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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     NEW JERSEY       26   14   16   28    84   
     MIAMI            23   23   31   19    96      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   NJN - RICHARD JEFFERSON 18, RODNEY ROGERS 13, 
                      ZORAN PLANINIC 12
                MIA - CARON BUTLER 22, RASUAL BUTLER 16, 
                      DWYANE WADE 13

HIGH REBOUND:   NJN - AARON WILLIAMS 8, KENYON MARTIN 8, 
                      RODNEY ROGERS 7
                MIA - UDONIS HASLEM 11, CARON BUTLER 8, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 4

HIGH ASSISTS:   NJN - JASON KIDD 3, KERRY KITTLES 3, ZORAN 
                      PLANINIC 3
                MIA - EDDIE JONES 5, RAFER ALSTON 4, DWYANE 
                      WADE 4

         ATT:   16,500

Box Score

NEW JERSEY (84) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Martin 20 3-7 2-5 3-8 2 4 8 R Jefferson 21 8-11 0-0 2-2 1 3 18 J Collins 30 0-2 0-0 3-5 2 5 0 J Kidd 22 3-10 2-2 2-3 3 0 9 K Kittles 21 0-4 0-0 0-1 3 0 0 R Rogers 25 4-11 5-5 0-7 2 2 13 L Harris 16 2-8 0-0 0-2 1 2 5 T Slay 23 4-13 1-2 2-2 0 1 9 Z Planinic 26 3-8 6-7 1-3 3 4 12 A Williams 25 1-5 3-6 5-8 2 2 5 B Armstrong 11 2-4 0-0 0-1 0 0 5 B Scalabrine DNP - STRAINED LEFT HAMSTRING _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 30-83 19-27 18-42 19 23 84 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.361, FT-.704. 3-Point Goals: 5-17, .294 (R Jefferson 2-3, J Kidd 1-2, K Kittles 0-1, R Rogers 0-3, L Harris 1-4, T Slay 0-1, Z Planinic 0-2, B Armstrong 1-1). Team Rebounds: 11. Blocked Shots:2 (R Rogers, K Martin). Turnovers:19 (R Jefferson 6, J Kidd 3, A Williams 3, K Martin 3, L Harris, K Kittles, T Slay, Z Planinic). Steals: 16 (J Kidd 5, R Rogers 4, L Harris 2, T Slay 2, A Williams 2, K Kittles). MIAMI (96) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp C Butler 32 9-15 3-4 1-8 3 3 22 L Odom 20 2-6 5-5 2-3 3 4 9 B Grant 24 5-6 1-2 1-4 0 2 11 D Wade 27 4-9 5-7 0-2 4 1 13 E Jones 32 1-3 5-6 0-1 5 1 8 U Haslem 22 2-5 1-2 5-11 2 0 5 R Alston 23 1-6 0-0 0-3 4 1 3 R Butler 20 7-11 0-0 0-0 0 3 16 S Walker 16 0-0 0-0 0-4 0 2 0 J Wallace 10 1-4 1-2 0-1 2 0 3 M Allen 8 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 2 2 Wang 6 2-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 4 _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-70 21-28 9-38 23 19 96 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 5-15, .333 (C Butler 1-1, L Odom 0-1, D Wade 0-1, E Jones 1-3, R Alston 1-4, R Butler 2-5). Team Rebounds: 12. Blocked Shots:5 (D Wade 2, L Odom, Wang, M Allen). Turnovers:20 (C Butler 4, R Alston 3, R Butler 3, E Jones 2, U Haslem 2, D Wade 2, B Grant, L Odom, J Wallace, S Walker). Steals: 11 (D Wade 3, C Butler 3, R Alston 2, B Grant, E Jones, S Walker). ------------------------------------------- NEW JERSEY 26 14 16 28 - 84 MIAMI 23 23 31 19 - 96 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: New Jersey 1 (J Collins, 6:38 3rd). A: 16,500. T: 2:14. Officials: Anthony Jordan, Ted Bernhardt, Tom Washington.


Extended Box

NEW JERSEY (84) AT MIAMI (96) NEW JERSEY REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === K MARTIN F 20 3-7 2-5 3 5 8 2 4 0 3 8 R JEFFERSON F 21 8-11 0-0 2 0 2 1 3 0 6 18 J COLLINS C 30 0-2 0-0 3 2 5 2 5 0 0 0 J KIDD G 22 3-10 2-2 2 1 3 3 0 5 3 9 K KITTLES G 21 0-4 0-0 0 1 1 3 0 1 1 0 R ROGERS 25 4-11 5-5 0 7 7 2 2 4 0 13 L HARRIS 16 2-8 0-0 0 2 2 1 2 2 1 5 T SLAY 23 4-13 1-2 2 0 2 0 1 2 1 9 Z PLANINIC 26 3-8 6-7 1 2 3 3 4 0 1 12 A WILLIAMS 25 1-5 3-6 5 3 8 2 2 2 3 5 B ARMSTRONG 11 2-4 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 5 B SCALABRINE DNP - STRAINED LEFT HAMSTRING TOTALS 240 30-83 19-27 18 24 42 19 23 16 19 84 (.361) (.704) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 20 (31 PTS) MIAMI REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === C BUTLER F 32 9-15 3-4 1 7 8 3 3 3 4 22 L ODOM F 20 2-6 5-5 2 1 3 3 4 0 1 9 B GRANT C 24 5-6 1-2 1 3 4 0 2 1 1 11 D WADE G 27 4-9 5-7 0 2 2 4 1 3 2 13 E JONES G 32 1-3 5-6 0 1 1 5 1 1 2 8 U HASLEM 22 2-5 1-2 5 6 11 2 0 0 2 5 R ALSTON 23 1-6 0-0 0 3 3 4 1 2 3 3 R BUTLER 20 7-11 0-0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 16 S WALKER 16 0-0 0-0 0 4 4 0 2 1 1 0 J WALLACE 10 1-4 1-2 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 3 M ALLEN 8 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 2 WANG 6 2-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 TOTALS 240 35-70 21-28 9 29 38 23 19 11 20 96 (.500) (.750) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 22 (24 PTS) NEW JERSEY 26 14 16 28 - 84 MIAMI 23 23 31 19 - 96 BLOCKED SHOTS: NEW JERSEY - R ROGERS, K MARTIN. MIAMI - D WADE 2, L ODOM, WANG, M ALLEN. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: NEW JERSEY 5-17 (.294), R JEFFERSON 2-3, J KIDD 1- 2, K KITTLES 0-1, R ROGERS 0-3, L HARRIS 1-4, T SLAY 0-1, Z PLANINIC 0- 2, B ARMSTRONG 1-1. MIAMI 5-15 (.333), C BUTLER 1-1, L ODOM 0-1, D WADE 0- 1, E JONES 1-3, R ALSTON 1-4, R BUTLER 2-5. TECHNICAL FOULS: NONE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NEW JERSEY 1 (J COLLINS, 6:38 3RD). OFFICIALS: ANTHONY JORDAN, TED BERNHARDT, TOM WASHINGTON. A - 16,500. T - 2:14.


Game Story

MIAMI (Ticker) -- The Miami Heat are playing their best basketball of the season at the best time, and it has earned them home-court advantage for the first round of the NBA playoffs. Caron Butler scored 14 of his 22 points in the third quarter as the Heat pulled away from the New Jersey Nets, 96-84, in their regular-season finale. Miami (42-40) won 17 of its last 21 games and secured fourth place in the Eastern Conference - and home-court advantage - when Milwaukee lost at home to Toronto. The Heat will face New Orleans in the first round. Under new coach Stan Van Gundy, the Heat improved 17 games from last season and reached the postseason for the first time since 2001. "When we clinched the playoff spot, I congragulated the team very sincerely," Miami coach Stan Van Gundy said. "It was a real accomplishment to come from where we did. We went 17-4 down the stretch, which is the best record in the league over that time, and that is an absolutely tremendous finish." The Heat were 0-7 to start the season. "We were the laughingstock of the league at the beginning," Miami forward Brian Grant said. "If we started out 7-0 maybe we would have been full of ourselves and we wouldn't have had the opportunity to trust in one another and grow the new unit." Butler and rookie Dwyane Wade scored 15 points during a 20-6 run that opened the third quarter and gave Miami a 66-46 advantage. Wade finished with 13 points. "For a lot of us it is the first time in the playoffs so to have home court is great for us," Wade said. New Jersey committed 19 turnovers, shot 36 percent (30-of-83) from the field and never got closer than 12 points in the final quarter. "It was a kind of unusual situation," New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank said. "Our guys put together a good first half, but we had too many turnovers and allowed offensive rebounds to turn into easy baskets." Richard Jefferson scored 18 points to lead the Nets (47-35), who posted their worst record since the arrival of NBA superstar Jason Kidd prior to the 2001-02 season. "I hate losing," All-Star Kenyon Martin said. "They were playing for a lot. They put on their A game tonight. All losses are not good, but it happens." New Jersey clinched the Atlantic Division and the second seed in the East on April 2 and has been beset by injuries and apathy over the last six weeks. The Nets will face the New York Knicks in the first round. "The talk will be that of Marbury and myself, but the big thing will be the Nets against the Knicks," Kidd said. "We are going to have our hands full."


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