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Heat close on a 13-3 run to advance to Eastern Conference Finals with Game 5 win over Nets

May 14, 2014, 10:29 PM EDT

LeBron James LeBron James

The Nets had every chance to extend their second round series against the Heat, leading most of the way and getting a transcendent second half performance from Joe Johnson that led you to believe we may be headed for a Game 6 back in Brooklyn before things would be decided.

But LeBron James put a stop to that on the defensive end of the floor, and while Brooklyn failed to execute down the stretch, Miami closed on a 13-3 run to overcome an eight-point deficit with under three minutes remaining to secure the 96-94 victory, and with it, a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.

James put up 49 points in Miami’s Game 4 victory, and Dwyane Wade seemed determined to give his teammate an easier go of things in this one, at least in the first half. Wade had 20 points at the break in just over fifteen minutes of action, taking control offensively while the rest of the Heat combined to shoot just 1-of-16 from three-point distance over the game’s first 24 minutes, which helped the Nets take a seven-point lead into the intermission.

Brooklyn continued to hold the lead for much of the second half, and it was all thanks to the brilliance of Johnson, who scored 24 of his game-high 34 points in the game’s final 24 minutes, playing all of them while shooting 10-of-13 from the field during that stretch.

But the Nets simply couldn’t execute late, while the defending champs clamped down and forced plenty of difficult shots.

Johnson had scored seven straight Nets points to give his team an eight-point lead with under five minutes remaining, but they went away from him somewhat inexplicably, and he didn’t get a shot off for the game’s next three-plus minutes. A series of misses had Miami back in it, and Johnson had cooled off by the time he finally got the opportunity to shoot again.

The three-point shot that had eluded the Heat in the first half was found in the second, and Ray Allen hit a dagger of one to put Miami up for good with 32 seconds remaining. The Nets had chances on their final couple of possessions, but they weren’t even able to get a shot off thanks to the Heat’s stifling defense.

Brooklyn never feared the Heat, but ultimately the team’s execution was lacking too many times when the games were ready to be decided. This series was a good test for Miami on the road to a fourth straight Finals appearance — one that now only has an inexperienced Wizards team or an extremely inconsistent Pacers squad in the way of the Heat completing that accomplishment.

118 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. jzone954 - May 15, 2014 at 12:01 AM

    The Heat are doing something special. It won’t last forever obviously so enjoy what you see.

    • packergator - May 15, 2014 at 9:26 AM

      I just wish they would have more wire-to-wire leads taken into the fourth quarter, but whatever. As long as they close.

  2. golfrangeman - May 15, 2014 at 12:06 AM

    Ranfan and you would have some friends if you weren’t a child molester

    • ranfan12 - May 15, 2014 at 12:55 AM

      i was mocking canton lol. don’t tase me bro

    • money2long - May 15, 2014 at 2:35 AM

      Dam he pulled the child molester card. Hahaha.

  3. golfrangeman - May 15, 2014 at 12:22 AM

    LeBron has played in 147 playoff games, your numbers add to 120. where are the other 27 games?

    • goodknave - May 15, 2014 at 12:34 AM

      Stats came from ClipsNation, but you are right. This requires further investigation.

  4. miamatt - May 15, 2014 at 12:27 AM

    The playoffs officially started for the Miami Heat tonight

    -AND-

    It puts the lotion on its skin.

    • packergator - May 15, 2014 at 9:27 AM

      Buffalo Bill: WAAAAAAAAHH! WAAAAAAHH!

  5. golfrangeman - May 15, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    @goodknave I looked up that your reading a blog, blogs are worthless there usually just people either loving or hating something.
    Coming into tonight with the heat LBJ was 7 and 6 with Crawford.

  6. casualcommenter - May 15, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    Great game. Not a fan of either team, but there was exciting shot-making going on. Wade got it going early, and Joe Johnson was torching everyone including LeBron.

    However, the Heat outexecuted the Nets down the stretch as the Heat’s 3’s finally started falling, while the Nets’ jumpers stopped going in. That’s the story of the game. The Heat couldn’t hit a 3 in the first half despite a lot of open looks, and Joe Johnson just couldn’t miss either long 2’s or 3’s for awhile. Then in crunch time, the reverse happened. Big Ray Allen 3, couple of missed jumpers for the Nets, game over.

  7. golfrangeman - May 15, 2014 at 1:02 AM

    Sorry man

  8. golfrangeman - May 15, 2014 at 1:05 AM

    I should have known there couldn’t be 2 like that

  9. jimthebuilder27 - May 15, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    Lebron James walks off the court without shaking people’s hands and is fined and called immature by a lot of people.

    Meanwhile, Kevin Garnett does the same thing an nothing gets said. Gotta love this.

    • money2long - May 15, 2014 at 2:37 AM

      Smh. I bet u were looking and thinking about that while the fourth quarter was going on which is why u noticed Paul pierce do it and omitted him from this criticism. Stop it.

    • ranfan12 - May 15, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      People already don’t like garnett. Garnett and the league’s posterboys have different expectations

  10. jbeagles23 - May 15, 2014 at 7:57 AM

    Livingston tried backing wade down and threw up a straight brick. Remember when he was supposed to be the next great superstar?

    • unxpexted1 - May 15, 2014 at 9:24 AM

      You do know the kid snapped his leg in half right?

    • asimonetti88 - May 15, 2014 at 9:51 AM

      Remember when he completely ruined his leg to the point there were questions if he’d walk again?

  11. unxpexted1 - May 15, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    I think this might be the best test Heat get until the finals. It was only 5 games, but i feel like it was a hard fought five.

    Give Brooklyn and J Kidd credit. They move the ball and play solid basketball team basketball. They just couldn’t execute down the stretch which is the product of a rookie head coach. I thought the J Kidd hire was a head scratcher but kudos to him for showing he’s more than capable.

  12. borderline1988 - May 15, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    One of the take-outs I had from this series:

    The days of going Kobe in the last minutes, i.e. giving the ball to your best player and letting him do whatever he wants in the last few plays…those days are gone.

    The Miami Heat are proving that a good look at the end of the game, regardless of whether it’s from Bosh, Allen, or Chalmers, is a BETTER shot than your best player taking a contested jumper against a double-team. Teams should be running actual plays at the end of a game. Much credit to Lebron and Wade for not letting their egos get the best of them in those situations.

    Westbrook, Joe Johnson, Kyle Lowry, Paul Pierce (or more accruately, the coaches of those teams)should learn the lesson to run an actual play at the end of the game, rather than doing everything just to get the ball inbounds to your best player and then hoping he can create something against a double-team.

  13. phillyfan11 - May 15, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    And people thumbed be down when I said this series would go no longer than 5 games. lol

  14. xli2006 - May 15, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    That Lebron foul though?!?

    How in the world do you miss that?

    If that’s ruled a shot (some debate whether it was) that puts Paul Pierce on the line to take the lead.

    About sick of Refs botching endings of games.

  15. bcwildcat24 - May 15, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    See Pacers, that’s how you show heart and close a team out.

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