Miami wins series 4-1 (Game 5 of 5)

Miami wins series 4-1

Game 1: Saturday, April 28th
Game 2: Monday, April 30th
Game 3: Thursday, May 3rd
Game 4: Sunday, May 6th
Game 5: Wednesday, May 9th

Knicks 94

(36-30, 14-19 away)

Heat 106

(46-20, 28-5 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    7:00 PM ET, May 9, 2012

    AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    NY 24 20 23 2794
    MIA 28 27 26 25106

    Top Performers

    NY: C. Anthony 35 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    Mia: L. James 29 Pts, 8 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    LeBron James, Heat close out Knicks in five games

    Associated Press

    MIAMI -- The final horn sounded, and LeBron James wrapped his arms around Carmelo Anthony in a warm embrace.

    Their head-to-head scoring matchup in this series was even, 139 points apiece.

    Just about everything else tipped Miami's way -- so the Heat are moving on and the New York Knicks are going home.

    James had 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade both scored 19 points and the Heat ousted the short-handed Knicks 106-94 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first-round series Wednesday night.

    The Heat won the series 4-1, and will meet Indiana in the East semifinals starting Sunday in Miami.

    "We do not take this for granted," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "This was a tough series. We feel very good about moving on and it'll only get tougher from here."

    For the Heat, it was only the first step. The reigning East champions have one goal -- getting back to the finals and winning it all -- and that was likely why even beating the franchise's longtime rival prompted, at most, a subdued celebration.

    "We will savor this win tonight," James said. "And then we get to work tomorrow and get ready for Indiana."

    Anthony scored 35 points for the Knicks, including a spinning jumper over James at the end of the third quarter that pulled New York within 81-67. It was far from being enough to stave off an all too familiar playoff result for Anthony, part of that 2003 draft class that also yielded James, Bosh and Wade.

    Anthony has played 54 postseason games, being part of wins only 17 times. A misleading stat for certain -- it's hardly all on him -- and no shortage of people in the Heat organization interrupted their celebrating of a series-clincher to tip their caps Anthony's way afterward.

    "We fought, under the circumstances," Anthony said. "I'm not one to make any excuses for anything. ... But Miami, they're a tough defensive team. They stick to what their schemes are."

    James shot 48 percent from the field in the series; Anthony shot 42 percent. James averaged 6.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists; Anthony averaged 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

    "It was fun, man," James said. "He's one of the most competitive players I've ever played against in a playoff series."

    Amare Stoudemire scored 14 points, Landry Fields and J.R. Smith both added 12, Mike Bibby had 10 and Tyson Chandler grabbed 11 rebounds for New York, which is 1-8 in playoff games with Anthony and Stoudemire as teammates.

    "Miami is a very good team," Stoudemire said. "You have to give credit to them."

    Stoudemire fouled out with 4:48 left, and the Knicks put together one more run with hopes of extending the season. New York cut the margin to 11 points four times in a 2-minute span, but Miami answered every time, the last of those a 3-pointer by Shane Battier with 54 seconds left.

    That sent the white seat covers flying in all corners of the arena, the fans knowing it was finally over.

    "There's a lot of pride that takes place in this kind of series," Wade said. "Even though it was a five-game series, it was a very tough series to win. ... I thought it helped us. You couldn't overlook this team."

    Bibby averaged 0.5 points in first-quarter appearances this season. That was before scoring eight in the opening minutes of Game 5, including a jumper over Wade that gave New York a quick 14-8 lead.

    It was one of New York's few moments to enjoy. James had 13 points on only six field-goal attempts by halftime, Wade shook off a scoreless first quarter with 12 in the second, and Miami went into the break leading 55-44.

    The margin was less than 10 points for only 90 seconds of the third quarter. Stoudemire went to the bench with his fifth foul with 6:41 left in the third, and Miami went on an 11-2 spurt not long after that all but sealed the outcome. It was 67-58 when Fields made two free throws with 4:49 left in the quarter -- and then the Heat's "Big Three" needed just 3 minutes to blow the game open.

    Bosh and Wade combined for six points in that flurry, James the other five, including a 21-footer with 1:29 left to put Miami up 78-60.

    "It was very crucial," James said. "We had an 11- or 12-point lead in Game 4 and we weren't able to bump it up to 15, 16. ... We allowed them to get back into the game. We were very conscious tonight when we got that lead."

    For the Knicks, it was the 12th straight season without a playoff series victory. The last time New York advanced in the postseason came at Miami's expense in 2000 in the East semifinals.

    New York's season started with great expectations. Not long after the lockout ended the Knicks acquired Chandler from Dallas, a move made possible by using the amnesty clause on Chauncey Billups.

    Those moves were expected. Just about everything else that happened was not. From the firing of coach Mike D'Antoni to the emergence of Jeremy Lin before he was sidelined by a knee injury, the Knicks had a roller-coaster ride that continued with a baffling series of injuries against Miami.

    Rookie guard Iman Shumpert was lost in the third quarter of Game 1 to a torn knee ligament, Stoudemire sliced his left hand after taking out his frustrations on a metal-and-glass fire extinguisher case after a Game 2 loss, and Baron Davis shredded his knee so badly in Game 4 that he is expected to be out a year -- at least.

    "I thought we played well in spurts," Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson said. "Our guys got a short taste of what playoff basketball's about. It's something this summer we've got to sit and think about and hopefully get ready for next season."

    He didn't put any extra emphasis on the word "hopefully," but he could have. One of New York's first orders of business this offseason will likely be deciding if Woodson will be back on the sideline, as many expect.

    "Woody's done a heck of a job with that team," Spoelstra said.

    Game notes

    Miami went 7-1 against the Knicks this season, including playoffs. The Heat won three of four games against Indiana this season. ... James had seven points, five assists and zero field goals in the first quarter. Only two other players (Billups in 2007 and Jerryd Bayless in 2011, both in fourth quarters) had done that in any quarter since James entered the league, according to STATS LLC. ... Rapper Rick Ross was among those courtside.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 94 106
    FGM-FGA 36-76 (.474) 34-78 (.436)
    3PM-3PA 4-13 (.308) 9-19 (.474)
    FTM-FTA 18-21 (.857) 29-34 (.853)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-36 13-42
    Assists 13 20
    Turnovers 14 10
    Steals 7 7
    Blocks 5 3
    Fast Break Points 4 20
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (3/0) 18 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 6 19

    Top Performers

    New York
    Carmelo Anthony Anthony
    Points: 35
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    LeBron James James
    Points: 29
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1

    Research Notes

    From Elias: LeBron James improved to 7-0 in first round playoff series, which is tied for the fifth best record since the NBA went to a 16-team playoff format in 1983-84.
    From Elias: The Knicks lost all four games by double digits and were outscored by a total of 70 points for the series. According to Elias, the negative 14 point average scoring margin is New York's second worst in a best-of-7 playoff series in postseason history.
    From Elias: Among players to average at least 20 points in their regular season career, Carmelo Anthony has the lowest postseason win percentage in NBA history (minimum 10 postseason games played). Anthony has gone 17-37 overall, including 1-8 with the Knicks. Ten of Anthony's 17 wins came in 2009, when he helped lead the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals before losing to the Lakers in six games.
    The Knicks might have an offseason decision to make if another team's interested in Amar'e Stoudemire. Over the last 2 seasons including the playoffs, the Knicks have gone just 31-40 with BOTH Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire in the lineup, including 1-7 in the postseason.
    From Elias: Carmelo Anthony did accomplish something relatively rare in the Knicks defeat. According to Elias, he's just the third Knicks player to score 30+ points in 3+ games of a single playoff series. Patrick Ewing and Bernard King were the only other Knicks to accomplish that feat.
    The Heat dominated in transition throughout the series, averaging nearly 8 more points per game than the Knicks. Miami allowed 15 transition points per contest during the regular season, but that number shrunk to just 8.6 in 5 games this series.
    In the Knicks lone win of the series, Carmelo Anthony was 9-14 inside of 5 feet of the basket. In the four Knicks losses, Anthony was a combined 11-27 from inside of 5 feet.
    Dwyane Wade went 5-6 inside 5 feet of the basket in Game 5 and went 26-30 (86.7 percent) from such distances in the series. During the regular season, Wade shot 64.7 percent from inside 5 feet. Only Andrew Bynum (80.6 percent) is shooting at 80 percent or better from inside 5 feet so far in the first round (min. 20 FGA).

    ESPN Stats & Information