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playing. It feels
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MIAMI -- Erik Spoelstra said he mentioned how daunting the task would be only once. Back in September, when the Miami Heat assembled to begin training camp, Spoelstra addressed his team about furthering its championship legacy and how rare it is for a team to find its way to the NBA Finals in four consecutive seasons. "Weve never brought it up since then," Spoelstra said. Itll get brought up now. The seed the Heat coach planted in the Bahamas at that training camp took root. The Heat are finals-bound -- for the fourth straight time. The sputtering stretches of play in March and April, surrendering the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs to Indiana, winning 12 fewer games in this regular season than a year ago, they all seem moot and meaningless now. The Heat have a chance at a third consecutive NBA title, with the finals starting Thursday night against San Antonio in a title-series rematch. "Its amazing to make it to one finals," Heat forward Shane Battier said. "To do it four times in a row for some of these guys, its a tremendous, tremendous accomplishment and it speaks volumes to the dedication, luck, and perseverance that you need to do it." Spoelstra spoke of that luck factor when he gathered his team for a locker-room huddle moments after the celebration started Friday night, after Miami wrapped up its fourth straight East crown with a 117-92 win over Indiana to win the series in six games. His words were interrupted twice by LeBron James, which nobody minded. "We dont take this for granted," Spoelstra said. "No, sir," James added, nodding. "We do not take it for granted," Spoelstra repeated. "No way," James interjected. "How tough it actually is and how many things have to go our way," Spoelstra continued. "Four times, you guys who havent been here with us the whole time, you guys inherit everything that weve experienced." Only six current Heat players appeared in the 2011 post-season, Miamis first of the "Big 3" era and the last in which it actually lost a series. James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, James Jones and Udonis Haslem are the last holdovers. Battier and Norris Cole arrived after the 2011 finals loss. Ray Allen, Chris Andersen and Rashard Lewis -- all playing huge roles these days for Miami -- came after the first title run of this Heat era in 2012. The core of last seasons title squad, with the exception of amnestied Mike Miller, was back to try it again this time around. Even with all that talent, with that championship experience, Spoelstra knew a tone had to be immediately set when the season began. "What I was really encouraged about was our attendance and commitment in training camp in the Bahamas," Spoelstra said. "Right from there, and we communicated during the summer that, if were real about this, about how difficult that journey is, that you cannot shortcut, that we would show it immediately in training camp." Theyre still showing it now. Miami is 12-3 in these playoffs, 8-0 at home, and has won a road game in 15 straight post-season series. The Heat will need to extend that streak to win the NBA Finals; the Spurs will hold home-court advantage. "Obviously, going through the weeks and weeks and weeks and grinding months of a regular season, it was a toll on all of us," James said. "But I felt like down the stretch, if we could get healthy, we could get everyone in uniform and have our full strength, it didnt matter what seed we were. I felt like we can represent the Eastern Conference again in the finals if we had the health, and we were able to accomplish that." At times, like Friday night, they make winning look easy. Collectively, they insist its much harder than it appears. "You still have to go out and do it every single night," Allen said. "Its the toughest thing Ive ever done and I guarantee the guys in this locker room would say the same thing." Only the Lakers and Celtics have appeared in four straight finals, with Boston (1984-87) the last to do so. Wade was 5 when that run ended, James was 2, and Cole, Michael Beasley and Greg Oden hadnt even been born. Now the Heat are in that club. And regarding what Spoelstra said in that first-day conversation, the point of his words then has become perfectly clear to his team now. "Having a chance to win is always a special thing," Bosh said. "We always talk about not taking it for granted from Day One. We know its a very long season. It has its rewards in the end if we stick together and do what were supposed to do. But it hasnt really hit us yet. I would rather it hit me in two weeks." Air Jordan 6 Uk . Ellis had a season-high 37 points and two key assists late, Dirk Nowitzki led a fourth-quarter rally with 14 of his 35 points, and the Mavericks spoiled Howards best offensive night in Houston with a 123-120 victory over the Rockets on Wednesday night. Air Jordan 6 Uk Sale . The 36-year-old Colts receiver is going back to the playoffs as a division champion. http://www.airjordan6uk.com/ . Solomon Elimimian did not make the trip with the team after suffering what appeared to be a right leg injury in the teams regular season finale against the Calgary Stampeders. Air Jordan 6 Wholesale . According to a report from the Hamilton Spectator, Infrastructure Ontario has informed the City of Hamilton and the Tiger-Cats the stadium may not be ready by the June 30 deadline. Air Jordan 6 For Sale . -- Isaiah Pead took a stutter step forward, then raced to the left sideline and travelled 60 yards up the field before finally getting tripped up by a leg tackle.HOUSTON -- John Isner apologized for his performance. Dustin Brown said it felt unbelievable. The top-seeded Isner lost to the dreadlocked Brown in the second round of the U.S. Mens Clay Court Championship on Wednesday night. It was Browns first career victory against a top-10 player. The German closed out a 6-4, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (4) win with a forehand winner. "Ive had a lot of matches where Ive played good tennis, where I was close, and youve just got to keep playing," the 29-year-old Brown said. "Ive got to play my tennis. If I start playing the tennis (his opponent) wants, thats not good for me. "Hes been in these situations much more often than me - I got a little tight in the second set, maybe at the end of the third - so I had to try to keep playing. It feels unbelievable." The 6-foot-5 Brown, who dropped each of his previous three matches against opponents ranked 10 or higher, has spent most of his career on the Challenger circuit, where he has won five titles.dddddddddddd Isner, ranked No. 9, was the defending champion in Houston. He had 13 aces in the loss. The 6-9 Isner apologized following his post-match interview to a tournament official for a "pathetic performance - Im sorry you had to see that." "I just didnt feel it tonight," he said. American Sam Querrey also advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 7 seed Lleyton Hewitt. Querrey has been struggling, dropping to 82nd in the ATP rankings. Sixth-seeded Juan Monaco beat Somdev Devvarman of India 7-6 (4), 6-2 for his 200th career win on clay. Also advancing was Santiago Giraldo of Colombia. He made short work of Matthew Ebden 6-1, 6-2 to set up a second-round meeting with No. 2 seed, Tommy Robredo, of Spain. 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