Sunday, April 24, 2011
Sixers rally late while Heat freeze in clutch
By ESPN Stats & Info
Dwyane Wade's tip-in with 1:35 remaining gave the Miami Heat what appeared to be a commanding six-point lead and a likely series sweep. The Philadelphia 76ers had other ideas though as they finished the game on a 10-0 run to avoid postseason elimination for at least one more game.
The Sixers were given a huge boost off the bench from Louis Williams and rookie Evan Turner, who each scored 17 points to lead the team. Along with Jrue Holiday (10 pts), the three players provided timely hoops combining for all 10 of the points to close out the game.
While Philadelphia finished strong, it started even stronger opening the game on a 23-to-8 run over the first nine minutes of the game. The 76ers got off to such a good start thanks to their 13 points in transition in the first quarter, while Miami did not score a single fast-break point.
The Heat were able to get back into the game by getting back defensively after the first 12 minutes, as they held Philadelphia to only two fast-break points the rest of the way.
The 76ers bench kept them in the game throughout, outscoring the Heat reserves by 20 points. In fact Williams saved 11 of his 17 points for the fourth quarter, including scoring seven straight at one point.
Still when the Heat look back on the missed opportunity to close out the series, they will see a slow start and poor finish is what doomed them on Sunday.
In the first nine and last nine minutes of the game combined, Philadelphia outscored Miami 43-to-17. In the 30 minutes in between the Heat outscored the 76ers by 22 points.
Despite their struggle to score throughout the fourth quarter, the Heat still had a few chances to put the game away down the stretch.
Up one point with under 30 seconds remaining the Heat put the ball in the hands of Dwyane Wade who missed a jumper as he finished the fourth quarter just 1-for-5 from the field with two points.
Then after the 76ers took a two point lead it was LeBron James' turn. James was the only Heat player who had played well offensively in the fourth making four of his seven field goal attempts up to that point and scoring 12 of the teams 16 points.
But just like the regular season James continued to struggle in this situation. Including regular season games he is now just 1-for-8 on field goal attempts with 10 seconds or less remaining in games when the Heat were tied or down by three-points or less.
In fact the Heat as a team are now just 1-for-19 from the field in the final 10 seconds when tied or trailing by three or fewer including both regular season and postseason games. That is the worst field goal percentage of any team in the NBA this season.