Heat take 3-0 series lead over Knicks

LeBron James scored 32 points, including eight straight to start the fourth quarter as the Miami Heat pull away late to take a 3-0 lead over the New York Knicks, winning 87-70 on Thursday night at the Madison Square Garden.

LeBron James led the Heat to an 87-70 victory, scoring 32 points, 17 in the final quarter. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

James had 17 points in the final period for the Heat, who held the short-handed Knicks to eight field goals in the second half and will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon.

Dwyane Wade added 20 points for the Heat and Mario Chalmers had 19, hitting consecutive 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, that put the game away.

Carmelo Anthony scored 22 points but shot 7-of-23 for the Knicks, who are playing without Amare Stoudemire, Jeremy Lin and Iman Shumpert and needed a super effort from Anthony that he didn’t come close to providing.

The Heat won the opener by 33 points and took Game 2, 104-94 on Monday, when the Knicks’ biggest problems came after the game.

Stoudemire punched a fire extinguisher case in the arena and badly cut his left hand, needing surgery Tuesday to repair a muscle. He sat on bench with his arm in a sling.

Mavericks one win away from NBA title

Behind another strong effort from Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and J.J. Barea, the Dallas Mavericks are one win away from winning their first NBA crown.

Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 29 points and six rebounds. He went 50 percent from the field and gone 10-of-10 from the foul line.

His baseline dunk put the Mavericks ahead 102-100 as they won Game 5 112-103 and take a 3-2 series lead over the Miami Heat.