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Notebook: Heat 99, Sixers 93


Posted Tuesday April 3, 2012 11:29PM

By Shandel Richardson, for NBA.com

THE FACTS:
LeBron James scored a season-high 41 points as the Heat defeated the 76ers 99-93 Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena to clinch a spot in the playoffs.

With the win, the Heat completed a 4-0 sweep of the season series against the Sixers. The win also was the Heat's 16th straight at home, improving their league-best home record to 22-2.

Miami played without guard Dwyane Wade, who sat out with a bruised left knee. It was the second time the Heat defeated the Sixers despite Wade being sidelined. James picked up the slack with his season-high while Mario Chalmers (19 points) and Chris Bosh (17) also turned in solid performances.

The Heat, who were recovering from Sunday's embarrassing loss to the Boston Celtics, started slow before waking up in the third quarter. Miami never looked back after starting the second half with a 9-1 run.

The Sixers did pull to within 85-81 with 4:37 left on a Spence Hawes basket, but James scored the Heat's next 10 points to close it out.

QUOTABLE: "In the second half, LeBron obviously stepped up and shouldered the scoring load for us, particularly when we were struggling at the end of the clock and end of possessions. He made plays that MVP players make."
-- Heat coach Erik Spoelstra

THE STAT: James scored 15 of the Heat's 23 points in the fourth quarter.

TURNING POINT: The Heat trailed by as many as five in the first half and 54-51 at halftime before turning things around in the third quarter. They outscored the Sixers 25-16 and led by 10 at one point.

QUOTABLE II: "To start the third quarter, we were careless with the ball and turned it over. We didn't have the crisp movement that we had in the first half ... Turnovers were really the killer for us. We had 17. On the year, when we get up over 14 a game, we don't usually win."
-- Sixers coach Doug Collins

HOT: James was 15-for-25 from the field, carrying the team in Wade's absence. He also had six rebounds, four assists and three steals.

NOT: Sixers starters Elton Brand and Jrue Holiday combined to shoot 5-for-17 from the field. Brand's 1-for-6 performance came just days after his posting one of his best games of the season against the Atlanta Hawks.

GOOD MOVE: Before the game, Collins said the Sixers expected to see more of James with Wade out of the lineup. That proved to be the case. The Heat rode James' back, putting the ball in his hands. James ran the point on occasion, allowing him to set up the offense.

BAD MOVE: The Sixers had no answer for James in the fourth quarter, especially after Andre Iguodala left in the third quarter with a left eye contusion after being poked. Iguodala did not return, leaving James free to do whatever on the court.

NOTABLE: Wade is listed as a game-time decision for Wednesday's game against Oklahoma City. Spoelstra called his status "hopeful." Heat swingman Mike Miller missed his 12th straight game with a sprained left ankle. Miller did participate in the morning shootaround, showing he is closer to returning. The Heat have defeated the Sixers in 11 straight regular-season games, the longest streak in the history of the series.

UP NEXT: For the Heat, Wednesday vs. Oklahoma City, Friday vs.Memphis, Sunday vs. Detroit. For the Sixers, Wednesday vs. Toronto, Saturday vs. Orlando, Sunday @ Boston.

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