[to top of second column]
Fans booed each time James touched the ball -- the crowd reveled in his lone airball -- and the Sixers held a 75-73 lead heading into the fourth.
The Heat didn't flinch in the hostile environment: They led the East and tied for the NBA lead with 28 road victories.
Philadelphia's fast start fizzled down the stretch and a team that showed amazing resiliency all season simply doesn't have the talent to match up with the Heat.
The 76ers made their first four shots, raced to a 9-0 lead and drove a rare pumped sellout crowd bonkers.
Philadelphia's stellar first quarter was a familiar feeling for both teams. In Game 1, the Sixers made eight of their first 10 shots and led 25-11. While the Sixers coughed up the lead in the second quarter in that one, they stretched the lead to double figures and never lost the lead, going into halftime up 52-50.
"I'm a moral person, but I don't like moral victories," Sixers coach Doug Collins said.
Brand, who scored only 20 points the first two games, established his midrange jumper and scored 13 points in the first half. The Sixers only turned the ball over twice and proved the Game 2 flop was well behind them.
Williams delivered on his two pregame promises.
The first compared Philly's fans to Miami's: "Ours will be better."
Fueled by "Rocky" clips, 20,404 fans were stoked from the time the lights were dimmed for intros to the final horn.
The other: The 76ers would "fight hard, fight to the finish."
They did. They just didn't win.
NOTES: Miami outrebounded the 76ers 50-34. ... The Heat have made 78 free throws in the series, while the Sixers have attempted 54.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Sports index
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor