The Miami Heat easily dispatched the Charlotte Bobcats in a 98-85 Game 3 victory. The Heat have taken a commanding 3-0 lead in their first-round series and will have an opportunity to complete the sweep Monday in Charlotte.
The Bobcats started their first home playoff game since 2010 strong and ended the first quarter leading 27-23. Al Jefferson scored 15 points in the first quarter, shooting seven-of-nine from the field and dominating the Heat around the rim. It was a strong showing from one of the NBA's most versatile post players, but it was short-lived.
Miami quickly turned the game around in the second quarter, outscoring Charlotte 35-19. The Heat led by as many as 26 points, continuing to steamroll the Bobcats through the second half. LeBron James scored 30 points on 10-of-18 shooting, including this breakaway dunk that may or may not have featured James glaring at Michael Jordan on the sideline as he jammed it down:
Jefferson finished the night with 20 points despite his hot start, making only one more field goal through the remaining 36 minutes. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist struggled, scoring just three points on one-of-six shooting.
The Heat are one game away from advancing to the next round and are the only team to take a 3-0 lead in the first round of the playoffs. They face either the Brooklyn Nets or Toronto Raptors if they advance to the second round, and could have close to a full week's rest if they close out the series Monday.