Looking Back On The 2014 ECSF Between The HEAT & Nets
Digging Into Games 4 & 5
Well, NBA TV is at it again.
This time around, the network will air Games 4 and 5 of the 2014 Eastern Conference Semifinals between the HEAT and Nets on Thursday at 3PM and 4PM, respectively.
And while the games with Brooklyn may not hold the same gravitas as the previous battles we’ve highlighted in this space (Celtics and Mavs), they were still memorable and filled with star power.
You had Miami’s Big 3 along with vital complimentary pieces in Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier against Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Deron Williams and Kevin Garnett.
So…let’s get right to it, shall we?
Game 4 – May 12, 2014
This is a classic LeBron James performance that kind of gets lost in the shuffle.
Coming off a disappointing Game 3 loss to the Nets, the HEAT couldn’t afford to drop another and cede momentum to Brooklyn.
As such, James answered the bell with 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting in the first half, including this tomahawk jam in transition off a great block by James Jones on Johnson:
LBJ wasn’t done there, though, as he continued to score from everywhere on the floor thanks to aggressive takes to the rack, wise post-ups on mismatches and crafty jumpers.
Despite all that, the Nets kept fighting back and took a few brief leads in the fourth quarter. After Pierce completed a three-point play to give his team a 90-89 advantage with 4:25 left, Miami ramped up its defense, held Brooklyn without a field goal for a little over four minutes and closed out the game on a 13-6 run.
And even though James did much of the heavy lifting, we can’t forget about this clutch trey from Chris Bosh that finally put the HEAT ahead for good:
Bosh finished with 12 points (six in the fourth) on 5-of-9 shooting, five rebounds, a game-high three blocks and two steals.
But again, the night belonged to James, who tallied a game-high 49 points (a HEAT playoff record) on 16-of-24 shooting from the field, including 3-of-6 from deep, and 14-of-19 from the line, six boards, a game-high three steals and two assists to give Miami a 102-96 win and a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Game 5 – May 14, 2014
With the Nets desperate to keep their hopes alive, they came out of the gate strong and led for most of the contest thanks to solid outings by Johnson, Pierce and Williams. Luckily enough, Dwyane Wade kept the HEAT within striking distance and scored 26 of his 28 points through three quarters.
Then his teammates did the rest in the fourth.
Much like in Game 4, Miami picked up its defense late and went on a thrilling 13-3 run to close out the game and Brooklyn’s season.
Naturally, Allen hit a huge corner three during the flurry to bring the HEAT all the way back.
And when Johnson had a chance to tie or win the game for the Nets on the final possession, both Allen and James pressured the All-Star and made sure he didn’t get a shot off as time expired.
I mean, just listen to the roar of the crowd.
When it was all said and done, James led Miami with 29 points (14 in the fourth), a game-high nine boards, five assists and a block, while Allen recorded 13 points, three rebounds and two assists in the 96-94 victory.