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Bench production allowing Heat's Big 3 to rest

More than anything, this first-round playoff series has been about the Heat’s depth. The Heat’s bench is averaging 40.7 points per game entering Sunday’s Game 4. For perspective, consider this: The Heat has played 165 postseason games in franchise history and two of the three highest-scoring postseason games by the bench have happened in this series.

The bench scored 43 points in Game 1 and matched that mark in Game 3. The Heat postseason record for bench points is 45. Allen is averaging 16.6 points per game in the series and Chris Andersen’s contribution in relation to his minutes on the floor has been staggering. “Birdman” has played 42 minutes and 37 seconds during the series and has scored 31 points and pulled down 19 rebounds. He went 5 of 5 shooting on Thursday and is 13 of 15 from the field in the series.

“It has been our calling card all year, the depth that we have,” Allen said. “We have so many sitting on our bench that are so productive when they get in the game, whether you played the last game, the last two or three games or you’re in there for two minutes, guys come off the bench and are ready and it’s a great testimony to this team and how we have grown from Day 1 until now."

The Heat's depth, not to mention an average margin of victory in this series of 16 points, has allowed the Heat's Big 3 to play fewer minutes compared to first rounds in 2010 and 2011. After Thursday's 104-91 victory, Danny Martinez of Heat.com noted the dip in minutes for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

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