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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Eleventh Heaven? Last 10 games 7s. In summer with a mixed, memorable history

Yes, the Miami Heat has been here before.

Ten times to be precise.

The Inn finalizes the 11th Game 7 in the franchise’s 34 season with the Eastern Conference showdown against the Boston Celtics at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at the FTX Arena.

For many on the roster, though, it will also be something new, perhaps in need of some sage advice.

“Stop the noise as much as possible,” recommends veteran power forward PJ, “and get ready to play a regular game like you’re playing.”

A look at the heat at this place 10 times past:

1997 East Semi-Finals: Heat 101, Knicks 90. Tim Hardaway exploded for 38 points in his first career Game 7, with Knicks’ Alan Houston and Chris Childs serving suspensions from the teams’ Game 5 scramble. The win completes a comeback from a 3-1 series deficit.

2000 Pre Semi-Finals: Knicks 83, Heat 82. Patrick Ewing left the winning basket with 1:30, with the Heat’s Jamal Mashburn then sidestepping a scoring opportunity to pass to Clarence Weatherspoon, whose miss sealed the Heat’s loss.

2004 First round: Heat 85, Hornets 77. Current Heat assistant coach Karen Butler leads the way with 23 points as the Heat progresses during Dwayne Wade’s rookie season.

2005 Pre-Finals: Pistons 88, Heat 82. Wade is limited by a rib injury, the Heat one game short of his first appearance in the NBA Finals.

First round of 2009: Hawks 91, Heat 78. Jermaine O’Neill was sidelined due to a migraine, with Eric Spoelstra coming on as coach shortly in his first playoff series.

2012 Pre-Finalists: Heat 101, Celtics 88. Down 3-2, like this time against Boston, the Heat followed James’ 45-point Game 5 of LeBron with the first Big Three trip to the NBA Finals.

2013 Pre-Finals: Heat 99, Pacers 76. The Heat then left Pacers coach Frank Vogel shaking his head, with James closing in with 32.

2013 NBA Finals: Heat 95, Spurs 88. A game keeps the heat alive after Ray Allen’s miraculous 3-pointer, the franchise’s third title, closes out in a rare anti-climactic Game 7.

First round of 2016: Heat 106, Hornets 73. The rare Game 7 blowout, with Goran Dragic leading on 25 points, the Purple Shirt Guy from Charlotte is no longer on-court to taunt Wade.

2016 East Semi-Finals: Raptors 116, Heat 89. One win is shy of Wade LeBron James’ playoff performance against the Cavaliers, with current Heat guard Kyle Lowry leading the Raptors on 35 points.

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World Nation News Desk
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