The Miami Heat battled back in the fourth quarter to defeat the Brooklyn Nets 96-94 and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth consecutive season.
Trailing 91-83 with just under three minutes to go, the Heat staged a 10-0 run, starting with a LeBron James three-pointer and capped by a Ray Allen three-pointer to take a two-point lead.
Shaun Livingston had an excellent chance to tie things up, but his bank wouldn’t go. After two Allen free throws, Joe Johnson nailed a three and James made one of two free throws on the other end, but time ran out on Johnson without getting a shot off.
James led the Heat with 29 points, nine rebounds and five assists while Dwyane Wade added 28 points. Chris Bosh added 16 and Allen finished with 13.
Johnson led all scorers with 34 points and seven rebounds, Paul Pierce scored 19 and Deron Williams had 17.
After the Miami Heat took a one-point lead into the second quarter, the Nets took control late in the first half. They scored the final eight points to turn a 42-41 deficit into a 49-42 halftime lead. The Heat scored the first seven points of the second half to tie the game, but the Nets answered by scoring the next seven points, seizing back the momentum. The Heat cut the lead from nine to three by hitting three-pointers on their first two possessions of the fourth quarter, but the Nets seemingly had an answer for every Heat run, at least until the last three minutes of the game.
The Heat will now face the winner of the Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers. The Pacers currently lead the series 3-2. Game 6 is tomorrow night in Washington, D.C.