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Lebron James scored 29 points while Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh each added 19 as the Miami Heat eliminated the NY Knicks 106-94 winning their best of 7 series 4-1 at the American Airlines Arena. James shot just 7/16 (44%) from the floor but converted 13/15 (87%) at the free throw line. The king also collected 8 rebounds and dished out 7 asissts despite committing 5 turnovers. Wade struggled with his shot making just 7/19 (37%) overall but battled foul trouble for most of the evening. Bosh turned in a solid effort connecting on 8/15 (53%) and grabbing 7 rebounds while committing no turnovers. The Heat shot 44% overall but swished 9/19 (47%) from beyond the arc and sank 29/34 (85%) from the free throw line, an achilles heel that prevented a potential sweep on Saturday at MSG. Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 35 points on 15/31 (48%) from the field and hauled down 8 rebounds. Amare Stoudemire added 14 but committed 6 turnovers, while Landry Fields and JR Smith each contributed 12. The Knicks shot 48% overall and converted 18/21 (86%) from the foul line, but struggled from beyond the arc (4/13 31%) and were outrebounded 42-36. Smith was just 3/15 (20%) overall and the Knicks managed just 16 bench points. The margin was less than 10 points for only 90 seconds of the third quarter. Stoudemire went to the bench with his fifth foul with 6:41 left in the third, and Miami went on an 11-2 spurt not long after that all but sealed the outcome. It was 67-58 when Fields made two free throws with 4:49 left in the quarter -- and then the Heat's "Big Three" needed just 3 minutes to blow the game open. Bosh and Wade combined for six points in that flurry, James the other five, including a 21-footer with 1:29 left to put Miami up 78-60. Stoudemire fouled out with 4:48 left, and the Knicks put together one more run with hopes of extending the season. New York cut the margin to 11 points four times in a 2-minute span, but Miami answered every time, the last of those a 3-pointer by Shane Battier with 54 seconds left. For the Heat, it was only the first step. The reigning East champions have one goal -- getting back to the finals and winning it all -- and that was likely why even beating the franchise's longtime rival prompted, at most, a subdued celebration. For the Knicks, it was the 12th straight season without a playoff-series victory. The last time New York advanced in the postseason came at Miami's expense in 2000 in the East semifinals. New York's season started with great expectations. Not long after the lockout ended the Knicks acquired Chandler from Dallas, a move made possible by using the amnesty clause on Chauncey Billups. Those moves were expected. Just about everything else that happened was not. From the firing of coach Mike D'Antoni to the emergence of Jeremy Lin before he was sidelined by a knee injury, the Knicks had a roller-coaster ride that continued with a baffling series of injuries against Miami. The Heat will now take on the Pacers in the Eastern conference semifinals who took out Orlando in 5 games as well.
Marc Gasol scored 23 points and Zach Randolph added 19 along with 10 rebounds as Memphis staved off elimination by crushing the LA Clippers 92-80 at the Fed Ex Arena. Gaso hit on 8/14 (57%) shots overall, collected 7 rebounds and handed out 4 assists while making some key free throws down the stretch. Randolph made 6/11 (55%) from the floor and was a force to be reckoned with down low boxing out Blake Griffin in the paint forcing several one and dones with the game on the line. Rudy Gay contributed 14 for the Grizzlies, who shot 44% overall and converted 28/34 (82%) at the charity stripe despite missing all of their 6 three point attempts. Memphis outrebounded LA 42-36 and tightened up their defense thoughout after building a 24 point third quarter lead. Mo Williams led the Clips with 20 points off the bench but shot only 8/21 (38%) from the floor. Chris Paul added 19 along with 4 steals despite handing out only 4 assists. Blake Griffin contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds for LA, who shot only 37% overall including 7/24 (29%) from 3 point range. In the arena nicknamed the Grindhouse in honor of the Grizzlies' blue-collar style, Memphis pounded the ball into the paint and banged on the Clippers all game long. The Grizzlies outscored Los Angeles 48-26 in the paint and had a 42-35 edge in rebounds. Gasol scored 12 points in the first quarter. Randolph, who looked nothing like the double-double machine of last season's playoffs, hit his first six shots in scoring 15 points while grabbing five rebounds as Memphis led 36-22 at the end of the first quarter. The Grizzlies led 57-42 at halftime and led by as many as 24 before the Clippers tried to make it interesting again. The Clippers closed the third quarter with a 14-2 run and got within six twice to conjure up memories of Memphis blowing a 27-point lead in Game 1. Foye pulled the Clippers within 85-79 on a layup with 55.7 seconds left. With CP3 on the bench, that was as close as they would get. Game 6 will be held back at the Staples Center tomorrow night.