PHILADELPHIA, March 20 (Ticker) -- Eddie House
shot the Miami Heat to a crucial win in the Philadelphia 76ers' house.
House scored a season-high 20 points, including his team's last seven, as the Heat kept their playoff hopes alive with an 82-77 victory over the 76ers.
House scored just three points in a 91-79 home loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday that dropped Miami 2 1/2 games out of the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. But he rebounded to lead an excellent effort by the Heat's bench, which scored 36 points.
"I'm playing off the other guys," said House, who made 8-of-14 shots. "I see what moves they're making and I try to find an open spot. If they don't have the spot, they have someplace to kick it to. That's all I do -- and try to make my shot." "Eddie House came in and really hurt us," 76ers coach Larry Brown said. "He made some big shots and unfortunately we didn't get it done. "
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Alonzo Mourning was hot early, and finished with a double-double of 16 points and 10 boards.
Jesse D. Garrabrant
In a hard-fought, defensive game, there were seven ties in the fourth quarter, the last one coming at 75-75 when Miami's Rod Strickland
backed in for a lane jumper with 3:17 left.
On Miami's next possession, Allen Iverson
was knocked down by a pick, leaving House open in the left corner. His 3-pointer with 2:27 to go gave the Heat the lead for good. Iverson missed a potential tying 3-pointer and House penetrated for a lane jumper and an 80-75 lead with 1:54 remaining.
"I knew they were going to pass the ball," House said. "I was just so open that I was like, 'Hit this.' At that time I had to knock it down, period. That's all that went through my head. I'm glad it went in."
"Eddie House, who sort of got mocked for taking the elbow in the mouth last night in giving up the three, he comes off the bench to win the game for us, basically," Heat coach Pat Riley said. Iverson, who scored 38 points, made a driving layup with 1:13 to play. Strickland missed a jumper, but Iverson and Eric Snow
missed potential tying shots on a frantic possession and House sealed the win with two free throws with 8.2 seconds left.
"We had some great hustle plays at the end to give us a chance to tie," Brown said. "Allen had a good look and I thought Eric had a good look. It wasn't meant to be." House allowed Miami to continue a remarkable streak. The Heat have won 11 straight games in the second of back-to-back contests.
"It always takes some humiliating loss to get back into it, " Riley said. "We don't take advantage of the situation when if we do have an edge, we should be at a heightened sense of urgency. But on back-to-backs, we come out strong. I've got to correct that. We have to be like this every single night. I guess I have to go crazy on them."
"All I know is that when there is a sense of urgency, we kind of regroup and do what we have to do to win," Heat All-Star center Alonzo Mourning
said. "It's amazing and kind of disappointing that we play relatively well on the road than at home. We have to change that. The way we've played on the road, I wish we could play the rest of games on the road."
Mourning had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Strickland scored 14 points for the Heat (31-35), who remained 2 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot as eighth-place Charlotte beat seventh-place Indiana.
One game better in sixth place is Philadelphia (35-32), which has lost three of its last four games. It again played without Derrick Coleman
, who scored 20 points in Tuesday's game despite a cartilage tear in his left knee.
"We didn't play as hard as we played down there," said Iverson, who played all 48 minutes and made 13-of-30 shots. "They were coming off a back-to-back just like us. I don't think it has anything to do with Derrick not being there, either. Guys have to step up and play big. When you play back-to-back, even if your body is telling you no, your heart has to be telling you yes. You have to get it done." Matt Harpring
scored 15 points for the 76ers, who had won the first three meetings but missed a chance to sweep the Heat for the first time since the 1989-90 season.
Until House's 3-pointer, neither team led by more than two points and there were three lead changes.
Despite Iverson's 20 points, the Sixers trailed 45-38 at halftime as Mourning scored 11 points and got Sixers center Dikembe Mutombo
in foul trouble. He scored 13 of his team's 16 second-quarter points.
The Heat widened the lead to 49-39 before Iverson's 3-pointer triggered an 11-2 run that got Philadelphia back in it. Two free throws by Iverson gave the Sixers a 61-60 lead before Miami's Jimmy Jackson
hit a 3-pointer to end the third quarter. Chris Gatling
scored 13 points and Brian Grant
grabbed 12 rebounds for the Heat, who shot 45 percent (33-of-73). Eddie Jones
added 10 points. Corie Blount
swept 11 boards for the Sixers, who shot just 37 percent (27-of-73). Snow made just 2-of-14 shots and was 5-of-28 in the two games.