago held off Brooklyn in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series.
The Bulls had no field goals and two foul shots in the final 5:46 of the game, but still managed to beat the Nets for the second time in the postseason.
They will try to grab a 3-1 lead when the series resumes in a quick turnaround Saturday afternoon.
Brooklyn shot 35 percent for the second consecutive game. Brook Lopez had 22 points and nine rebounds, and Deron Williams finished with 18 points.