In 2000 the Miami HEAT made its fifth consecutive trip to the NBA Playoffs and advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the second time in franchise history. Miami recorded its first playoff sweep in the 2000 Playoffs, eliminating Detroit, 3-0 in the first round before dropping a heart-breaking seven-game series against the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
FIRST ROUND (MIAMI-3, DETROIT-0)
Game 1-Apr. 22 (Miami 95, Detroit 85): Jamal Mashburn scored a playoff career-high 29 points, handed out five assists (tying his playoff career high) and pulled down four rebounds as the HEAT grabbed a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five opening round series against the Pistons with a 95-85 victory before a sellout crowd of 16,500 at the AmericanAirlines Arena. Alonzo Mourning nearly missed becoming the first HEAT player to record a triple-double in the postseason as he finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and a HEAT franchise-record nine blocked shots. The nine blocks set a playoff career-high for Mourning, whose previous best was seven against Chicago while a member of the Hornets. Mourning's nine blocks were just one shy of the NBA playoff record shared by Utah's Mark Eaton and Houston's Hakeem Olajuwon. Dan Majerle recorded his first postseason double-double as a member of the HEAT with 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Anthony Carter, starting in place of the injured Tim Hardaway, tallied 10 points, a game-high seven assists, a game-high four steals and blocked a career-high two shots. The HEAT also received 11 points off the bench from Bruce Bowen. The HEAT held Grant Hill and Jerry Stackhouse to 15 points and a combined 4-13 (.308) shooting from the floor in the second half. Leading 68-62 with 10:57 remaining in the game the HEAT seized control of the contest with an 11-2 run and pushed their lead to a game-high 15 points (79-64) before settling for the 10-point victory.
Game 2-Apr. 25 (Miami 84, Detroit 82): Jamal Mashburn hit an eight-foot bank shot with six seconds remaining to give the HEAT an 84-82 victory and a commanding 2-0 lead in their best-of-five opening round series over the Pistons before a sellout crowd of 16,500 at the AmericanAirlines Arena. The Pistons had a chance to tie the game but Jerry Stackhouse slipped driving to the basket and turned the ball over with one second remaining. Mashburn scored 10 points in both the first and fourth quarters en route to a team-high 24-point outing. He also added seven rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals. Alonzo Mourning also topped the 20-point mark for the second straight game in this series with 22 points, a game-high eight rebounds and a pair of blocks. Anthony Carter, starting in place of the injured Tim Hardaway, broke Hardaway's postseason single-game franchise assist record (11) and recorded his first career postseason double-double by tallying 10 points and a game-high 13 assists. This marked only the third time in the HEAT's postseason history that all five starters scored in double figures. The HEAT held Detroit to 14 points in the fourth quarter and pressured the Pistons into 37.5 percent (6-16) shooting in the final 12 minutes. The HEAT enjoyed a 42-32 edge on the glass and outscored the Pistons, 18-8, in fast break points.
Game 3-Apr. 29 (Miami 91, Detroit 72): Clarence Weatherspoon amassed playoff career highs in points (18) and rebounds (10) as the HEAT cruised to a 91-72 victory over the Pistons before a crowd of 14,507 at The Palace of Auburn Hills to complete a three-game sweep of their first round series against Detroit. The sweep was Miami's first in postseason play. The HEAT's bench outscored Detroit's reserves by a 45-17 margin and also grabbed 22 rebounds. In addition to Weatherspoon, Otis Thorpe also recorded a doubledouble off the Miami bench with 10 points and 10 rebounds and rookie Rodney Buford scored 11 points in 16 minutes in his NBA Playoff debut. Alonzo Mourning scored 12 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked three shots and Jamal Mashburn finished with 11 points and five assists. The HEAT shot 52.1 percent (37-71) from the floor and limited Detroit to 31.5 percent (23-73). The 31.5 percent shooting by the Pistons is the second lowest against Miami in a postseason contest, only a 30.5 percent (26-85) performance by Orlando on Apr. 24, 1997 was lower. Miami pushed the lead as high as 25 points on three occasions in the final quarter before settling for the 19- point victory. The 19-point victory is Miami's second largest in postseason play, topped only by a 35-point triumph over Orlando on Apr. 24, 1997.
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
(NEW YORK-4, MIAMI-3)
Game 1-May 7 (Miami 87, New York 83): Alonzo Mourning scored a game-high 26 points, including the HEAT's final eight, as Miami grabbed a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinal series with an 87-83 victory before a sellout crowd of 20,053 at the AmericanAirlines Arena. Jamal Mashburn topped the 20-point mark for the third time in four playoff games, finishing with 21 points and P.J. Brown scored eight points while grabbing a game-high 16 rebounds. The 16 rebounds by Brown were a personal postseason high and marked the third highest singlegame total in HEAT postseason history. The 14 defensive rebounds he grabbed set a HEAT postseason record. The victory gave Miami a 4-0 mark this postseason. The four consecutive postseason wins set a HEAT postseason record. Tough defense was the key again for the HEAT, who held New York to 42.3 percent shooting (33-78) from the floor. In two of the four quarters the HEAT held the Knicks under 20 points, including the final quarter when New York scored just 15 points and committed five of its 12 turnovers. The game featured 14 lead changes, including nine in the fourth quarter alone, and was tied on 11 occasions (five times in the final quarter). This game marked the 2000 playoff debut for Tim Hardaway, who missed Miami's first round series against Detroit due to a sprained left foot. Hardaway, who had not played since Apr. 16, started the contest and finished with six points and a game-high seven assists in 30 minutes. Allan Houston led the Knicks with 21 points; Patrick Ewing added 17 points and nine rebounds and Marcus Camby contributed a double-double off the bench with 11 points and a team-high 13 rebounds.
Game 2-May 9 (New York 82, Miami 76): The Knicks used a 21-4 run over the final two and a half minutes of the third quarter and the first five of the fourth to propel themselves to an 82-76 victory over the HEAT before a sellout crowd of 20,078 at the AmericanAirlines Arena. New York's victory evened the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinal series at one game each. The HEAT, who trailed for all but 5:00 of the contest, had pulled to within one, 51-50, before the decisive run. The Knicks endured in a game that featured 60 personal fouls, 75 free throw attempts and neither team shooting at least 36 percent from the floor. New York, which connected on 35.3 percent (24- 68) of its field goal attempts and hit 31-42 free throw attempts (.738), had six players score in double figures. Patrick Ewing (4-12 FGs) and Charlie Ward each scored 13 to top the Knicks. Larry Johnson and Allan Houston (3-14 FGs) each finished with 12 points, Latrell Sprewell (2-13) was held to 11 points and Marcus Camby added 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Knicks. Ewing and Johnson each grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Knicks. Sprewell added six rebounds and a game-high five assists and Ward grabbed six rebounds and did not commit a turnover in 37 minutes. Jamal Mashburn led the HEAT with 25 points, marking the fourth time in Miami's five postseason games this year that he has topped the 20- point mark. Alonzo Mourning, who was held to 5-18 shooting, recorded his first double-double of the 2000 postseason with 17 points, a game-high 17 rebounds and a game-high four blocks. The 17-rebound performance tied for the second best single-game total in Miami postseason history. Tim Hardaway, with 13 points, was the only other HEAT player to score in double figures. Miami struggled shooting the ball all night. The HEAT connected on 25-74 (.338) from the floor, tying its second lowest field goal percentage in a postseason game, and went just 19-33 (.576) from the foul line. The 57.6 percent accuracy from the charity stripe was the second lowest in a Miami postseason contest. The HEAT avoided having its worst free throw shooting effort by going 12-13 (.923) from the line in the second half after a 7-20 (.350) performance in the first half which included a string of seven consecutive misses. The HEAT enjoyed a 50-43 edge on the boards. The 50 rebounds were the third highest single-game total in the HEAT's postseason history. Miami set a postseason franchise record by holding the Knicks to 28.2 percent (11-39) shooting in the first half. The Knicks, who led by as many as 18 points, held the edge in points in the paint (32-18) and second chance points (15-6).
Game 3-May 12 (Miami 77, New York 76-OT): Anthony Carter's driving layup with 2.2 seconds remaining in overtime gave the HEAT a 77-76 victory before a sellout crowd of 19,763 at Madison Square Garden and staked Miami to a 2-1 edge in this Eastern Conference Semifinal series. The Knicks had a final attempt to win the game, but Jamal Mashburn intercepted a Charlie Ward pass with 1.9 seconds remaining to seal the win. Carter finished with 10 points, a game-high eight assists, a postseason careerhigh seven rebounds and just one turnover in 35 minutes off the bench. Led by Carter's performance, Miami's bench enjoyed an edge over the New York bench in scoring (21-6), rebounds (13-7) and assists (8-2). Alonzo Mourning led the HEAT in scoring with 23 points and added nine rebounds. P.J. Brown recorded the lone double-double in the game with 14 points and 12 rebounds and Mashburn contributed 16 points and five rebounds. Mashburn tied the club postseason record for most three-point field goals without a miss as he hit each of the four shots he launched behind the three-point arc. The HEAT, who trailed 75-71 with 2:15 left in overtime, scored six of the game's final seven points. The HEAT who trailed for only 58 seconds in the fourth quarter were behind most of the overtime session. Miami led for just 26 seconds in overtime. Allan Houston led the Knicks with 24 points and Latrell Sprewell added 23. No other Knick scored in double figures. Patrick Ewing, who forced overtime by nailing a 17-foot jumper with 2.6 seconds left in regulation, totaled nine points and a team-high nine rebounds. Marcus Camby blocked six shots to tie the single-game record for a HEAT opponent in postseason play. The HEAT controlled the glass enjoying a 45-34 rebound advantage (16-5 on the offensive glass) and a 12-4 edge in second chance points. Miami held the Knicks to 40.6 percent (26-64) shooting and forced New York into 19 turnovers. The HEAT, who shot 36.5 percent (31-85) from the floor and 78.6 percent (11-14) from the foul line, set a franchise record by winning their third consecutive postseason road game, two of which have come at the Garden. The game marked the first postseason overtime contest in HEAT history. The 153 combined points set an NBA postseason record for fewest combined points in an overtime game.
Game 4-May 14 (New York 91, Miami 83): Charlie Ward scored a playoff career-high 20 points, including New York's final nine, in a 91-83 victory over the HEAT before a Madison Square Garden sellout crowd of 19,763. New York's victory evened this Eastern Conference Semifinal best-of-seven series at two games apiece. For the second time in three games all five starters for the Knicks scored in double figures. In addition to Ward's 20-point, seven-rebound, fourassist performance the Knicks received 17 points from Allan Houston, 16 points and a team-high six assists from Latrell Sprewell, 13 points from Larry Johnson and 12 points and 11 rebounds from Patrick Ewing. Miami received double-doubles from Alonzo Mourning and Dan Majerle. Mourning scored 27 points and grabbed 14 rebounds while Majerle tallied 13 points, grabbed 12 boards and had a game-high four steals. Jamal Mashburn contributed 13 points and four assists and P.J. Brown notched 11 points and eight rebounds for the HEAT. Turnovers and missed opportunities proved costly for the HEAT. Miami committed 19 turnovers which New York converted into 28 points. The Knicks also maintained a 17-8 edge in second chance points, including a 9-2 edge in the fourth quarter as the HEAT attempted to rally. New York took the lead for good on a triple by Johnson with 8:08 remaining in the third quarter. Johnson's trey sparked a 15-6 run and put New York in control. Miami got as close as four points in the final quarter (66-62 with 10:39 remaining), but Houston responded with a trey. From that point on Miami got no closer than five points the rest of the game.
Game 5-May 17 (Miami 87, New York 81): Dan Majerle scored 10 of his 16 points in the final 5:16 of the game and helped the HEAT pull within one game of reaching the Eastern Conference Finals after recording an 87-81 victory over the Knicks before a sellout crowd of 20,021 at the AmericanAirlines Arena. The 16-point effort was Majerle's highest postseason output since an 18-point performance against the Knicks on May 16, 1997. Majerle hit a pair of three-point field goals in the final 2:30 after the Knicks had twice gotten to within four points. Jamal Mashburn led the HEAT in scoring with 21 points, his team-leading fifth 20-point scoring effort of the 2000 Playoffs. Alonzo Mourning added 18 points, Tim Hardaway contributed 12 points in 20 minutes and P.J. Brown grabbed double figures in rebounds for the third time in five games this series, ripping down a game-high 12 boards. The HEAT continued to get contributions from everyone as Anthony Carter came off the bench to score six points and hand out a team-high five assists in 28 minutes; Clarence Weatherspoon tallied six points and six rebounds in 17 minutes and Bruce Bowen had just three points in a 16-minute stint, but it was his trey with 35.2 seconds left in the game that staked Miami to a six-point lead and proved to be the winning bucket. For the third consecutive game the HEAT enjoyed a double-figure rebound advantage over the Knicks. The HEAT have outrebounded New York in each of the five games in this series. For the third time in the series and the second straight game the Knicks had all five starters score in double figures. Latrell Sprewell led the Knicks with 24 points and six assists and Patrick Ewing recorded his second consecutive double-double with 16 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Allan Houston and Charlie Ward each had 12 points and Larry Johnson finished with 10 points. The HEAT, which trailed by as many as 10 points in the game, broke a 68-68 tie as Mashburn and Majerle each scored three points in a 6-0 Miami run midway through the fourth quarter. The HEAT never trailed after the 6-0 run, although New York got within three points twice, the final time with 14.6 seconds left. Mashburn then responded by hitting a pair of free throws with 13.2 seconds left to seal the win.
Game 6-May 19 (New York 72, Miami 70): Allan Houston hit a pair of free throws with 17.6 seconds remaining to break a tie and give the Knicks a 72-70 win in Game 6 of this Eastern Conference Semifinal series before a sellout crowd of 19,763 at Madison Square Garden and force a decisive seventh game. Houston's free throws capped a rally in which New York rallied from an 18-point deficit. Houston was awarded two free throws after Dan Majerle was called for a reach-in foul behind the three-point arc and the HEAT in the penalty. The HEAT had a chance to win the game, but Anthony Carter missed a three-point field goal attempt with 1.4 seconds left. Houston led the Knicks with 21 points (14 in the second half) and Patrick Ewing had 15 points and a game-high 18 rebounds. The 18 rebounds by Ewing matched the second highest single-game total against the HEAT in a postseason game. Latrell Sprewell, who finished with 15 points and nine rebounds was the only other Knick to score in double figures. Alonzo Mourning led Miami with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Carter, despite missing the final shot, scored a playoff career-high 15 points, including a team-high six in the final quarter. Dan Majerle recorded his third double-double of this year's playoffs finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds to go along with a game-high seven assists. Miami led the contest, 43-25, with 2:02 left in the second quarter and had a 45-30 edge at the half. The Knicks shot just 27.5 percent (11-40) from the floor in the first half. New York opened the third quarter with a 13-3 run and shot 60 percent in the quarter compared to 31.3 percent (5-16) by Miami. The HEAT lead was five (58-53) entering the final quarter. Miami maintained a lead until Chris Childs hit a pair of free throws with 1:31 left to tie the score at 70. The Knicks scored the final six points of the game and held Miami without a point the final 2:20. The HEAT managed just a postseason franchise low 25 points in the second half while shooting 33 percent (5-15) from the floor. The Knicks outrebounded the HEAT for the first time in this series, garnering a 46-41 edge on the glass. The 142 combined points tied the NBA low for a playoff game.
Game 7-May 21 (New York 83, Miami 82): For the second straight year the Knicks recorded a one-point road victory in a decisive winner-take-all series clincher against the HEAT. The Knicks rallied from an 11-point first half deficit to record an 83-82 victory over the HEAT before a sellout crowd of 20,063 at the AmericanAirlines Arena. Latrell Sprewell scored 20 of his team-high 24 points in the first half to lead the Knicks. Patrick Ewing recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds and it was his dunk with 1:20 remaining that gave the Knicks the lead (83-82) and closed the scoring. Chris Childs scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and his steal with 9:48 left in the game proved to be the turning point. The HEAT had the ball and were up six (71-65) when Childs recorded a steal which he converted into a layup. Childs scored 13 straight points for New York beginning at the end of the third quarter when he hit a three-point field goal with 42.6 seconds remaining and ending when he hit a pair of free throws with 4:02 left in the game to pull New York within four. The Knicks took an 81-79 lead when Sprewell hit a pair of free throws with 2:21 left. Tim Hardaway, who finished with 15 points (his 2000 playoff high) and seven assists, staked Miami to its final lead (82-81) when he drained a triple with 1:32 left setting the stage for Ewing's game-winner. The HEAT had a chance in the final seconds to reclaim the lead, but Clarence Weatherspoon missed a jumper with seven seconds left. Alonzo Mourning led Miami with game-highs in points (29), rebounds (13) and blocks (five). Hardaway was the only other HEAT player to score in double figures. The Knicks, who shot just 36.1 percent (26-72) from the floor, committed only six turnovers and outrebounded Miami, 46-43. The Knicks also converted their free throws, canning 28 of 31 (.903) while Miami connected on just 11 of its 21 (.524) attempts from the charity stripe.