LeBron James scored 27 points as the Miami Heat nearly matched a club record for points conceded in a playoff game, dominating the listless and short-handed Chicago Bulls 88-65 on Monday to take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
Meanwhile, in Memphis, Tennessee, Tony Allen scored on a driving layup to open overtime as the Grizzlies beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-97 to push the defending Western Conference champions to the edge of elimination.
The Bulls’ 65 points were just two more than the all-time post-season low for a Miami opponent, and it was easily the worst offensive performance by a Chicago team.
Never before had the Bulls scored fewer than 69 in a playoff game or 10 in a quarter during the post-season, but both those marks fell on a night when they were dominated on both ends of the floor.
Miami led by 11 at the half and put this one away in the third quarter, outscoring Chicago 17-9 in the period.
“We worked for it,” Heat forward Chris Bosh said. “I never like to say that things are easy.”
Defending champions the Heat will try to wrap up the series at home today.
James had his usual complete game with eight assists and seven rebounds on Monday.
Bosh finished with 14 points after scoring 20 and grabbing 19 rebounds in Game 3, and the Heat won again despite another quiet night from Dwyane Wade, whose right knee was bothering him again.
He appeared to aggravate it on a fall-away jumper during the game, but was able to return after getting re-taped.
“It’s frustrating at times, but you just try to do what you can,” Wade said.
The Grizzlies shook off a first half in which they could not hit shots and the Thunder seemingly could not miss in building their largest lead in the series at 17 points.
However, the Grizzlies have yet to lose on their home court this post-season, and they won their third straight and seventh in eight games to grab a 3-1 lead in the series.
Game 5 is tonight in Oklahoma City.
The Grizzlies outscored the Thunder 9-3 in overtime.
Kevin Durant scored 27 points, but missed all five of his shots in overtime.