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NBA Playoffs - Heat dispatch Nets, advance to East Finals


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- Trailing the entire second half and down 89-80 with just 5:34 left in the fourth quarter, it seemed imminent that the Brooklyn Nets would extend the Eastern Conference semifinals to a Game 6.

But like they've always done when their backs are against the wall, the Miami Heat summoned their championship will and pulled the rug underneath the Nets with a 16-5 run that stole Game 5, 96-94, and eliminated Brooklyn, 4-1.

Ray Allen sealed the improbable comeback Wednesday night at the American Airlines Arena by hitting a 3 that gave Miami a 93-91 cushion in the final 32 seconds. He added two free throws with 21.6 ticks to go to put Game 5 beyond doubt.

LeBron James had another all-around performance with 29 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, Dwyane Wade swished home 28, and Chris Bosh added 16. Allen finished with 13 for Miami, which converted only 29 of 67 form the field and 9 of 19 triples.

"You can't get caught up in frustrations, you can't get caught up in trying to get a 10-point play. It just takes incredible focus, to concentrate one possession at a time," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra told NBA.com after pulling off the rally.

Shooting 47.4 percent from the field (37-of-78) and 36.4 percent from 3-point range (8-of-22), the Nets controlled much of Game 5, leading 49-42 at halftime at 75-66 after three quarters.

But when the two-time defending champions Heat came roaring back with dangerous intent, the Nets wilted like the stem of a thirsty rose.

"You have to give the Heat credit. They made shots, we didn't..It happens," Brooklyn head coach Jason Kidd said.

Joe Johnson led Brooklyn with 34 points and 7 boards, Paul Pierce drilled 19, and Deron Williams accounted for 17. Kevin Garnett pulled down 8 boards, but he was a non-factor on offense with a mere 2 points. (Homer D. Sayson)

Photo: Heat stars Dwyane Wade (R) and LeBron James celebrate after advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth straight year.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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