Although they’re only one game away from closing out their series with the Philadelphia 76ers, the new-look Miami Heat can’t breathe easy just yet. Down 3-0 in their best-of-seven series with the Heat, Philadelphia point guards Lou Williams and Jrue Holiday connected on back-to-back three pointers in the final minute to push the Sixers to a 86-82 win on April 23 at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, slicing Miami’s series lead to 3-1.

Holiday’s three pointer with 46.2 seconds left, cut Philadelphia’s deficit to 82-81 before Williams shot with 8.1 seconds remaining helped them avoid another double digit collapse. Philadelphia squandered a 16-point advantage in the first half which Miami turned into a one-point halftime lead. The Heat led 73-66 at the midway point in the fourth quarter before Williams and Holiday scored nine straight points for the Sixers to even the score at 75-75. LeBron James led Miami with 31 points, seven rebounds and six assists but his potential game tying shot with the Heat trailing 84-82 was partially blocked by Elton Brand with three seconds left.

Williams tied for a team-high 17 points with rookie forward Evan Turner whose 17 points and six rebounds was a pleasant surprise. Five Sixers scored in double figures. 


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO