New York, NY – LeBron James scored the first 11 points of the fourth quarter for Miami and finished with 32 points, lifting the Heat to a 87-70 victory over the Knicks in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.
Dwyane Wade added 20 points and Mario Chalmers chipped in 19 on 5-of-8 shooting from three-point range as the Heat gained a commanding 3-0 advantage in their best-of-seven series.
The Heat will look for the series sweep on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 22 points and eight rebounds while Tyson Chandler recorded a double-double with 10 points and 15 boards. Forward Amare Stoudemire was relegated to a spectator's role after injuring his hand when he punched a fire extinguisher after the Knicks' Game 2 loss.
The Knicks shot just 31.9 percent from the field in the setback and suffered an NBA record 13th consecutive playoff loss.
"Offensively we just didn't have it," said Knicks head coach Mike Woodson. "We were so stagnant and I have to take the heat for that. We just didn't have it coming down the home stretch."
After sitting the final seven-plus minutes of the third, James took over in the fourth with his team up by two, knocking down two threes around a putback layup to give the Heat a 66-56 advantage less than two minutes into the frame.
New York pulled within six two minutes later, but James converted a three- point play to restore a nine-point lead for the visitors.
Wade and Anthony then exchanged jumpers before Chalmers knocked down consecutive threes, giving the Heat a comfortable 77-62 lead with 5:40 left in and the Knicks never got within single digits again.
"We weren't playing well in the first half on either end of the court," said Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra. "On the road, you like to see your team show some resiliency, some toughness, some resolve to dig back into it."
After playing to a 19-19 tie in the first, New York held the Heat without a field goal for over 10 minutes spanning the first and second quarters before Wade finished a layup with 6:50 left to bring the Heat within 28-22.
Miami pulled within one on a James free throw, but Landry Fields answered with a three-pointer, sparking a 9-0 run capped by consecutive buckets from Anthony to extend the lead to 37-27 with 2:16 left until the break.
A three-point play from Baron Davis pressed the lead to 11, but Miami closed the half with seven straight to trim the margin to 40-36 heading into the locker room.
The Knicks struggled from the field in the third, shooting just 20 percent as the Heat turned a four-point halftime deficit into a five-point lead when Wade connected on consecutive triples around two free throws from Chandler with just over four minutes left in the third.
The Knicks pulled even after five straight from Anthony and trailed 58-56 heading into the final frame.
The Knicks haven't won a playoff game since April 29, 2001...The Knicks finished 4-of-20 from long range while the Heat connected on 11 of their 29 three-point attempts...Anthony was charged with a technical foul after getting tangled up with Miami's Shane Battier with 39 seconds left in the second quarter.