Miami wins series 4-3 (Game 4 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 85

(42-40, 13-28 away)

Hornets 96

(41-41, 25-16 home)

Coverage: COX

7:00 PM ET, April 27, 2004

Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 17 27 27 1485
NO 22 28 18 2896

Top Performers

Mia: L. Odom 25 Pts, 8 Reb, 6 Ast

NO: B. Davis 23 Pts, 3 Reb, 10 Ast, 2 Blk

5-second violation seals Heat's fate

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The New Orleans Hornets have stopped showing their age and started showing off their experience.

Baron Davis had 23 points and 10 assists, while 13-year veteran Stacy Augmon came off the bench for 17 points, including two shot clock beaters in the final period. The Hornets evened their first-round playoff series with a 96-85 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 4 Tuesday night.

"Things are starting to come together," Davis said. "Tying it up 2-2 puts a little more pressure on them to hold serve on their home court. We're going in there with the utmost confidence. We just have to play to our experience."

Miami was hurt by a late mistake by rookie Dwyane Wade, who failed to inbound the ball before the requisite five seconds with 53.6 seconds left and the Hornets leading 88-82.

After that, Miami was forced to foul. New Orleans hit the free throws to pull away.

The series resumes Friday night in Miami. The home team has won every game.

New Orleans, which looked overwhelmed by a younger, more athletic Miami team after the Heat took Game 2 93-63, looked composed and rarely rushed or forced shots in hitting 50 percent from the floor.

Augmon and another veteran role player, George Lynch, combined to shoot 11-for-16 as Lynch finished with 11 points.

"Showing your age is a misconception. Those first two games we took a lot of bad shots on their floor," Lynch said. "We like to say the older you get, the smarter you become as a basketball player, and when you've got (opponents) that are more athletic and faster, you've got to find a way to slow it down and keep them from playing to their strengths."

Miami coach Stan Van Gundy called small forwards Augmon and Lynch "the guys that really hurt us."

"For them to get 28 points at that position ... they just dominated that spot today," Van Gundy said.

Some of New Orleans' tougher shots fell, as well, such as two double-pump 3s by Davis.

"He's a great player ... some of those shots he hit were just crazy," Miami guard Eddie Jones said. "I guess when you get it going everything you throw up goes in. .... We contested shots and they were just dropping for him."

What made Davis' performance more impressive is he didn't practice the past two days while nursing a sprained left ankle and sore left knee.

"He's a tough guy. He came out and fought it," Hornets coach Tim Floyd said. "I don't know where his conditioning is, but he didn't want out."

New Orleans led much of the game, but began the fourth quarter down 71-68 after a furious rally by Miami.

Davis quickly tied it with one of his five 3-pointers and New Orleans began to dictate the game in the final two minutes after Augmon's shot-clock buzzer beater gave New Orleans an 86-80 lead.

Jamaal Magloire and David Wesley each scored 12 points for New Orleans, while rookie David West had eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Lamar Odom led Miami with 25 points on an array of drives and jump hooks. Jones had 16, but Caron Butler, Miami's leading scorer in the series, was held to 3-of-11 shooting for seven points. Wade finished with 11. Miami was 5-of-22 from 3-point range and finished shooting 40.5 percent.

"Some people are going to try to find some excuse why we lost, some myth or something. There ain't no myth, there ain't no reason," Butler said. "We've just got to step it up. It's as simple as that."

New Orleans led 60-49 in the third quarter after Lynch hit a 3-pointer. Instead of folding, Miami went on a 22-6 run to storm ahead. That included a 12-0 spurt.

The Hornets, shooting 33 percent over the first three games of the series, hit nine of their first 10 shots in the second quarter. They led 41-34 after Augmon finished a fast break by grabbing a touch pass from Lynch and dunking it.

New Orleans shot nearly 69 percent for the quarter. But Jones broke out of his shooting slump, hitting three 3-pointers and 11 first-half points to keep Miami as close as 50-44 at halftime.

Game notes

The game was delayed about four minutes late in the second quarter because someone threw a cream pie in the face of Hornets television sideline reporter Jordy Hultberg. The pie splattered onto the court. When play resumed, Butler slipped in that same area and Van Gundy went into a tirade. ... Like Game 3 here, Game 4 fell short of a sellout. Announced attendance in the 17,200-seat New Orleans Arena was 16,009. Deputy NBA commissioner Russ Granik attended the game and said the league was disappointed not to get playoff sellouts, but not concerned about the long-term viability of the franchise in New Orleans. "It's still a new operation here and I feel very comfortable with the general level of support," Granik said, noting the league is pleased with the team's TV and sponsorship deals.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 85 96
FGM-FGA 32-79 (.405) 35-70 (.500)
3PM-3PA 5-22 (.227) 7-17 (.412)
FTM-FTA 16-18 (.889) 19-22 (.864)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-35 8-37
Assists 21 27
Turnovers 14 14
Steals 7 4
Blocks 2 4
Fast Break Points 4 2
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 18 (0/0)

Top Performers

New Orleans
Lamar Odom Odom
Points: 25
Reb: 8
Ast: 6
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Baron Davis Davis
Points: 23
Reb: 3
Ast: 10
Stl: 0
Blk: 2