LeBron James goes to the table top to celebrate win over Nets

Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs also took a conference final place, but have an injury concern over Tony Parker.

THE MIAMI HEAT advanced to the Eastern Conference finals for the fourth consecutive year by beating the Brooklyn Nets 96-94 Wednesday to win their NBA playoff series four games to one.

LeBron James worked both ends of the floor in game five, scoring 20 of his 29 points in the second half and then clamping down on the Nets’ star Joe Johnson, especially in the final seconds, when he denied Joe Johnson a shot to tie the game.

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At the other end of the court, this three-point play with his weaker left hand was the MVP runner-up’s most impressive attacking feat.


Two-time defending NBA champions Miami closed the game on a 13-3 surge after trailing 91-83 with 4:49 left in the final quarter in front of a crowd of 19,615 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

“We did what we needed to do, when he had to do it,” said Heat guard Ray Allen.

Brooklyn won both regular season contests in Miami but this was different story as the Heat are 5-0 at home in the postseason.

The major talking point from the later game was the early exit of Tony Parker from Spurs 104 – 82 win over Portland.

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The guard limped off midway through the first quarter, but Tim Duncan (after 16 points and eight rebounds)  said the Frenchman’s exit was a preventative measure:

Danny Green and  Kawhi Leonard had 22 points and the latter added seven rebounds to seal the four game to one series win.

The Spurs won by an average of 21 points in their three home wins in the series and await the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Oklahoma City leads that matchup 3-2 with game six scheduled for Thursday in Los Angeles.

- © AFP, 2014