Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Super Mario leads Heat past 76ers
By ESPN Stats & Info
The Miami Heat won their first playoff series since 2006 -- the year they won their only NBA title -- by eliminating the Philadelphia 76ers in five games. The 76ers' postseason drought continues, as they still haven't won a playoff series since 2003, when Larry Brown was their coach and Allen Iverson was their leading scorer. They are 0-4 in playoff series since then.
Miami did a lot of damage from downtown, hitting 12 three-point field goals on 30 shots from long distance. The 30 attempts were one shy of the franchise playoff record and the 12 made treys tied the third-most by the Heat in a postseason game.
Mario Chalmers matched his playoff high with 20 points off the bench, making half of his 12 shots from beyond the arc in 30 minutes. Chalmers proved to be a difference-maker while on the court, as the Heat shot 46.4 percent and outscored the 76ers by 17 points when he was in the game. Miami shot just 24 percent from the field and was outscored by 11 points when he was on the bench.
Chalmers became the first Heat player outside the Big Three to reach the 20-point mark in the series. This game also marked the first time in the postseason that three Heat players each scored 20 points. But it was wasn’t that Big Three that did it. Instead, it was Chalmers, Chris Bosh (22 points) and Dwyane Wade (26 points).
LeBron James, who tied his playoff career low with just three first-half points, finished with only 16 in the series-clinching win. Prior to this game, James was 0-5 in playoffs games when scoring fewer than 19 points.
The 76ers dominated the Heat down low, outscoring them 44-26 in the paint. Elton Brand was the catalyst in the post, making 8-of-9 attempts for 16 points. Yet Miami held the advantage on the offensive boards 15-9, and was able to convert those rebounds into 18 second-chance points, compared to just six for Philly.
The Heat march on to the conference semifinals, where they’ll face the Boston Celtics, a team they beat only once in four meetings during the regular season. Three-point shooting was the difference in their head-to-head matchups as the Celtics made 45 percent while the Heat shot just 28.6 percent from long distance in the four games.