LeBron Scores 29 as Heat Finish Off Knicks
2012 NBA Playoffs
New York, NY
LeBron James tallied 29 points, 8 boards and 7 assists while Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade chipped in with 19 apiece as the Miami Heat booked their place in the Eastern Conference semifinals after finishing off the New York Knicks, 106-94 in Game 5 at American Airlines Arena.
After coming up short in New York last Sunday, the Heat dispatched the Knickerbockers at home and arranged an intriguing second-round series duel with the resurging Indiana Pacers.
The Knicks, who salvaged their first playoff win for the first time since 2001, kept the game tight in the first 20 minutes but there was no stopping the Heat from wrapping up the series.
Averaging 26.0 points and 8.3 boards in the series, Anthony followed up his 41-point performance Sunday with 35 points but his big scoring output was just not enough to save the Knicks' season.
The Heat took a 55-44 advantage after closing out the first-half strong. James, Bosh, and Wade continued to attack the Knicks' defense in the second half as the Heat's lead ballooned to 19 points with six minutes left.
The Knicks tried to narrow the deficit to single digits but the Heat just kept coming from different angles and eventually ended the series filled with drama and injuries, specifically on the Knicks part.
The Knicks both lost rookie guard Iman Shumpert and veteran Baron Davis to knee injuries while starting point guard Jeremy Lin was not able to return from his knee rehabilitation. Amar'e Stoudemire missed Game 3 with severe cuts in his hands after punching a glass case of fire extinguisher right after a Game 2 loss.
The series loss marks another period of uncertainty for the Knicks, who are dying to hire a championship caliber coach capable of driving the franchise back to their first NBA title in decades.
According to reports, 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson is a possible favorite to land the coaching job but his presence means the Knicks would shell out a hefty paycheck worth at least $10 million per year.
Meanwhile, the Heat's quest for an NBA title crown will resume this weekend as they take on a dangerous Pacers team. Loaded with young talents, reliable veteran, and deep bench, the Pacers are poised to present a stiffer challenge to the Heat's championship dream.
LeBron Scores 29 as Heat Finish Off Knicks
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