Heat, Nets meet for Game 4 of East semis at Meadowlands
(Sports Network) – The Miami Heat try to take a 3-1 lead over the New
Jersey Nets in their Eastern Conference semifinals series when they meet
today for Game 4 at Continental Airlines Arena.
Game 5 of this best-of-seven series is scheduled to be played on Tuesday at
the AmericanAirlines Arena.
On Friday, Dwyane Wade scored 30 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished
out 10 assists to lead No. 2 Miami to a 103-92 victory over the third-seeded
Nets at the Meadowlands.
Wade missed just one of his 15 foul shots, as the Heat took a 2-1 lead in the
best-of-seven series. Wade scored half his points in the last 4 1/2 minutes of
the final quarter.
Shaquille O’Neal ended with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Antoine Walker
contributed 16 points for Miami. The Heat capitalized on six New Jersey
turnovers in the fourth quarter, leading to 10 Miami points.
Vince Carter poured in 43 points, an all-time Nets playoff-high, shooting 17-
of-34 from the field in the loss. Richard Jefferson chipped in 17 for the
short-handed Nets, who were without forward Cliff Robinson. the 39-year-old
Robinson was suspended for five games on Friday after violating the terms of
the league’s anti-drug program.
This is the second time that these clubs have met in the postseason. The Heat
swept the Nets, 4-0, in last year’s first round.
The Nets have won six of their last seven Game 4s in the postseason, while
Miami has dropped two straight Game 4s.
New Jersey, which defeated Indiana in six games in the first round, has made
it to at least the conference semifinals in three of the last four years.
The Nets were swept in the 2002 NBA Finals by the Lakers, fell in six
games to San Antonio in the 2003 championship round and were knocked out
in seven contests in the 2004 conference semifinals by Detroit.
Miami, which knocked off Chicago in six games in round one, has made it to
at least the conference semifinals for a third straight year. The Heat fell
to the Indiana Pacers in six games in the 2004 semis, and swept Washington
in the second round of last season’s playoffs. They would eventually lose
in seven games to the Detroit Pistons in the conference finals.
The Heat are trying to make it to the conference finals for the third time in
franchise history. Besides last season’s loss to the Pistons, Miami was
bounced in the 1997 East finals in five games by Michael Jordan and the