Sat, Apr 07, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Heat make playoffs with win over Cavs

AFP , CLEVELAND, OHIO

Defending NBA champions Miami, who have battled injuries all season, booked their playoff berth on Thursday with a thrilling overtime victory over Cleveland.

Shaquille O'Neal and Antoine Walker scored 20 points each as the Heat downed the Cavaliers 94-90.

Udonis Haslem scored 15 points for the Heat, improved to 41-34 and hold a one-and-a-half-game lead over Washington for the top spot in the Southeast Division.

Miami, which has been without its two best players -- Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade -- for a combined 67 games this season, has gone 14-7 in Wade's absence.

Even more remarkable, the Heat have made up six games on the Wizards during that span.

The Heat have won four of their last six games and appear to be picking up steam heading into the postseason thanks to O'Neal, who shot 9-of-13.

Walker was 7-of-11 for the Heat, who outscored the Cavaliers 11-7 in the extra period to secure the victory.

Superstar LeBron James collected 35 points and five assists for the Cavaliers.

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