Miami, Heat to Rally for a Seventh Game

Published May 20th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

A night of amazing NBA comebacks saw the New York Knicks force a do-or-die playoff showdown with Miami and Reggie Miller return to lead Indiana to a third consecutive NBA semifinal. 

The Knicks and Heat matched a modern NBA record for fewest total points. Houston scored 21 points while Patrick Ewing added 15 points and 18 rebounds for the Knicks. Alonzo Mourning led Miami with 22 points and 10 rebounds. 

The greatest second-half playoff comeback in Knicks' history saw New York erase a 15-point half-time deficit to beat the Heat 72-70 New York Friday and level their best-of-seven series at 3-3, forcing a seventh game Sunday at Miami. 

For the fourth time in as many years, the arch-rivals have pushed each other to the limit. This time the winner will face Indiana in the Eastern Conference final for a berth against Portland or the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. 

Miller returned from a one-game shoving suspension to score 25 points and lift Indiana past host Philadelphia 106-90 for a 4-2 series triumph and a fifth NBA semifinal in seven years. The Pacers have never reached the NBA Finals. 

"It will be a great comeback as long as we win the series," Van Gundy said. 

The Knicks have knocked the Heat, and ex-New York coach Riley, out of the playoffs the past two seasons, both times ousting the heat in Miami. 

"We have a lot of faith. We've done it before," Houston said. "All we wanted to do is give ourselves a chance and that's what we did" -- AFP 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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