When Heat guard Mario Chalmers was benched near the end of the regular season, he always felt he remained capable of being the starter.

Chalmers, for at least one night, backed up that statement.

He scored 20 points in the Heat's 97-91 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, giving the Heat the first-round Eastern Conference playoff series in Game 5. He tied his playoff career high, set in last year's Game 5 against the Boston Celtics.

"I think it showed tonight despite all the things that happened in the regular season, the ups and downs, that he's still Mario Chalmers, the kid that can make big shots," swingman James Jones said.

Chalmers battled through a season of inconsistency. The low point came near the end of the season when he sprained his knee. Despite regaining his health a few weeks later, he lost his starting job to Mike Bibby.

"That was tough because I don't know why I wasn't put back in the starting lineup," Chalmers said. "But, hey, Coach does what's best for the team. I accepted it. When I'm out there, I just make my minutes count."

He did exactly that Wednesday. With the Heat needing a spark after falling behind early, coach Erik Spoelstra turned to Chalmers and center Joel Anthony off the bench. Both have often changed momentum with their "energy" plays, but Chalmers added scoring to the mix.