Miami wins series 4-3 (Game 6 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 83

(42-40, 13-28 away)

Hornets 89

(41-41, 25-16 home)

    12:00 PM ET, May 2, 2004

    Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIA 14 19 22 2883
    NO 21 22 26 2089

    Top Performers

    Miami: D. Wade 27 Pts, 7 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Blk

    New Orleans: B. Davis 15 Pts, 5 Reb, 12 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Heat almost rallied from 18 down late

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Heat and Hornets will have one more chance to shove, scream and squabble. The only first-round series in the NBA playoffs to last beyond six games will go the distance.

    On a day when the New Orleans Hornets were the verbal and physical aggressors, defensive specialists P.J. Brown and George Lynch gave Baron Davis enough offensive help to force a deciding Game 7 with an 89-83 victory Sunday.

    "It's going to be a war, just like every other game in this series. It might be a little more intense," said Miami guard Dwyane Wade, who led his team with 27 points. "It's a great series -- two great teams going at it. That's what you watch the playoffs for, to see who's going to duke it out in Game 7."

    The series concludes Tuesday night in Miami.

    The host team has won each game so far, and the Heat have a 15-game home unbeaten streak. In NBA history, the team with homecourt advantage has won its Game 7 on 70 of 85 occasions.

    The mind games and brute force that have helped define this series picked up even more in Game 6, compounded by a foot injury to senior referee Joe Crawford that left only two referees on the floor for most of the game.

    Robert Traylor was called for a technical when he flattened Eddie Jones on a shot attempt in the fourth quarter, then Traylor was thrown out of the game as he continued to shout at the Miami bench.

    Davis also exchanged words with the Miami bench twice in the final quarter and had to be pulled away by teammates the second time. Lamar Odom, Lynch, Jamaal Magloire and Stacy Augmon also were called for technicals for their behavior toward opposing players.

    "It just left a nasty taste in your mouth. I don't know what they were trying to do," Miami forward Caron Butler said. "All we did was come to play basketball. Now we're ready to go back to Miami and redeem ourselves. And we look forward to the challenge."

    New Orleans never trailed and led by double digits for most of the game, but Miami -- after trailing by as many as 18 in the fourth quarter -- got as close as 85-81 on Caron Butler's runner with 1:07 left. Brown then made a pair of free throws, and Miami could get no closer than four the rest of the way.

    "The only positive was we didn't quit," Miami coach Stan Van Gundy said. "That could have been a 25- or 30-point game. We got dominated for 42 minutes."

    Davis' 15 points were his second-lowest total of the series, down from the 33 he scored in the Hornets' Game 5 loss. But when he found open teammates, they hit clutch shots, and Davis finished with a series-high 12 assists.

    "I definitely was looking to score a little bit more," said Brown, who along with Lynch led the Hornets in scoring with 16 points each. "We know they're going to come at Baron, double-team him any chance they get, because they can't afford to let him have a 30-point explosion.

    "They want other people to make plays for the team, and I thought we stepped up and did a great job of doing that."

    Magloire tied his series high with 14 points and David Wesley added 10 for New Orleans.

    Jones had 23 points and Butler 14 for Miami, but Lamar Odom had one of his worst games. He entered averaging 18 points but had only nine when he fouled Davis on a fast-break drive with 2:20 left. Odom fouled out on the play, and Davis hit the free throws to put New Orleans ahead 85-75. That lead proved too much to overcome.

    "I had a bad game ... It happens like that some times," Odom said.

    Hornets coach Tim Floyd credited Brown's defense on Odom, and the help he got from teammates who jammed the inside.

    New Orleans led 32-15 after the Heat missed 14 consecutive shots, but Miami opened the second half with a 10-2 run to pull to 47-43. Davis responded with a 3-pointer to spark a 16-2 run that included a tip-in, a 3 and a turnaround fadeaway by Lynch.

    With about 2:30 left in the period, Davis collided with Jones and got up limping. He went to the locker room briefly as Miami pulled to 69-58 on Wade's 3 to start the fourth quarter.

    Davis returned early in the fourth and immediately got a four assists. He set up Wesley for three open jumpers, including a 3, then found Augmon for a fast-break dunk that sent the sellout crowd of 17,297 into a frenzy and put the Hornets up 80-62 with eight minutes left.

    Game notes

    Crawford sprawled onto the sideline press table after his first-quarter injury, writhing from pain in his right foot. He had to be helped off the floor, and an early examination indicated a torn plantar fascia. ... Miami's bench did not score until Udonis Haslem made a free throw with 1:51 left in the third quarter. The bench finished with four points. ... It was the first home sellout in three games for the Hornets.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 83 89
    FGM-FGA 29-75 (.387) 37-83 (.446)
    3PM-3PA 4-16 (.250) 4-15 (.267)
    FTM-FTA 21-28 (.750) 11-15 (.733)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-46 12-44
    Assists 14 23
    Turnovers 21 15
    Steals 7 7
    Blocks 4 6
    Fast Break Points 4 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (1/0) 23 (4/0)

    Top Performers

    New Orleans
    Dwyane Wade Wade
    Points: 27
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Baron Davis Davis
    Points: 15
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 12
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1