Sunday , May , 02 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Hornets buzz Miami in the Big Easy to force Game 7

New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) – P.J. Brown collected 16 points and nine
rebounds to lead New Orleans over Miami, 89-83, in Game 6 of their Eastern
Conference quarterfinal set.

George Lynch also netted 16 points and Baron Davis contributed 15 points and
12 assists for the Hornets, who forced a decisive Game 7 back in Miami on
Tuesday. New Orleans is now one win away from capturing its first-ever best-
of-seven series in its sixth try.

Dwyane Wade posted a game-high 27 points and added seven boards and six
assists for the Heat, who will look to continue a trend when the series shifts
back to AmericanAirlines Arena. The home team has won the first six games of
this opening-round matchup. In addition, the Heat have won 15 consecutive
games at home, including the final 12 regular-season games they hosted.

“It’s going to be a war, just like every other game in this series. It might
be a little more intense,” said Wade. “It’s a great series — two great teams
going at it. That’s what you watch the playoffs for, to see who’s going to
duke it out in Game 7.”

Miami, which is appearing in the postseason for the first time since 2001, has
never lost a playoff series after winning the first two games.

The Heat trailed by as many as 18 in the final frame, but got back into the
game with a 19-5 run late in the contest. Caron Butler capped the burst
with a field goal with 1:07 remaining that trimmed the deficit to 85-81.
Butler ended with 14 points and eight boards.

Miami also cut the lead to four at 87-83 with 41 seconds left on a Wade
bucket, but failed to score again.

“The only positive was we didn’t quit,” said Miami head coach Stan Van Gundy.
“That could have been a 25 or 30-point game. We got dominated for 42 minutes.”

The Heat only shot 39 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 21
times.

Most of the game was played with just two officials. Joe Crawford, who first
refereed in the league in 1977, was forced to leave in the first quarter due
to an ankle injury, leaving the duties to just Blane Reichelt and Sean Corbin.

The game was knotted at 14-14 late in the first quarter, but the Hornets ended
the period with seven unanswered points and led the rest of the way. Brown
capped the spurt with a bucket with 29 seconds remaining to put New Orleans
ahead, 21-14.

Davis did not attempt a shot in the first quarter, but contributed five
assists for the Hornets in the early going.

The Hornets continued to stay hot as they started the second quarter with an
11-1 burst to move in front by 17. Robert Traylor completed the run with a
three-point play with 8:18 left and New Orleans led 32-15. Traylor would be
ejected in the fourth quarter.

Later in the second, the Heat posted nine unanswered points to cut the deficit
to 38-31 with 1:57 left.

However, the Heat eventually went into the intermission down by double digits
at 43-33.

In the first four minutes of the third, the Heat closed within 47-43, but the
Hornets responded with an 18-3 burst to take control. A field goal with 4:02
left in the frame by Davis capped the run and put New Orleans ahead by 19 at
65-46.

The Heat, who never led the entire game, trailed 69-55 after 36 minutes.

Eddie Jones scored 23 points in the defeat.

This is the second-ever meeting between the two teams in the postseason. The
Hornets, who made their home in Charlotte at the time, swept the Heat in three
games in the 2001 first round.

NO MIA