by Tom Morgan
MIAMI, FLA. -- The Miami Heat are just one win away from their second NBA title in six years.
A gimpy LeBron James had 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds before suffering leg cramps late as the Heat rallied from 17 points down to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-98 for a 3-1 series lead in the NBA Finals.
James left the game briefly in the fourth quarter then hit a tie-breaking three-pointer with 2:51 left that broke the Thunder's back.
Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers each scored 25 for the Heat. Chalmers was huge for the Heat with 19 of his points coming in the second half.
The Heat overcame a spectacular game from Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who scored a career playoff-high 43 points. Kevin Durant added 28 for the Thunder, who need to win game five in Miami on Thursday if they want to play at home at least one more time in this series.
In other state sports news...
- Carlos Pena's two-run homer lifted the Tampa Bay Rays over the Washington Nationals 5-4. Tampa Bay reliever Joel Peralta was ejected in the eighth inning for having an excessive amount of pine tar on his glove. Peralta used to play for the Nationals. Rays manager Joe Maddon was upset with National's manager Davey Johnson's protest. He called it "bush".
- David Ortiz hit his 17th homer and Clay Buchholz won his fourth straight start as the Boston Red Sox beat the Miami Marlins 7-5 for their fifth win in six games. Miami has dropped eight of 10.
- Florida State lives to play another day at the College World Series. Facing elimination on Tuesday, the Seminoles defeated UCLA 4-1. Winning pitcher Scott Sitz threw a season-high 6 2-3 innings and struck out eight. Sitz struck out the side in the sixth inning after the Bruins had loaded the bases. FSU plays Arizona on Thursday, needing to beat the Wildcats twice to reach the championship round.