2012 NBA Playoffs: Knicks Extend Series With Heat, 76ers And Celtics Take Control

May 6, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) and Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) exchange words on the court during the first half of game four in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

After Sunday's NBA playoff action, the Eastern Conference semifinal matchups are starting to take shape, with all four first-round series sitting at 3-1.

The Miami Heat hoped to close out a sweep of the New York Knicks on Sunday afternoon in a tightly contested game that saw some big shots from Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James down the stretch. Melo was on fire pumping up 29 shots to score 41 points. With the Knicks up two, the Heat looked to Dwyane Wade for a shot at the win, but D-Wade was off target, giving the Knicks a 89-87 win to send the series back to Miami.

If the Pacers can win on Tuesday to clinch their series and Miami takes care of business at home, the two teams will meet in the semifinals starting no earlier than next weekend.

The other side of the Eastern Conference bracket has the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics each leading their respective series and appearing headed to a classic playoff matchup between two teams that had some epic battles in the early 1980's. For the Sixers to advance, they need one more win against the top seeded Chicago Bulls. The Bulls are without Derrick Rose, of course and also played without Joakim Noah on Sunday.

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