LeBron James had 29 points and the Miami Heat advanced to the second round of the National Basketball Association playoffs with a 106-94 defeat of the New York Knicks, while the Memphis Grizzlies avoided elimination with their 92-80 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Heat reached the next round of the Eastern Conference playoffs with a four-games-to-one win in the best-of-seven series against the Knicks. The Clippers have a 3-2 lead against the Grizzlies.
At AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh added 19 points each for Miami. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 35 points.
“We came out with a lot of intensity,” James, who had eight rebounds and seven assists, said in a televised interview. “Offensively, we moved the ball very well.”
The Knicks, who avoided elimination and ended an NBA-record 13-game postseason losing streak with a Game 4 win three days ago in New York, fell behind 55-44 at halftime in last night’s game and never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Miami will face Indiana in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, while Boston leads Atlanta 3-2 and Philadelphia has a 3-2 advantage against Chicago. The 76ers and Celtics host Game 6 of their series tonight.
At FedExForum in Memphis, Marc Gasol had 23 points and Zach Randolph contributed 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who had a 57-42 halftime advantage over the Clippers.
Mo Williams scored 20 points and Chris Paul added 19 for the Clippers, who host Game 6 tomorrow.
San Antonio and Oklahoma City have reached the Western Conference’s second round. The Los Angeles Lakers have a 3-2 lead against the Denver Nuggets, who host Game 6 tonight.