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Basketball: Heat shade Nets to reach conference finals

The Miami Heat advanced to the Eastern Conference finals for the fourth consecutive year by beating the Brooklyn Nets 96-94 to win their NBA playoff series four games to one.

MIAMI: The Miami Heat advanced to the Eastern Conference finals for the fourth consecutive year by beating the Brooklyn Nets 96-94 to win their NBA playoff series four games to one.

LeBron James on Wednesday worked both ends of the floor in game five, scoring 20 of his 29 points in the second half and then clamping down on the Nets' star Joe Johnson, especially in the final seconds. James was the MVP runner-up this season.

Two-time defending NBA champion Miami closed the game on a 13-3 surge after trailing 91-83 with 4:49 left in the final quarter in front of a crowd of 19,615 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

"We did what we needed to do, when he had to do it," said Heat guard Ray Allen.

Brooklyn won both regular season contests in Miami but this was different story as the Heat are 5-0 at home in the postseason.

Miami lost game three in Brooklyn but James put the Heat on his back in game four for a 102-96 victory. James scored a career postseason high 49 points as the Heat rebounded two days after having their eight-game playoff winning streak halted.

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