The Miami Heat booked their sixth trip to the Eastern Conference finals in the last ten seasons by beating the Brooklyn Nets 96-94 in the fifth game of the second round series at the American Airlines Arena on Wednesday night.
The Heat, who are bidding for their fourth straight trip to the NBA finals, will either face the top-seeded Indiana Pacers or the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference finals after a 4-1 series victory over Brooklyn.
The Net took a 49-42 lead in the first half with an 8-0 run in the closing stages, as Miami missed 15 out of 16 shots from the three-point arc. Dwyane Wade was the lone bright spot for the Heat in the opening half with 20 points, with the guard adding another eight points in the second half.
The Heat played well on both sides of the court in the final five minutes of the game by forcing Brooklyn to miss nine straight shots while making a superb comeback with a 12-0 run to take the lead in the game.
"It's always been like that for us," Miami's LeBron James said. "It's never easy. It's never easy for us."
James racked up 29 points, nine rebounds and five assists, Chris Bosh ended with 16 points and Ray Allen scored 13 points for the Heat.
"Give the Heat credit," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "They were attacking there in the fourth quarter. We were attacking. Both teams were attacking. They made plays, they made shots and we didn't."
In the second game of the day, the San Antonio Spurs overpowered the Portland Trail Blazers 104-82 to advance to the Western Conference finals for the third straight year.
Portland played a close first quarter, but San Antonio firmly took control of the game in second and third with 32-25 and 26-19 scores respectively. The Spurs built a 78-63 lead heading into the final quarter to eventually close out the series comfortably.
The Spurs remained unaffected by the injury to Tony Parker, who left the court in the first half because of tightness in the left hamstring. Parker only played 10 minutes, missing both his shots to remain scoreless.
Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green each ended with 22 points, Patty Mills added 18 points and Tim Duncan finished with 16 points and eight rebounds for the Spurs. LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and Damian Lillard finished with 17 points and 10 assists for the Trail Blazers.
San Antonio will either face the Los Angeles Clippers or the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals.
Catch Brooklyn Nets v Miami Heat game highlights HERE.
Catch Portland Trail Blazers v San Antonio Spurs highlights HERE.