- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 1, 2011

MIAMI — At the start, the Miami Heat couldn’t finish. That’s apparently no longer the case.

Among the many trends that have popped up during Miami’s five-game postseason winning streak, maybe the most notable is that the Heat have outscored opponents in the fourth quarter in each of those contests.

That includes Game 1 of the NBA finals against Dallas, a 92-84 Miami victory. Game 2 of the series is Thursday night, when the Heat look to hold the homecourt edge and move two wins away from a championship.

“We’ve been in a lot of these grind-out games and find a way just to stay in there, stay the course and find a way to win at the end,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Wednesday after practice. “Again, I think the more times you’re in those type of games, the less you panic or become distracted.”

The Heat have been in plenty of those games by now.

One of the major criticisms of the Heat in the regular season was how the team simply could not win one-possession games at the end. Even with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh leading the way, Miami went 5-14 in games decided by five points or less in the regular season.

In the playoffs, it hasn’t been a problem. Miami has trailed at the half in each of its past three games, then outscored Chicago and Dallas by a combined 29 points after halftime to win all three of those contests.

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