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Heat rally past Nets to East finals

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POSTED May 15, 2014 12:11 a.m.

MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James leaped onto a courtside table as the postgame celebration was starting, thumped his chest and punched the air.

Next stop: The Eastern Conference finals. Again.

James scored 29 points, Dwyane Wade added 28 and Ray Allen delivered two huge plays in the final seconds as the Heat rallied to beat the Brooklyn Nets 96-94 on Wednesday night, winning the second-round matchup 4-1.

“It’s always been like that for us,” James said. “It’s never easy. It’s never easy for us.”

Sure looks easy, though. It was the 10th straight series win for the two-time defending NBA champions.

“When we met the first day for prep we said the No. 1 key, overwhelmingly the No. 1 key in this series, was great mental stability,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

“That’s what it was down the stretch ... incredible focus.”

Incredible defense, too, when it was needed most.

Spurs beat Blazers,
back in West finals

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard each scored 22 points, and San Antonio overcame an injury to Tony Parker to beat Portland and close out the Western Conference semifinals.

Patty Mills scored 18 points and Tim Duncan had 16 points and eight rebounds for San Antonio, which had four blowout victories in the five-game series.

Parker sat out the second half with tightness in his left hamstring.

It’s the third straight conference finals appearance for San Antonio, which lost a heartbreaking seven-game series to the Miami Heat in last season’s NBA Finals.

San Antonio, which had the NBA’s best record, will await the winner of the series between Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Thunder have a 3-2 lead.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points for Portland, while Damian Lillard added 17 points and 10 assists.

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