(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — LeBron James scored 31 points, with 19 coming after suffering a thigh bruise in the third, to lift the Heat to a 109-98 win over Charlotte in Game Four. Miami has now swept the series with the Bobcats and becomes the first team to advance in the NBA Playoffs.
The Heat trailed by two at halftime but outscored the Bobcats 32-17 in the third to take control. About halfway through the period, James collided with Bismack Biyombo on a drive to the basket and crumpled to the floor. After hobbling to the bench during a timeout, James remained in the game and promptly scored seven straight points to make it a 73-66 game.
Charlotte was unable to threaten the lead, never getting closer than seven points in the fourth quarter. Kemba Walker scored 29 points, scoring on 11 of his 15 shots. The Bobcats were without leading scorer and rebounder Al Jefferson, who has been hampered by a foot injury since Game 1.
The two-time defending NBA champions will take on the winner of the Toronto-Brooklyn series, which is currently tied at 2-2. Miami has now won nine consecutive playoff series and has swept the opening round for the second straight season.
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Jill Martin, CNN