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2012 NBA Finals
LeBron James brushed aside cramps in both legs and drilled a pivotal go-ahead 3-pointer late in the fourth period, helping push the Miami Heat to the brink of an NBA title with a 104-98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 4 at AmericanAirlines Arena.
James had another sstrong all-around effort, finishing with 26 points in the win.
James did not have his usual gaudy point total, but he nearly had a triple-double with 12 assists and nine boards.
The reigning NBA MVP James, who fell to the court as his left quad seized up, returned later to a huge roar from crowd with a little over 4 minutes left and the Heat, who led by as many as seven in the fourth, were down two after Kevin Durant's basket made it 94-92.
James, who had suffered the cramps throughout the second half, limped back to the scorer's table with 4:36 left in the contest.
It apparently made him a step slower, but James buried the back-breaking triple from the high right side to make it 97-94.
His fellow Heat star Dwyane Wade, who also showed resiliency as the former NBA Finals MVP played through pain following a nasty fall, added a scoop layup, capping a 7-0 burst.
James winced in pain as Heat trainers attended to his legs on the bench. He had to be carried off the court, which sucked out the fading hopes from the crowd as they feared the worst.
With his muscles shot through with cramps, he managed to convert a flat-footed shot from 24 feet that shattered a 94-all deadlock and put the Heat up for good and sent them to a 3-1 lead in the series.
Wade finished with 25 points while Mario Chalmers posted one of the biggest games of his career, scoring 25 on 9-for-15. Chalmers had 12 points in the fourth quarter, including two crucial free throws with 13 ticks left.
Russell Westbrook tried to keep the Thunder in the game as he poured in 43 markers, but he made a costly error with 13.8 seconds left when he fouled Chalmers with the shot clock winding down and OKC down by three.
Durant added 28 for the Thunder, who unlike the first three first quarters of the Finals came out and exploded with 33 points in the opening period.
The Heat won the rebounding battle 40-35 and had 46 points in the paint, six more than Oklahoma City. It marked third straight contest that Miami dominated these game factors, leading to three straight victories.
The Thunder now face an arduous task as no team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in NBA Finals history.
Heat's Wade dealing with off-court drama with custody battle.
Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade is not only battling for his second NBA Championship ring but also in the midst of a legal war with his ex-wife Siovaughn Funches-Wade over the custody of their two children.
Siovaughn Funches-Wade, the former wife of Wade, was arrested in Chicago Monday on two counts of attempted child abduction and unlawful visitation.
Funches-Wade reportedly prevented Wade from spending Fathers Day with their two sons Zaire, 10, and Zion, 5.
Funches-Wade was released after posting $10,000 bond but Wade asked the court to suspend the visitation rights of Funches-Wade of their two young sons.
Aside from attempted child abduction and unlawful visitation, Funches-Wade was also charged of one count of resisting arrest.
Wade's ex-wife was also taken to hospital after experiencing shortness of breath following her release from prison. She is scheduled to return to court in August.
Ailing Lebron Helps Heat Top Thunder, Take 3-1 Lead in NBA Finals