76ers beat Heat to stay alive

April 26, 2011 - 0:0

The Philadelphia 76ers stalled the Miami Heat's play-off drive with a gritty 86-82 win to avoid a first-round series sweep.

Facing elimination, the 76ers staged a stunning late rally with a 10-0 run to end the game, cutting Miami's series lead to 3-1 and sending the best-of-seven quarter-final back to Florida for Game Five on Wednesday.
With the Heat sitting on an 82-76 lead and time running out, the 76ers went to work.
Jrue Holiday hit a three that cut the Miami advantage to one before Lou Williams followed with another three-pointer from the top of the arc with eight seconds left to draw a thundering roar from the capacity crowd and give Philadelphia an 84-82 lead they would not surrender.
Williams and Evan Turner paced the 76ers, each hitting for 17 points after coming off the bench while Andre Iguodala contributed 16 and Elton Brand chipped in with 15 and 11 rebounds.
""We've been a resilient team all year, we're a confident group,"" Williams said. ""We understand we're out-matched by three super stars but we've got the heart to play until the end.
""This team believes in me to make the big shots and I wanted the ball. I felt like if we were going to lose tonight, it was going to be on my shot and I got a lucky roll.""
LeBron James had 31 for the Heat but missed a game-tying layup as the final seconds ticked down, the crowd giving the 76ers a standing ovation as they walked off the court.
The two other members of Miami's 'Big Three' were also front and centre, Dwyane Wade recording 22 points and eight rebounds while Chris Bosh had 12 points and five boards.
Philadelphia offered signs early on that they would not exit without a fight.
Helped by a 13-0 run, the 76ers surged to an early 23-8 lead and carried a 12-point advantage into the second quarter.
Down 16 in the second, the Heat caught fire and answered with an 22-2 run of their own to surge in front 45-41 and take a slim 47-46 advantage into the intermission.
But the 76ers refused to wave the white flag, coming out of the break and battling the Heat right down to the final buzzer.
The Boston Celtics swept aside the New York Knicks to move ominously into the second round of the play-offs after a 101-89 victory .
Kevin Garnett scored 26 points and had 10 rebounds, Rajon Rondo recorded 21 points and 12 assists and the veteran Celtics completed their 4-0 best-of-seven rout over the Knicks.
Having reached the NBA Finals in two of the last three seasons, Boston produced a business-like win as they nearly led from start to finish.
The revamped Knicks, who signed All Star Amar'e Stoudemire in the off-season and traded for All Star Carmelo Anthony at mid-season, suffered a disappointing exit from the play-offs.
""They're going to be good,"" Boston coach Doc Rivers said of the Knicks. ""They're just going to be able to keep building. As long as everyone stays patient with them, it will work out.""
Anthony finished with 32 points and nine rebounds and New York got 19 and 12 rebounds from Stoudemire who was limited in the series by back spasms that nagged him since Game Two.
Knicks starting point guard Chauncey Billups also injured his knee in Game Two and was sidelined for the rest of the series.
In New Orleans, Jarrett Jack made a clutch jumper to put the home team up four with nine seconds left, and Chris Paul had a triple-double of 27 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds as the Hornets outlasted the Lakers in a 93-88 win to level their match-up at 2-2.
Kobe Bryant, who exchanged words with Paul throughout the testy affair, shook off a slow start and a sore ankle to finish with 17 points and eight assists.
Los Angeles stayed close but never led in the second half and will try to regain control of the series in Game Five on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Atlanta took a 3-1 series lead over Orlando.
The Hawks led Orlando by as much as 16 in the second quarter, but still had to hold on late to fend off the Magic in an 88-85 win.
Orlando forward Hedo Turkoglu missed a three-pointer attempt at the buzzer to seal his team's fate as the Magic wasted Dwight Howard's dominance of 29 points and 17 rebounds.
Jamal Crawford had 25 points off the bench to lead the Hawks who will try to close the series in Game Five on Tuesday.
(Source: Reuters)