The Miami Heat advanced to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs on May 9, defeating the New York Knicks 106-94 at the American Airlines Arena. With the win, the Heat will now get three days off, before starting their second round series against the Indiana Pacers on May 13.
The Heat played like a team on a mission in Game 5, taking an 11 point lead into the halftime break. They stretched their lead further in the third quarter, never looking back on their way to the 12 point victory.
"We do not take this for granted," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters after the game. "This was a tough series. We feel very good about moving on and it'll only get tougher from here."
Spoelstra only used eight players in Game 5, but they all showed up to play.
LeBron James led Miami's offense against the Knicks, putting up 29 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were right behind him, finishing with 19 points apiece. Mario Chalmers resumed his role as Miami's X-factor on Wednesday, walking away with 10 points and 6 rebounds.
"There's a lot of pride that takes place in this kind of series," Wade told reporters. "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."
Besides being a little lax on the defensive end, the Heat played pretty well in Game 5, and I expect more of the same when they start their second round series against the Pacers. The Heat won three of their four games against the Pacers during the season. And I just can't see them having any problems against Indiana.
However, the Heat won't be taking the Pacers lightly, and they're getting ready for another tough series.
"It was one of my favorite all-time series, and I think I made a little name for myself," Wade said about Miami's series against the Pacers in his rookie year. "Knicks-Miami is a ticket seller. Miami-Indiana won't get the same hype, but Indiana is a better team."
Associated Press, "LeBron James, Heat close out Knicks in five games"
Linda Robertson, "Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade continues to refine his game as he ages"
Player and game information from ESPN.com
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