Miami Heat eliminate Philadelphia 76ers with a 97-91 win – Set date with the Boston Celtics for the Conference Semifinals
NBA, Wednesday, April, 27th, 2011: Dwyane Wade pounded 26 points; Chris Bosh added 22 while LeBron James followed with 16 as Miami Heat knocked Philadelphia 76ers out of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Big Three set the court on fire as they combined to pull off 64 points, leaving the Sixers stunned with a 97-91 loss in game-5.
Playing more than 40 minutes each, all three of them notched a point- rebound double-double. James also dished out a team high eight assists in the game, leaving him just two dimes shy of a triple-double.
On the night, all the Heat needed was for four players to dazzle and that proved enough to defeat the Sixers. Mario Chalmers added 20 points in 31 minutes off the bench to tie his playoff career high. The player also contributed game high six three-pointers as his team qualified for the conference semi-finals.
Philadelphia also performed well as the team tried its level best to avoid the elimination. Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand posted 22 points each. Iguodala also grabbed 10 rebounds in the loss. Tyreke Young came off the bench for 28 minutes and added 13 points in the loss. The player also grabbed five boards.
The Sixers started with purpose and took an early lead over Miami. At the 5:14 mark of first quarter, the visitors were dominating the Heat with 10 points, 20-10. Miami who were being dominated for the fourth time in the first quarter, this series received a huge support from Joel Anthony and Chalmers at that point. Anthony pinned two free throws and Chalmers posted 11 points during the next few minutes as the Heat overcame the deficit and closed the first quarter with a 27-23 lead.
The difference on the night was Miami’s red hot long range shooting. They scorched the Sixers by taking with 12 shots from downtown as compared to Philadelphia, who only has two. Otherwise Miami’s 40 percent shooting from the field was not enough to hold back the Sixers who pinned 47 percent of their shots.
Doug Collins, Philadelphia’s coach had feared it all the way that Miami might take refuge in three-pointers and that’s exactly what happened. He expressed his views on that and said, “They beat us by 33 at the 3-point line.” However the coach was happy enough for outscoring them from the field, 39-32, and said, “Once again, we held them to 40 percent field goal shooting."
Bosh, who scored 22 points in the win, was beaming with joy after the win, “I think it was good for us. It was a battle every game. The way they executed and the way they believed in themselves. It was good for us to have that stress because it only gets harder from here on out.”
Ironically Sixers seized the season with a 41-41 record.
Boston Celtics who became the first team this year to win the best-of-seven series await Miami. Their first game will take place at the American Airlines Arena on Sunday, May 1st, 2011.