MIAMI (AP) LeBron James decided not to play in New York two summers ago. He won’t be playing there any more this season, either.
The Knicks have been put away, and the Miami Heat are headed to the second round of the NBA playoffs.
James had 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade both scored 19 points and the Heat ousted the Knicks 106-94 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first-round series Wednesday night.
Miami won the series 4-1, and will meet Indiana in the East semifinals starting Sunday in Miami.
“We will savor this win tonight,” James said. “And then we get to work tomorrow and get ready for Indiana.”
LOS ANGELES (AP) Andre Miller scored 24 points, including two free throws with 12.8 seconds left, and the Denver Nuggets survived Kobe Bryant’s late scoring barrage in a 43-point performance, avoiding playoff elimination with a 102-99 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 on Tuesday night.
JaVale McGee had 21 points and 14 rebounds for the sixth-seeded Nuggets, who trimmed the Lakers’ series lead to 3-2, but only after a hair-raising finish.
Denver had a 15-point lead midway through the fourth quarter against the lifeless Lakers, but Bryant engineered a stunning comeback before his final three shots missed. Bryant scored 12 points in the final 4:47, hitting four 3-pointers that trimmed the Nuggets’ lead to 98-96 with 59 seconds left.
“Kobe was incredible,” Denver coach George Karl said. “He scares the hell out of me every time we go up against him.”
Bryant then missed a potential tying 5-footer and a 3-pointer, but Denver missed two free throws before Ramon Sessions hit a 3-pointer with 12.8 seconds left, trimming the Nuggets’ lead to one point.
Los Angeles had two more chances to tie after the veteran Miller’s free throws, but Bryant and Sessions missed 3-pointers near the buzzer.
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CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls aren’t quite finished after all.
Luol Deng scored 24 points, Carlos Boozer added 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Chicago beat the Philadelphia 76ers 77-69 on Tuesday night to avoid a first-round playoff exit.
The top-seeded Bulls finally won without point guard Derrick Rose, building a nine-point halftime lead and staying in control down the stretch to pull within 3-2. Game 6 is Thursday in Philadelphia.
It’s been a brutal series for the Bulls, with Rose tearing the ACL in his left knee late in the opener and center Joakim Noah spraining his left ankle in Game 3. He sat out his second straight game, but Chicago refused to bow out quietly.
Instead, the Bulls locked down the Sixers, holding them to a season-low 32.1 percent shooting. And with Boozer and Deng coming up big, Chicago kept its season going.