• NBA Finals, Game 3

Heat edge ahead thanks to James' big performance

ESPN staff
June 18, 2012
LeBron James helped the Heat soar © Getty Images

LeBron James put in another big play-off performance to ensure the Miami Heat claimed Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Playing in front of their home fans for the first time in the series, the Heat had James' 29 points and 14 rebounds to thank as they held on to claim a 91-85 victory in another fraught encounter.

Dwyane Wade - who appeared to be nursing an injury - chipped in with 25 points but it was James who proved the difference - with a three-pointer sending the Heat into the fourth quarter with the advantage, and five successive points down the stretch clinching matters.

The Thunder had a ten-point lead at one stage in the third quarter, but the Heat capitalised when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook went out of the game to wrest back the momentum in the contest - and the series.

"It's all about chemistry," James said. "We understand where we like to get the ball, what we like to do in close situations, and it's good to see us execute down the stretch. But more importantly it was great to see we were able to get stops. That's where the game is won and we did that."

The Heat also had a 2-1 lead in the Finals 12 months' ago, before the Dallas Mavericks won the next three games in a row to clinch the title.

Game 4 is in Miami on Tuesday.

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