Thursday, May 13, 2004
Hot Heat roll past Pacers
Odom, Butler lead as Miami pulls even in playoff series 2-2
The Associated Press
MIAMI - There's no doubt the Miami Heat can win at home. But to get out of the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, they'll have to do it on the road, too.
Lamar Odom scored 22 points and Caron Butler added 21 to lead the Heat to a 100-88 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night, extending their home winning streak to 18 games. They also evened the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
Game 5 is Saturday at Indiana, while Game 6 is Tuesday back in Miami.
The Heat handled the best of the Pacers on Wednesday.
Jermaine O'Neal, who was quiet for the first two games of the series, scored 37 points, while Ron Artest added 28 after scoring just 14 in Game 3. The frontcourt duo looked to be playing 2-on-5 basketball at times.
Miami was much more balanced.
Dwyane Wade scored 20 points, Eddie Jones had 11 and Brian Grant added 10 before dislocating a finger on his right hand. He left the game with 4:38 to play.
The Pacers had no one else in double figures. The team with the best record in the NBA during the regular season lost consecutive games for just the fourth time this season.
The game got physical near the end.
The Pacers were called for two flagrant fouls in the final minutes. Jamaal Tinsley was ejected after his because he had a technical foul earlier in the game. Artest also got hit with a flagrant foul after knocking Wade hard to the ground.
The Heat took control by outscoring the Pacers 23-13 in the third quarter.
NETS: New Jersey Nets forward Kenyon Martin said Wednesday that he had turned down a chance to play in the Athens Games. Martin will be a restricted free agent this summer. Whether he is in deep negotiations with the Nets or looking at other teams, Martin wants to be in the thick of the process.
"Where I'm going to be, I want to be a part of that," said Martin, seeking a maximum contract extension worth between $80 million and $90 million. "I don't want to be thousands and thousands of miles away on the phone. I want to physically be involved. That's the most important thing, my stability."
SUNS: Mike D'Antoni got a two-year contract extension to coach Phoenix on Wednesday, and is excited about the future of a team.
D'Antoni replaced the fired Frank Johnson on Dec. 10 after Phoenix got off to an 8-13 start. The Suns went 21-40 the rest of the way, including beating Utah on the road in their finale - just enough to avoid last place in the Western Conference and tying for the second-worst record in franchise history.
"I'm obviously happy that it went this way," he said. "They gave me a little vote of confidence, and now we've just got to keep the ball rolling. Get it rolling might be more like it."
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