Thursday, 28 April 2011

Miami Heat hold off the Sixers, will face Celtics next

Posted by chardyboy on Thursday, April 28, 2011 0 comments


MIAMI - The Miami supporting cast helped the Heat survive one final run from the Philadelphia 76ers to hold on for a 97-91 victory on Wednesday that advanced them to the next round of the NBA's playoffs.

Reserve Joel Anthony made two free throws to put Miami up by three with 16 seconds left as the Heat narrowly avoided another fourth-quarter meltdown -- Philadelphia went on a 10-0 run in the final 82 seconds to win Game Four -- to wrap up their best-of-seven series 4-1.

The Heat had allowed a 10-point fourth-quarter lead to be cut to just one on Wednesday but they made nine of their 10 free throws in the final three minutes to ensure they advanced to a second round clash with the Boston Celtics.

"It was very difficult (to finish the series)," Dwyane Wade told reporters after scoring 12 of his game-high 26 points in the fourth quarter. "That team (Philadelphia) is resilient.

"We knew it was going to be that way. That team got us ready for the next round."

Chris Bosh finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds while LeBron James had 16 points, but it was the 20 points the home team got off the bench from Mario Chalmers that proved vital.

Philadelphia's starting lineup had dominated their Miami counterparts throughout the series, outscoring them 78-46 before either side made their first substitutions, which continued on Wednesday as they opened an 11-point lead in the first quarter.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra changed tactics and started the second half with reserves Chalmers and Anthony, with Chalmers' contribution proving invaluable.

The guard made two of this six three-pointers in the third quarter, one of which began a 7-0 run that helped Miami to a 72-67 lead heading into the final period.

Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala scored 22 points each for the 76ers. — Reuters


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