1997-98: HEAT Turns 10; Continues to Win

As the Miami HEAT franchise celebrated its 10-year anniversary, Pat Riley's troops also faced the weight of high expectations. With an established core of NBA veterans, a legendary coach and a never-say-die philosophy, Miami posted 55 wins and win its second straight Atlantic Division title.

The season began with center Alonzo Mourning on the injured list following offseason knee surgery. Mourning missed the first 22 games of the season, but the Heat got off to a 15-7 start in his absence. Once healthy, Mourning had another fine season for the HEAT, averaging 19.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg and 2.24 bpg, ninth in the NBA, and also ranking third in the league in field goal percentage at .551.

Once again, Isaac Austin shined in Mourning absence. The 6-11 Austin, whose dogged effort transformed him from an overweight project to a key NBA reserve, was traded in midseason. Faced with losing Austin to free agency, the HEAT sent Austin, rookie Charles Smith and the HEAT's 1998 first-round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for swingman Brent Barry.

Despite dealing Austin and losing small forward Jamal Mashburn for two months with a broken thumb, the Heat responded with its best basketball, going 20-4 after the trade and getting improved production from Mourning, forward P.J. Brown (9.6 ppg and 8.6 rpg for the season) and guard Voshon Lenard, who averaged 12.6 ppg, and ranked sixth in the NBA in three-point field goals made with 153.

Miami's emotional leader was once again guard Tim Hardaway, who led the Heat in assists at 8.3 apg (6th in the NBA) and averaged 18.9 ppg, earning his fifth All-Star selection. He hit a buzzer-beater to spoil Washington's home opener on November 1, nailed a game-ending three-pointer on November 15 and hit what proved to be the game-winner in an 82-81 over New York on April 12.

While Miami won that battle with New York, the Knicks would win the war. The two Atlantic Division foes renewed their fierce postseason rivalry in the first round of the 1998 NBA Playoffs. Only one year after their controversial seven-game series, the Knicks and HEAT battled once again. Lenard was particularly effective in the HEAT's first two playoff games, scoring 25 and 28 points -- but the HEAT managed only a split at home. The teams also split a pair of games at Madison Square Garden, but an altercation late in Game 4 proved lethal for the HEAT. Mourning was suspended for the deciding game after a fight with New York's Larry Johnson. Miami lost the deciding game by a score of 98-81.

  • 97-98 Season Statistics
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    All-Time HEAT Roster

    HEAT Year-by-Year

    HEAT Playoff History

    Inside the HEAT: 2015-16 Season Recap Seg. 1

    A season defined by overcoming adversity and showing true perseverance, Inside The HEAT recaps all of the inspiring moments of the 2015-16 season in this special finale.

    HEAT History Video Playlist

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    Inside the HEAT: 2015-16 Season Recap Seg. 1

    A season defined by overcoming adversity and showing true perseverance, Inside The HEAT recaps all of the inspiring moments of the 2015-16 season in this special finale.
    Jun 8, 2016  |  06:15

    Dwyane Wade's Ultimate Playoff Mixtape

    Check out Dwyane Wade's Ultimate Playoff Mixtape with the Miami Heat.
    May 17, 2016  |  02:46

    Play by Players: Allen Three

    The HEAT players relive the Ray Allen three point basket from Game 6 of the 2013 finals and add their own call to the highlight
    Jan 11, 2016  |  01:34

    25th Anniversary Moments: Brian Shaw 10 3's

    The HEAT's 25th anniversary season celebrating great HEAT moments
    Apr 9, 2013  |  02:05

    25TH Anniversary 3's - Hardaway various long 3 pointers

    Hardaway launches and makes a couple deep 3's.
    Mar 1, 2013  |  00:59

    25TH Anniversary 3's - Bosh 3 sends game to OT

    1-5-2012 Bosh drains a DEEP 3 to send the game into Overtime.
    Mar 4, 2013  |  00:32

    Miami's Historic Win Streak: Top 10

    See the best moments from the Miami Heat's historic 27-game win steak.
    Mar 29, 2013  |  00:00

    25TH Anniversary 3's - Wade GAME WINNING 3 in double OT vs Bulls

    3-9-09 Wade strips Salmons and hits a running 3 off of one leg to win the game in double OT.
    Feb 25, 2013  |  00:48

    25th Anniversary Blocks - Mourning blocks in 2006 Finals

    2006 Finals Mourning blocks Terry and Mavs with a lot of passion.
    Dec 22, 2012  |  00:39

    25TH Anniversary 3's - Rice 3 from Askins late

    2-5-1992 Rice hits a wide open 3 from Askins.
    Mar 1, 2013  |  00:50

    Heat Honor Majerle

    The Miami Heat honor former player 'Thunder' Dan Majerle at half-time as part of their 25-year celebration.
    Apr 9, 2013  |  00:00