LeBron James can cross another item off his to-do list.
James scored 30 points, Ray Allen had another big game against his old team and the Miami Heat got their first playoff sweep in the Big Three era, advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals with an 88-77 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday in Milwaukee.
“It was our next big step as far as our growth,” James said. “It’s so hard to win on the road in the playoffs, in someone’s building – especially when someone is playing for their last life. It’s a big step for us.”
And now the Heat have some much-needed time to rest. Dwyane Wade sat out Sunday’s game, only the second postseason game he’s missed in his career, because of his aching right knee. But with Miami not playing until Saturday, at the earliest, he’ll have plenty of time to treat the three bone bruises that caused him to miss six games near the end of the regular season.
Miami plays the winner of the Brooklyn-Chicago series. The Bulls lead that series 3-1, with Game 5 tonight in New York.
The defending NBA champions won each game by double digits, getting contributions from their stars and subs alike. Allen finished with 16 points, the third time in the series he scored in double figures, and was 4 of 7 from 3-point range.
Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 21 points, and Larry Sanders had 11 rebounds to go with seven points.
Spurs 103, Lakers 82: Tony Parker scored 23 points, and visiting San Antonio completed its first-round sweep of injury-plagued Los Angeles with a victory in Game 4.
Tim Duncan had 11 points and six rebounds for the second-seeded Spurs, who will face the winner of Denver’s series with Golden State in the second round.
In his final game before unrestricted free agency, Dwight Howard scored seven points before getting ejected early in the third quarter for arguing.
Pau Gasol had 16 points for the Lakers, who were swept from the postseason for the second time in three years.
Warriors 115, Nuggets 101: Stephen Curry shook off a sore left ankle to score 22 of his 31 points in the third quarter, leading Golden State past visiting Denver for a 3-1 series lead.
Curry shot 10 of 16 from the floor and added seven assists. His five 3-pointers in the third quarter lifted Golden State to a 20-point lead and its third straight victory.
Ty Lawson scored 26 points and Andre Iguodala had 19 for the third-seeded Nuggets.
Celtics 97, Knicks 90 (OT): Jason Terry scored Boston’s last nine points as the Celtics weathered a strong comeback by visiting New York and avoided being swept with a overtime win.
Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 29 points as they forced a fifth game in the series, but it was Terry who provided the finishing touches.