FIRST ROUND (MIAMI-4, NEW ORLEANS-3)
Game 1 - Apr. 18 (Miami 81, New Orleans 79): Miami HEAT rookie Dwyane Wade's running jumper with 1.3 seconds left, gave the HEAT an 81-79 victory over the New Orleans Hornets in the first game of round one in this season's playoffs. Miami would trail by three at the half before outscoring the Hornets by 10 in the third. The HEAT would hold the lead in the fourth before missing on multiple possessions to allow New Orleans to tie the game at 79-79 with a jump shot from P.J. Brown with 53 seconds left to play. Both teams had poor possessions allowing the HEAT to run a play with only 11 seconds remaining. On the final play, the ball would be in-bounded to HEAT rookie Dwyane Wade. As Wade dribbled down the clock, he made his move and penetrated toward the paint with a running jumper over the outstretched arm of Hornet center Jamaal Magloire to take the 81-79 win. Miami's Lamar Odom became the 11th HEAT player to record a double-double in post-season play. Caron Butler's five steals tied a HEAT single-game playoff franchise record. The win gives the HEAT a 1-0 advantage over the New Orleans Hornets in the first round of the playoffs..
Game 2 - Apr. 21 (Miami 93, New Orleans 63): The Miami HEAT took a 2-0 series lead with a 93-63 win over the visiting New Orleans Hornets. The HEAT jumped out to an early lead, leading 28-17 at the end of the first quarter. Lamar Odom, who finished the game with 17 points and 11 rebounds, recorded eight points and six boards in the first quarter alone. After halftime, with the HEAT leading 43-34, Miami opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run and blew the game wide open, leading by as many as 23 points. New Orleans was only able to score 10 points in that frame, setting a HEAT record for fewest points allowed in any quarter by an opponent in playoff history. It was also a playoff record for the Hornets for fewest points scored in any playoff quarter. All five HEAT starters scored in double-figures, with Eddie Jones leading the way with 19 points and eight rebounds. Brian Grant notched a double-double with 15 points and 11 boards, while Caron Butler came close with 18 points and nine rebounds. Dwyane Wade scored 14 points, and Udonis Haslem came off the bench to grab nine boards. Only Baron Davis (13) reached double-figures for the Hornets.
Game 3 - Apr. 24 (New Orleans 77, Miami 71): The New Orleans Hornets came a step closer to evening the series with a 77-71 win over the HEAT at home. The Hornets took advantage of a poor shooting effort by the HEAT, who shot 32.9% (25-76) from the field for the game. New Orleans led by as many as 15 points in the first half, and took a 41-29 lead into halftime. Baron Davis was hard to shut down in the first half, scoring 17 points in the first two quarters. The HEAT stepped up their game in the second half, with the help of Caron Butler and Lamar Odom, who scored 17 and 13 points in the half, respectively. With the Hornets leading 57-50 to start the final frame, Miami closed the gap to just four points with 8:23 remaining. With 7:04 left, Odom took an elbow to the face, and had to leave the game, receiving six stitches above his left eye. The HEAT closed the gap to within two points on two occasions, the most recent with 1:47 left, but New Orleans was able to respond and make their free throws down the stretch. Caron Butler recorded the HEAT's only 20-point, 15-rebound performance in HEAT playoff history, with 24 points and 15 boards. Lamar Odom scored 18 points, while Brian Grant pulled down 11 rebounds. Rafer Alston came off the bench to score 10 points. The Hornets were led by Baron Davis and David Wesley, who scored 21 and 18 points, respectively.
Game 4 - Apr. 27 (New Orleans 96, Miami 85): The New Orleans Hornets tied the best-of-seven series with a 96-85 victory over the HEAT. The Hornets, led by Baron Davis' 23-point, 10-rebound game, shot 50.0 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three-point range. New Orleans jumped out to a five-point lead to end the first quarter and led by as many as seven points in the second, before settling on a six-point lead into halftime. Baron Davis scored 15 of his team-high 23 points in the first half. The Hornets lead grew larger to start the third quarter (11 points) before Miami staged a 17-6 run to tie the game with 1:45 left in the period. The HEAT took a three-point advantage into the final frame, but lost the lead for good with 9:37 left in the game. Free throw shooting in the final minutes grew the Hornets lead from five points to eleven points. Dwyane Wade became the 12th player in HEAT playoff history to record a double-double, with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Game 5 - Apr. 30 (Miami 87, New Orleans 83): Miami continued its dominance at home, recording its 15th straight home victory with an 87-83 win over the New Orleans Hornets. The win gave Miami a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven-series. The Hornets jumped out to a quick lead, leading by 10 at the end of the first quarter (24-14). Eddie Jones and Dwyane Wade helped cut the HEAT deficit to just four points heading into halftime by recording 11 and eight points, respectively, in the second frame. The third quarter marked the first time in the series that the Hornets outscored the HEAT in that quarter (17-16), but the HEAT were still able to keep the game close going into the final period. Miami went on an 8-0 run to begin the fourth to take a 66-63 advantage with 9:26 remaining. From that point on, the game was tied four times, and neither team held a bigger lead than six points. With the game tied at 80 apiece with 1:37 left, Dwyane Wade hit a three-pointer as the shot clock expired. Miami held the lead from that point on, winning the game 87-83.
Game 6 - May 2 (New Orleans 89, Miami 83): The Hornets were able to even the series for the second time with an 89-83 victory in New Orleans. The Hornets again jumped out to an early lead, going ahead 21-14 after the first quarter. They extended their lead to 10 points (43-33) going into halftime, led by Jamaal Magloire's 12 points and Baron Davis' eight assists. The Hornets outshot the HEAT 48.7% to 30.0% from the field in the first half. The third quarter, which has proven strong for the HEAT in this series, proved no better. The HEAT cut the Hornets lead to just four points with 7:57 remaining in the third, but New Orleans responded with a 16-2 run to increase their lead to 18 points in the following 3:42 minutes. With a 14-point lead going into the fourth, the Hornets raised their lead to 18 with 8:10 left to play. But the HEAT responded with a 21-7 run, cutting the deficit to just four points with 41.2 seconds left in the game. The Hornets made two free throws and the HEAT ran out of time, falling to the Hornets by six points. Miami was led by Dwyane Wade, who scored 19 of his 27 points in the second half. Eddie Jones scored 23 points.
Game 7 - May 4 (Miami 85, New Orleans 77): The HEAT eliminated the New Orleans Hornets in a deciding Game 7 of the First Round Series, 85-77. Miami set the pace of the game early, starting the game on a 14-4 run. Caron Butler, who led the HEAT in scoring, scored 11 of his team-high 23 points in the first quarter. However, the Hornets wouldn't quit, and staged an 11-1 run of their own to tie the game with 5:07 left in the first quarter. Steve Smith hit three three-pointers for the Hornets in that run. Miami took a seven-point lead into the second quarter and extended their lead to 10 at halftime. In the first half, Miami out-rebounded the visitors, 27-19. Rafer Alston came off the bench to score seven points and grab five boards in the first half, while Brian Grant grabbed six rebounds, three of which were offensive boards. Caron Butler exploded again to start the second half, scoring eight points in the third, and helping the home team extend their lead to as many as 15 points before going up by 10 to start the final frame. Led by Steve Smith (eight fourth-quarter points) and Shammond Williams (seven fourth-quarter points), who was called into action after Baron Davis left the game with an injury, New Orleans staged a run to cut the HEAT lead to just five points with 2:49 remaining. However, the HEAT had a response on each possession and hit their free throws in the closing minutes to seal the victory. The HEAT starters came up big, with Caron Butler grabbing nine rebounds to go along with his 23 points, Lamar Odom scoring 16 points and grabbing nine boards, Brian Grant logging 14 points and grabbing nine rebounds and Dwyane Wade scoring 12 points and pulling down four rebounds. Rafer Alston came off the bench to score 11 points and grab seven rebounds.
SEMIFINALS (INDIANA-4, MIAMI-2)
Game 1 - May 6 (Indiana 94, Miami 81): The Indiana Pacers took the first game of the best-of-seven series with a 94-81 win over the HEAT. Miami jumped out to a quick lead, starting the game on a 7-2 run, but the Pacers tied the game with 7:27 left to play in the first quarter and never gave up the lead. Indiana would take a 23-15 lead into the second quarter, and a 46-36 edge into halftime. Ron Artest led the charge, scoring 15 of his game-high 25 points in the first half. The third quarter proved tough for Miami, as Indiana started with a 14-1 run, taking a 60-37 advantage just 4:03 into the second half. The Pacers would extend their lead to as many as 23 points before the HEAT finished the quarter with a 20-9 run to cut it to 12 points going into the fourth quarter. Miami cut the Pacers lead to just eight points on three occasions in the fourth, but could get no closer. Dwyane Wade led the HEAT in scoring, recording 22 points and seven rebounds. Caron Butler pulled down a teamhigh nine boards, while Rafer Alston came off the bench to score 17 points. Indiana was led by Ron Artest's 25 points and Jeff Foster's 10 rebounds. The HEAT outscored the Pacers 14-0 in fast break points, but Indiana had the edge in free throw attempts, shooting 32 to the HEAT's 18.
Game 2 - May 8 (Indiana 91, Miami 80): The Indiana Pacers lead the HEAT, 2-0, in the best-of-seven series after a 91-80 victory at Conseco Fieldhouse. Miami kept things close in the first quarter with the help of Lamar Odom, who scored eight points on 4-of-5 shooting, and grabbed four boards in the quarter. The Pacers opened things up in the second quarter, leading by as many as nine points. The HEAT cut the lead to just five points with 10 seconds left in the first half, but Reggie Miller hit a three at the buzzer to put the Pacers in front by eight points. The Pacers had a hot hand in the third quarter, shooting 52.6% in the frame. Ron Artest scored 10 points in the period to help Indiana go up by 15 points entering the final frame. The Pacers continued their dominance, surging ahead by 22 points with just under four minutes remaining. The HEAT cut the lead to 11 points by closing out the game on a 12-1 run. Lamar Odom recorded a double-double for the second time in this year's playoffs, with 19 points and 12 rebounds. His seven offensive rebounds ties for second place in HEAT playoff history for a single game. Dwyane Wade added 19 points. Indiana was led by Ron Artest's 20 points and Jermaine O'Neal and Al Harrington's nine rebounds apiece. The HEAT outscored the Pacers 42-26 in the paint.
Game 3 - May 10 (Miami 94, Indiana 87): The Miami HEAT took a step closer to evening the best-of-seven series with a 94-87 win over the Indiana Pacers. Miami began the game as they had the previous two, falling behind in the first quarter 20-14. But the HEAT staged a 9-0 run to begin the second period to take a three-point lead with 9:38 remaining. Malik Allen, who had scored a total of 18 points in seven playoff games so far this year, led the charge by scoring 10 (on 5-for-5 shooting) of his playoff career-high 13 points in the second quarter. The HEAT led by as many as six points before taking a 39-35 edge going into halftime. They outscored the Pacers 25-15 in the second frame. Miami continued to play hard in the third quarter, surging ahead by as many as nine points with 5:48 remaining, but Indiana fought back, with the help of Jermaine O'Neal's 11 points in the quarter to cut the deficit to four points headed into the fourth. Miami would continue to hold the lead until Indiana took a one-point lead with just 6:20 left in the game. Miami finished the game on a 24-16 run, helped in large part by Dwyane Wade, who scored 14 of his team-high 25 points in the fourth quarter. In that final run, Wade scored 10 points, while Caron Butler recorded eight points. Brian Grant left the game with just under 20 seconds remaining, after getting cut above his lip, but not before he recorded a new playoff career-high of 16 rebounds. Jermaine O'Neal led all scorers with 29 points.
Game 4 - May 12 (Miami 100, Indiana 88): The Miami HEAT evened the best-of-seven series at two games apiece with a 100-88 win over the Indiana Pacers. Indiana began the game as they had in the other games played in the series, with a controlling first quarter. Jermaine O'Neal scored 14 of his game-high 37 points in the first frame, and with the help of Ron Artest, who contributed 10 points, helped the Pacers jump out to a 33-26 lead at the end of the first. Miami got a handle on things in the second quarter, beginning the frame on a 12-4 run to take the lead with 6:44 remaining. From then on, the score was tied on seven occasions going into halftime before Austin Croshere drained a three-pointer as the clock expired, giving Indiana a three-point edge going into the half. The HEAT dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Pacers 23-13 in the frame. Indiana shot 28.6% from the field in that time, allowing Miami to take a seven-point lead going into the fourth. Lamar Odom and Caron Butler combined for 18 of the HEAT's 23 points in the third, on 8-11 shooting. Miami continued its strong play in the final frame, but the Pacers made things interesting by cutting the HEAT lead to just four points with 4:08 remaining. The HEAT responded, ending the game on a 12-4 run. Indiana was called for two flagrant fouls (Jamaal Tinsley and Ron Artest) with under 2:09 remaining. Brian Grant left the game with 4:26 remaining with a dislocated right pinky. All five of the HEAT's starters scored in double-figures, led by Lamar Odom's 22-point (9-for-13) performance. Caron Butler recorded a double-double for the second time this postseason, with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Dwyane Wade scored 20 points, while Rafer Alston came off the bench to score 11 points. Jermaine O'Neal (37 points) and Ron Artest (28 points) scored 65 of Indiana's 88 points in the game.
Game 5 - May 15 (Indiana 94, Miami 83): The Indiana Pacers took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series with a 94-83 win over the HEAT. Miami kept things close in the first quarter, taking a 21-19 lead, with the help of Malik Allen, who came off the bench to score six points on 3-for-3 shooting in the first period. The HEAT struggled in the second quarter, getting outrebounded 17-7, and allowed Indiana to score 25 points to Miami's 18. With Indiana ahead 44-39 at halftime, the Pacers came out shooting to begin the third quarter. The Pacers began the frame on a 20-8 run, and went ahead by as many as 18 points, shooting 80.0% from the field. The Pacers outscored the HEAT 29-16 in the quarter. Things got no better for the HEAT in the fourth quarter, as the club could not cut the Pacer lead to under 15 points until 2:47 left in the frame. Eddie Jones hit two free throws in the closing seconds to cut the HEAT deficit to 11 points, the closest the club had been since 6:14 left in the third quarter. The Pacers shot 51.4% from the field, to the HEAT's 43.5%. Six HEAT players scored in double-figures, including all five starters. Lamar Odom recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Dwyane Wade also recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 assists. Jeff Foster had a standout game for Indiana, scoring 20 points on 9-for-10 shooting, and grabbing 16 rebounds. The HEAT were outrebounded 47-30, and 13-7 in offensive rebounds.
Game 6 - May 18 (Indiana 73, Miami 70): The Indiana Pacers eliminated the Miami HEAT from the playoffs with a 73-70 win in Miami. The loss snapped an 18-game home winning streak for the HEAT. Miami jumped out to a good start, taking a 20-16 lead after the first quarter. The Pacers committed nine turnovers in the frame, and Lamar Odom scored nine of his 22 points in the quarter. Indiana tied the game with 6:26 in the second quarter, and the HEAT struggled from that point on. The HEAT shot 27.8% to the Pacers' 50.0% from the field in the second quarter, allowing Indiana to take a 36-33 lead into halftime. The 13 points scored by Miami in the second quarter was the lowest quarter point total for the HEAT in the 2004 playoffs. The HEAT fell behind by as many as 10 points in the third quarter, trailing by seven as the fourth quarter began. However, the HEAT began the final frame with a 10-2 run, taking the lead with 8:22 left to play. The lead would flip-flop several times in the remaining minutes, with Indiana taking a three-point lead with 12.4 seconds left to play. The HEAT could get no closer, falling 73-70. Dwyane Wade led the HEAT with 24 points. Brian Grant grabbed 10 rebounds. The Pacers were led by Ron Artest's 27 points and Jermaine O'Neal's 13 boards.