Sixers cool off Heat 86-82 to extend series
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The Philadelphia 76ers stalled the Miami Heat's playoff drive with a gritty 86-82 win Sunday to avoid a first round series sweep.
Facing elimination, the 76ers staged a stunning late rally with a 10-0 run to end the game, cutting Miami's series lead to 3-1 and sending the best-of-seven quarter-final back to Florida for Game Five Wednesday.
With the Heat sitting on an 82-76 lead and time running out, the 76ers went to work.
Jrue Holiday hit a three that cut the Miami advantage to one before Lou Williams followed with another three-pointer from the top of the arc with eight seconds left to draw a thundering roar from the capacity crowd and give Philadelphia an 84-82 lead they would not surrender.
Williams and Evan Turner paced the 76ers, each hitting for 17 points after coming off the bench while Andre Iguodala contributed 16 and Elton Brand chipped in with 15 and 11 rebounds.
"We've been a resilient team all year, we're a confident group," Williams told reporters. "We understand we're out-matched by three super stars but we've got the heart to play until the end.
"This team believes in me to make the big shots and I wanted the ball. I felt like if we were going to lose tonight, it was going to be on my shot and I got a lucky roll."
LeBron James had 31 for the Heat but missed a game-tying layup as the final seconds ticked down, the crowd giving the 76ers a standing ovation as they walked off the court.
The two other members of Miami's 'Big Three' were also front and center, Dwyane Wade recording 22 points and eight rebounds while Chris Bosh had 12 points and five boards.
Philadelphia offered signs early on that they would not exit without a fight.
Helped by a 13-0 run, the 76ers surged to an early 23-8 lead and carried a 12-point advantage into the second quarter.
Down 16 in the second, the Heat caught fire and answered with an 22-2 run of their own to surge in front 45-41 and take a slim 47-46 advantage into the intermission.
But the 76ers refused to wave the white flag, coming out of the break and battling the Heat right down to the final buzzer.
(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)