April 25 csnphilly.com:
Lou Williams rebounded a Dwyane Wade miss and glanced quickly over to coach Doug Collins to see if he wanted a timeout.
Trailing by a point? Just a few second left in the game? Season on the line?
“He just said, ‘Push it, push it,’ and see what happens,” Williams said. “That’s just a testament to the confidence that he has in us to make plays in those situations.”
Collins’ confidence in his young team was well-founded.
Williams buried a straight-on 27-footer with 8 seconds left, and the 76ers averted a series sweep with an 86-82 win over the Miami Heat in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference first round playoff series at the Wells Fargo Center.
“Jrue [Holiday] tried to get in the lane, and they did a good job cutting him off, and then Evan [Turner] tried to get in the lane [and they cut him off],” Williams said. “So I figured a jump shot was going to be our best opportunity to get a shot at the rim, and D-Wade [Dwayne Wade] gave me a little room, and I was able to knock it down. I just wanted to give us a chance to win the basketball game.”
If he misses? The season’s over.
“Honestly, I think every shot Lou shoots is going to go in,” Holiday said. “Seriously. Definitely at big times, he’s the guy to go to. After he let it go, I thought nothing but bottoms. I don’t think it even touched the rim.”
Williams was 2 for 8 for six points at early in the fourth quarter but made four or six shots for 11 points in the final 7 1/2 minutes.
“It was a great shot,” Turner said. “He’s been clutch for us all year.”
Wade has a three-inch edge over the 6-foot-1 Williams and believed he did all he could do to force Williams into a bad shot.
“I got a great contest on the shot,” Wade said. “Lou is a guy who takes big shots and makes big shots. I couldn’t defend it any better, playing both the drive and the three. He hit a good shot. He’s one of the more talented players on the team. He’s a big-shot maker.”
Williams missed the last two weeks of the regular season with a hamstring injury and admittedly is nowhere near 100 percent.
Before his game-winner Sunday afternoon, he had made just 14 of 43 shots during the series. But this one looked good from the moment it left his hands.
“I’d like to say it was a hell of a call by me, but it was a broken play,” Collins said. “Lou pulled up and shot it with confidence.”
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