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Knicks Vs. Heat, 2012 NBA Playoffs Game 3: Miami Takes 3-0 Series Lead With Convincing Win In New York

The Miami Heat took a commanding 3-0 series lead on Thursday night with a convincing 87-70 win at Madison Square Garden. While it was ugly and sloppy on the offensive end at times, the Heat's defense completely stifled the Knicks and quickly turned a raucous crowd quiet. Miami held New York to just 31 percent from the field, and gave up nothing easy in the second half to clinch the win.

LeBron James led all scorers with 32 points, once again doing a lot of his damage from the free-throw line where he hit 12 of 13 attempts. James was frustrated early and committed eight turnovers, but he eventually turned it on as the Heat pulled away at the end of the third quarter and extended their lead down the stretch. Miami got an unexpected big game from point guard Mario Chalmers, who had a little dust-up early with Baron Davis, but finished the game with 19 points and hit five big three-pointers.

The Heat now head to Game 4 on Sunday afternoon looking for a sweep and with a great opportunity to get extended rest before the second round.

Stick with this StoryStream for news and updates throughout the first round series between the Heat and Knicks. For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For the opponent's perspective throughout the series, check out Posting And Toasting, SB Nation's Knicks blog. And for all your news and notes on the playoffs matchups, visit SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.