Ray Allen #34 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The ageless Ray Allen scored 23 points, and broke the NBA career playoff record for 3-pointers, as the Miami Heat used another of their patented runs to win 104-91 at the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday for a 3-0 lead in their first-round series.
In the day’s other playoff games, the Chicago Bulls held off Brooklyn to take a 2-1 lead, while Memphis got the win it needed, beating the Los Angeles Clippers to cut the series deficit to 2-1. Miami can complete a sweep in Game 4 on Sunday at the Bradley Center. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a series in the NBA playoffs.
Allen’s five 3-pointers against the Bucks gave him 322 for his career, two more than Reggie Miller. LeBron James added 22 points in his standard strong performance for the Heat, and Chris Bosh had 16 points and 14 rebounds. “That’s been our calling card all year, the depth that we have,” said Allen. “As a team, you’ve got to find way to plug in the holes, and every night we find somebody different.” Dwyane Wade scored only four points, but had 11 assists.
“I shot the ball terrible,” said Wade, who is still nursing a bruised right knee. “But we played a good game. As a team, we showed a lot of guts, a lot of grit. When those guys came out hot, we stayed with it, we stayed with our game plan and were able to get a great win. There’s nothing as satisfying as winning a Game 3 on the road.”
Larry Sanders and Brandon Jennings led the Bucks with 16 points each. Milwaukee led by six points in the third quarter before the Heat turned up the wick, putting together a 23-7 run that put the visitors up by 10 points by the end of the period.
“A three-, four-minute stretch just like in the first two games, where they kind of blitzed us,” Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. “We dug ourselves a big hole that we could not come back from.”
Chicago’s Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 16 rebounds while Luol Deng added 21 points and 10 boards as the Bulls beat the Brooklyn Nets 79-76. The Bulls had no field goals and two foul shots in the final 5:46 of the game, but still managed to hang on, and will try to grab a 3-1 lead when the series resumes in a quick turnaround on Saturday.
Brooklyn shot 35 percent for the second straight game. Brook Lopez had 22 points and nine rebounds, and Deron Williams finished with 18 points on 5-for-14 shooting. Memphis’ Zach Randolph had 27 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Grizzlies to a 94-82 win over the Los Angeles Clippers which raised hopes of turning around the series after two straight defeats.
Memphis snapped the Clippers’ nine-game winning streak by outrebounding and dominating on second-chance points, the same things Los Angeles did so well on its home court to start the series.
Marc Gasol accepted his trophy as the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year before tipoff, then scored 16 points. Blake Griffin scored 16 points for the Clippers. Chris Paul had eight points on 4-of-11 shooting and added six assists.
Game 4 is Saturday in Memphis.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press via thegrio.com