Miami Heat ran away with this one late, burying the Nets, 105-85

Al Bello

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK -- In what started out as a busy day for the Brooklyn Nets, with Brook Lopez being named an All-Star replacement and Reggie Evans igniting a little extra fire under LeBron James, the stories were a-plenty even before the Nets and Heat tipped off.

Deron Williams was questionable in this one, with flu-like symptoms, while Chris Bosh was also questionable with a toe injury. Both players, however, suited up. Though it's likely Williams wished he hadn't as the Nets were embarrassed by the Heat, 105-85.

LeBron led the way with 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, while Williams chipped in for just nine points, five assists and six turnovers in 34 minutes.

The game was naturally a big one for the Nets, who were blown out by the Heat in their first two meetings, and with this game being at home, the atmosphere was certainly in their favor. The pace, however, wasn't.

Miami got out to an early lead, making seven of their first 10 shots, while the Nets struggled offensively. And while the Heat cooled off a little, they still managed to make all five of their 3-point attempts in the quarter to build a 10-point lead, 30-20.

In the second, the Nets got a nice boost from Andray Blatche, who scored 10 points in the quarter, and they were able to push the Heat, by scoring 29 second-quarter points and holding them to 19 of their own, tying the game at 49-49 at the half.

The Nets held their own early in the third, before the Heat starters went on a run of their own, building up a 9-point lead midway through the quarter. LeBron James simply took over from there, scoring 10 points in the quarter and sparking the Heat's offense. The Nets were struggling to get into an offensive rhythm, while at the same time leaving the lanes wide open for the Heat bigs to get easy cuts to the basket.

By the end of the third, the Heat had build a 22-point lead, 85-63, thus ending the night early.

I'll spare you the details of the fourth quarter, other than to say that Blatche and Joe Johnson combined to score 28 points, which is four more points than what LeBron scored. So, in that sense, Reggie Evans was sort of right? Together, they are like LeBron. Separately, though, no one is.

For more on the Heat, see: Hot Hot Hoops

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