MIAMI — The final horn sounded, and LeBron James wrapped his arms around Carmelo Anthony in a warm embrace.
Their head-to-head scoring matchup in this series was even, 139 points apiece.
Just about everything else tipped Miami's way — so the Heat move on and the New York Knicks are going home.
James had 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade both scored 19 points and the Heat ousted the shorthanded Knicks 106-94 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first-round series Wednesday night.
The Heat won the series 4-1, and will meet Indiana in the East semifinals starting Sunday in Miami.
"We do not take this for granted," Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra said. "This was a tough series. We feel very good about moving on and it'll only get tougher from here."
For the Heat, it was only the first step. The reigning East champs have one goal — getting back to the finals and winning it all — and that was likely why beating the franchise's longtime rival prompted a subdued celebration.
"We will savor this win tonight," James said. "And then we get to work tomorrow and get ready for Indiana."
Anthony scored 35 points for the Knicks, including a spinning jumper over James at the end of the third quarter that pulled New York within 81-67. It was far from being enough to stave off an all-too-familiar playoff result for Anthony, part of that 2003 draft class that also yielded James, Bosh and Wade.
Anthony has played 54 postseason games, being part of wins only 17 times. A misleading stat for certain — it's not all his fault — and no shortage of people in the Heat organization interrupted their celebrating of a series-clincher to tip their caps Anthony's way.
"We fought, under the circumstances," Anthony said. "I'm not one to make any excuses for anything. ... But Miami, they're a tough defensive team. They stick to what their schemes are."
James shot 48 percent from the field in the series, Anthony shot 42 percent. James averaged 6.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists, Anthony averaged 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists.
Amare Stoudemire scored 14 points Wednesday, Landry Fields and J.R. Smith both added 12, Mike Bibby had 10 and Tyson Chandler grabbed 11 rebounds for New York, which is 1-8 in playoff games with Anthony and Stoudemire as teammates.
Stoudemire fouled out with 4:48 left, and the Knicks put together one more run with hopes of extending the season. New York cut the margin to 11 points four times in a 2-minute span, but Miami answered every time, the last of those a three-pointer by Shane Battier with 54 seconds left.
That sent the white seat covers flying in all corners of the arena, the fans knowing it was finally over.
For the Knicks, it was the 12th straight season without a playoff-series victory. The last time New York advanced in the postseason came at Miami's expense in 2000 in the East semifinals.
"I thought we played well in spurts," Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson said. "Our guys got a short taste of what playoff basketball's about. It's something this summer we've got to sit and think about and hopefully get ready for next season."
Tuesday's late game
Nuggets 102: Lakers 99: The Denver Nuggets plastered Andrew Bynum's words all over their locker room and across their minds, drawing fiery inspiration from the Lakers center's declaration that close-out playoff games are sometimes easy when an opponent quits.
The young Nuggets rode that emotion to a big lead and a landmark victory.
Andre Miller scored 24 points, including two free throws with 12.8 seconds left, and visiting Denver survived Kobe Bryant's late scoring barrage in a 43-point performance, avoiding playoff elimination in Game 5 on Tuesday night.
The third-seeded Lakers are one win away from a second-round date with Oklahoma City, but the Nuggets forced Los Angeles to board a plane for Denver on Wednesday. Coach George Karl gratefully fed Bynum's offhanded post-practice comment to his players, and they played like a team that isn't going anywhere.
"I've been blessed to win a few series, and it's the hardest thing in the world to win the fourth game," Karl said. "I don't care who you're playing, it's hard. ... His feeling on close-outs is a little different than mine."
Game 6 is Thursday night in Denver.