The Heat didn't play their best in Game 5 on Wednesday night, but Miami still managed to edge the Brooklyn Nets 96-94 at American Airlines Arena. The win gives Miami a 4-1 series victory and the right to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Some late-game heroics by Ray Allen and LeBron James and more poor execution by the Nets led to another dramatic victory for the Heat as time expired. LeBron James wasn't as sharp as he was in Game 4 when he scored 49 points, but he still finished with 29 points and was 15-of-17 from the free throw line.
Dwyane Wade had a huge first half and provided most of Miami's firepower early on. He scored 20 points in the first two quarters while most of his teammates were relatively quiet. Wade finished with 28 points on 10-of-18 shooting.
The Nets played a solid first 24 minutes of basketball on the road and were able to build a 49-42 lead at halftime. Paul Pierce got off to a hot start and Joe Johnson helped Brooklyn close out the second quarter with two tough buckets. Johnson and Pierce combined with Deron Williams to score 29 points in the first half.
The Miami Heat simply could not find their range early in the game, missing 15 of their first 16 shots from behind the arc. Of course, it was James Jones who hit Miami's lone three-pointer in the first half. For the game, the Heat shot 9 of 29 (31%) from deep.
Joe Johnson led a strong third quarter for the Nets, giving them a 75-66 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Johnson had an excellent game overall, scoring from all over the court and even beating LeBron James a number of times. In the end, Johnson's 34 points just weren't enough to secure the win and send the series back to Brooklyn.
Chris Bosh did a great job to keep the Heat in the game throughout the second half. While nobody else in a Miami uniform could hit a shot from downtown, Bosh made 4 of his 6 three-point attempts and finished with 16 points.
Down the stretch, LeBron turned it on and had a key block on Johnson in the game's final minutes. The Heat rallied to cut Brooklyn's lead down to 91-90 with just under a minute remaining. Mario Chalmers found Ray Allen in the corner for the go-ahead three-pointer and, of course, he drained it to give Miami the 93-91 lead.
Brooklyn had a chance to tie the game or take the lead with under 10 seconds to go, but the Miami defense absolutely locked down. The Nets never got a shot off and Miami won the series 4-1 on their home court.