The Miami Heat are good at closing teams out — whether that means closing them out in a game, or closing them out in a series. They added another win to their close-out ledger by edging the Nets in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series.
The Heat are 9-0 at home in series-clinching games in the James-Wade-Bosh era. They have won eight of nine games overall in these playoffs, matching their record from the first two rounds last year. The Heat are also 12-2 all-time in postseason against the Nets.
They are the first team to reach four straight conference finals since the Pistons made six straight from 2003 to 2008.
The Heat also improved to 13-0 all-time in the playoffs when each of their “Big 3” play and combine for at least 70 points.
Difference in the series: The fourth quarter
The Heat separated themselves from the Nets in the fourth quarter all series long, and especially in Game 5. Miami outscored Brooklyn 30-19 in the final stanza Wednesday, finishing the game on a 13-3 run.
4th Quarter Comparison
Eastern Conference Semifinals
Miami outscored Brooklyn by an average of 6.4 points in the fourth quarter and shot a considerably better percentage from the field, the free throw line and three-point range.
Heat find their range
After shooting 1 for 16 from three-point range in the first half, the Heat made eight three-pointers in the second half, five of which were uncontested. Chris Bosh led the way, making 4 of his 5 three-point attempts in the second half.
Ray Allen’s three-pointer with 32 seconds left gave the Heat the lead for good, their first lead in the game since the first half.
Difference-Maker: Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade’s 20 first-half points matched his most in a half this regular season or postseason. He finished with 28 points for the game, eight coming on drives to the basket.
Wade averaged 4.4 points on drives in the first eight games this postseason.
LeBron's impact comes on defense
Joe Johnson shot 6 for 6 when guarded by LeBron James in the first 43 minutes of the game, but in the final five minutes against James, Johnson was 0 for 2 a turnover, and James prevented a Johnson shot attempt in the game’s final moments.