Heat Beat 76ers, Clinch No. 2 Spot in East
Miami 104, Philadelphia 85
MIAMI, April 14 (Ticker) -- Udonis Haslem helped the Miami Heat's playoff standing while hurting the Philadelphia 76ers' postseason aspirations.
Haslem scored a career-high 24 points and added 14 rebounds as the Heat clinched the Eastern Conference's second seed with an easy 104-85 victory over the 76ers.
"I felt rusty at times," said Wade who missed Tuesday's game with the flu. "It felt good to be back out on the court. I tried to come out and make some plays for my teammates."
Haslem scored 13 of his 19 first-half points in the second quarter, when the Heat outscored the Sixers, 29-16, to open a 54-39 advantage at the break. Miami extended the margin to 84-63 after three quarters.
"I just went out and played ball tonight," Haslem said. "I took advantage of my opportunities."
Antoine Walker added 16 points for Miami, which shot 53 percent (40-of-76) and held a 42-36 rebounding advantage.
"I'm trying to be as aggressive as possible when my number is called," Walker said. "Everybody thinks I just want to shoot the three so I'm just trying to make a conscious effort to put the ball on the floor a little bit more."
"This is the time of year the enthusiasm should be coming to an all-time high," Heat coach Pat Riley said.
Allen Iverson scored 30 points to pace the Sixers (37-42), who had a three-game winning streak stopped and fell one game behind Chicago (38-41) for the East's final playoff spot with three games left.
"I don't think the loss make us play any harder," Iverson said. "If you aren't playing hard at this point then you aren't going to be playing hard anyway."
"I just thought their energy in the first half in getting out on the fastbreak hurt us early on," 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "It's not that our team didn't realize that (the game) was important; it's that they beat us down the floor."