Quantcast 2011 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs: Round One - Miami vs Philadelphia

 

2011 NBA Playoff Preview – Eastern Conference First Round

Eastern Conference First Round Game 3 - Miami 100, Philadelphia 94 – Heat lead series, 3-0

 

 

Yes, it’s only the first round. Yes, they’re playing the Eastern Conference team with the greatest crisis of confidence. Yet, it’s still noteworthy that the Miami Heat are punching the time clock and tending to business with the sober professionalism that was missing for much of the 2011 regular season.

It’s true that the young Philadelphia 76ers simply couldn’t hold on when it mattered most. Much like their Game 1 loss in Miami, the Sixers were unable to get key stops down the stretch as the Miami Heat won Game 3 at the Wells Fargo Center to open a commanding 3-0 series lead in the City of Brotherly Love. Yet, for all the Sixers’ weaknesses – the 37-win Indiana Pacers are playing better than Philly is right now – it’s still noteworthy that Miami has not allowed the seventh seed to remain in the ring. The number two seed from South Beach is landing knockout punches while avoiding the soap-operatic drama that characterized so much of its 82-game regular-season campaign.

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Dwayne Wade delivered a signature performance for coach Erik Spoelstra’s crew, scoring 32 points, securing 10 rebounds, and dishing out eight assists to lead the Heat to victory. For much of the evening it looked as if the Sixers would find a way to make this series a competitive one. Doug Collins worked like heck on the Sixers’ bench to get his guys to compete. However, the heavyweight combo of Wade and LeBron James was simply too much for the underdogs to overcome.

 

 

During the opening moments of the fourth quarter, Philadelphia’s Jrue Holiday cut the Miami lead to 78-77 with 9:53 left in the game. What followed was a 10-2 Heat run, capped by two Wade free throws to push the Miami lead back to nine at 88-79. Down the stretch Philadelphia had a chance to trim the lead to one with five seconds remaining, but Lou Williams’ three was off the mark. LeBron James had 24 points, 15 rebounds, and 6 assists, as Miami moved one step closer to a potential second-round blockbuster matchup with the Boston Celtics, who have their own business to tend to this weekend in New York.

Philadelphia jumped out to an eight-point first quarter lead and had the crowd at Wells Fargo Center on its feet. The young ballclub simply couldn’t hold off the charge that was destined to come. Elton Brand had 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Andre Iguodala continued to struggle from the field for the 76ers, shooting just 3-of-10 on the night. Philadelphia was dominated on the glass all evening, to the tune of 50-34. Of those 50 rebounds for Miami, 20 of them were on the offensive side.

 

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By: Matt Zemek
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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