Miami wins series 4-3 (Game 3 of 7)

Miami wins series 4-3

Game 1: Sunday, April 18th
Game 2: Wednesday, April 21st
Game 3: Saturday, April 24th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 27th
Game 5: Friday, April 30th
Game 6: Sunday, May 2nd
Game 7: Tuesday, May 4th

Heat 71

(42-40, 13-28 away)

Hornets 77

(41-41, 25-16 home)

    12:00 PM ET, April 24, 2004

    Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIA 14 15 21 2171
    NO 19 22 16 2077

    Top Performers

    Miami: C. Butler 24 Pts, 15 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    New Orleans: B. Davis 21 Pts, 4 Reb, 5 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk

    Hornets avoid falling in 3-0 hole

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The New Orleans Hornets relied on defense and inspired play by their banged up All-Star guard to get back into their opening round playoff series.

    Baron Davis, nursing a sprained left ankle, had a team-high 21 points and the Hornets held Miami to 32.9 percent shooting in a 77-71 victory Saturday.

    He scored on 3-pointers and by driving hard to the basket, once knifing into three defenders to convert a scoop shot late in the fourth quarter.

    "I just know when the season's over I'm going to lay in bed for three weeks," said Davis, who went to the floor several times in the game after driving hard to the hoop. "My elbow, my knee, my ankle, back -- just got to keep fighting."

    The Heat now lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. Game 4 is Tuesday night in New Orleans and it promises to be physical.

    "I expect it to pick up. We're not losing without a fight," Heat forward Lamar Odom said. "Every time it's going to come down to the wire and be a close game. It's going to be a schoolyard scrap."

    The Hornets shot just 35.5 percent but made up for it with their defense.

    "It's just physical. They're a tough team and we know if we're going to win the series we've got to get down and dirty with them," Hornets forward P.J. Brown said.

    David Wesley shot 3-of-4 from 3-point range for 18 points, making the Hornets' starting guards their two high scorers.

    Jamaal Magloire fought through constant double-teams for 12 points, hitting all six of his free throws, including two in the final minute that gave New Orleans a much-needed four-point cushion.

    New Orleans, coming off an embarrassing 93-63 loss in Game 2, led 59-50 early in the final period after George Lynch's baseline jump shot. Then Odom and Caron Butler combined to help Miami nearly pull it out.

    Odom had a putback, a pair of free throws and jumper before being elbowed in the eye and needing six stitches, which kept him out of the game for about half the period.

    Butler picked up the slack, starting with a putback of his own miss with just over six minutes to go. He went on to hit a baseline jumper and six free throws, the last two cutting Miami's deficit to 73-71 with 1:47 left.

    But he then missed a 3 that would have given Miami the lead. On the other end, Magloire grabbed an offensive rebound in a crowd and got fouled, hitting both free throws to put New Orleans up 75-71 with 55 seconds to go.

    After Rafer Alston and Eddie Jones missed 3-pointers, Stacy Augmon was fouled after a rebound and iced the game with two more free throws.

    Butler finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds, while Odom had 18 points.

    New Orleans had been hurt by turnovers leading to easy Miami baskets in the first two games. On Saturday, Miami scored just eight fast-break points and committed 17 turnovers, while New Orleans scored seven points on the fast break and turned the ball over only nine times.

    "We were picking the ball up at half court, trying to stop that outlet pass," Davis said. "That's where we're going to be most effective -- slowing them down and make them execute their half-court offense."

    Butler said Miami didn't have the same urgency as it did in the first two games.

    "We were walking the ball up the court a lot instead of just running," Butler said. "At home, we feed off our crowd energy. We've just got to feed off ourselves, 15 guys in this room."

    New Orleans held Miami to a 2-of-15 start from the field. But the Hornets had difficulty scoring too, and Miami trailed just 19-14 at the end of the first.

    Miami's woeful shooting continued in the second quarter, however, as it finished the half shooting 31.6 percent, fell behind by as much as 15 and trailed 41-29 at halftime.

    Game notes

    Brown was presented with the Joe Dumars Trophy for the 2004 NBA sportsmanship award prior to the game. The award is voted on by NBA players. ... Davis was given a technical foul only 39 seconds into the game after stealing the ball from Dwyane Wade, then taunting him by stepping over him and stomping his foot. Before the quarter was over, Magloire and Grant were jawing face-to-face and each received technicals. ... Miami's halftime score equaled their season low. It also was the lowest scoring half ever for a Hornets opponent in the playoffs. ... Davis left the game briefly early in the third period to have his ankle taped and limped often during the game. ... The game did not draw a sellout. Announced attendance was 14,251.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 71 77
    FGM-FGA 25-76 (.329) 27-76 (.355)
    3PM-3PA 3-15 (.200) 5-17 (.294)
    FTM-FTA 18-23 (.783) 18-22 (.818)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-48 10-42
    Assists 12 19
    Turnovers 17 11
    Steals 6 8
    Blocks 6 6
    Fast Break Points 2 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (2/0) 18 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    New Orleans
    Caron Butler Butler
    Points: 24
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Baron Davis Davis
    Points: 21
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 1