Eleventh heaven? Heat with a mixed, memorable history in 10 previous Game 7s – The Mercury News

Yes, the Miami Heat have been here before.

Ten times to be exact.

Making Sunday’s 8:30 pm showdown at FTX Arena against the Boston Celtics in these Eastern Conference finals the 11th Game 7 in the franchise’s 34 seasons.

For many on the roster, though, it also will be something new, requiring, perhaps, some sage advice.

“Block out the noise as much as possible,” veteran power forward PJ recommended, “and get ready to play a regular game like you’ve been playing.”

A look at the 10 previous times the Heat have been in this spot.

1997 East semifinals: Heat 101, Knicks 90. Tim Hardaway erupts for 38 points in his first career Game 7, with the Knicks’ Allan Houston and Chris Childs serving suspensions from the teams’ Game 5 melee. The victory completes a comeback from a 3-1 series deficit.

2000 East semifinals: Knicks 83, Heat 82. Patrick Ewing scores the winning basket with 1:30 left, with the Heat’s Jamal Mashburn then bypassing a scoring opportunity to pass to Clarence Weatherspoon, whose miss seals the Heat’s loss.

2004 first round: Heat 85, Hornets 77. Current Heat assistant coach Caron Butler leads the way with 23 points, as the Heat advance during Dwyane Wade’s rookie season.

2005 East finals: Pistons 88, Heat 82. With Wade limited by a rib injury, the Heat come up one game short of their first appearance in the NBA Finals.

2009 first round: Hawks 91, Heat 78. With Jermaine O’Neal sidelined by a migraine, Erik Spoelstra comes up just short in his first playoff series as coach.

2012 East finals: Heat 101, Celtics 88. Down 3-2, just like this time around against Boston, the Heat follow up LeBron’s James’ 45-point Game 5 with the first Big Three trip in the NBA Finals.

2013 East finals: Heat 99, Pacers 76. The Heat again leave then-Pacers coach Frank Vogel shaking his head, with James closing with 32.

2013 NBA Finals: Heat 95, Spurs 88. A game after Ray Allen’s miraculous 3-pointer keeps the Heat alive, the franchise’s third title is closed out in a rare anti-climactic Game 7.

2016 first round: Heat 106, Hornets 73. The rare Game 7 blowout, with Goran Dragic leading the way with 25 points, Purple Shirt Guy from Charlotte no longer courtside to taunt Wade.

2016 East semifinals: Raptors 116, Heat 89. Wade comes up one win shy from a playoff showdown against LeBron James’ Cavaliers, with current Heat guard Kyle Lowry leading the Raptors with 35 points.

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