scored 49 points to help the Heat
take a 3-1 lead. (McClatchy-Tribune/Getty Images)
Heat forward LeBron James exploded for 49 points during Miami's 102-96 road victory in Game 4 over Brooklyn on Monday.
The four-time MVP matched his playoff career-high of 49 points, which came for the Cavaliers against the Magic on May 20, 2009. James had a chance to hit 50 points and set a new playoff career-high, but he missed a free throw in the game's closing seconds.
"At the same time that I'm in the moment, I understand history," James told TNT in a post-game interview. "To put up 50 [points] in a playoff game would have been pretty cool. But at the end of the day, I understand to win is what's most important. But I had fun."
James also set a new Heat franchise playoff scoring record, surpassing Dwyane Wade, who scored 46 points against the Celtics on April 25, 2010.
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The last player to score 50+ points in a playoff game was Heat guard Ray Allen, then with the Celtics, who poured in 51 points in a loss to the Bulls on April 30, 2009.
The outburst marked the 12th time in James' career that he has topped 40 points in the playoffs and the third time since joining the Heat in 2010.
James finished with 49 points (on 16-for-24 shooting), six rebounds and two assists in 43 minutes.
Back in March, James set a new career-high by scoring 61 points against the Bobcats.
Dwyane Wade added 15 points (on 7-for-13 shooting), four rebounds and three assists in the win.
With the victory, Miami (No. 2) moved to a 3-1 lead over Brooklyn (No. 6) in the Eastern Conference semifinals series. Game 5 is set for Wednesday at the American Airlines Arena.
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