Heat display dominance over the Nets with 107-86 Game One victory

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James and the Miami Heat were too much for the Nets to handle. They defeated the Nets 107-86 in Miami and take a 1-0 series lead.

Wow what a first round series! Here we are, Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The two-time defending champs in the Miami Heat awaited the arrival of either Brooklyn or Toronto after an intense seven-game series between the two. The Nets prevailed in Toronto and looked to ride their momentum straight into Miami, Tuesday night.

The momentum that was expected to carry into this game lasted only one half. The Nets were down just three at half, but were outscored 61-43 in the second half. They were completely destroyed in the paint which setup their demise in Game One. The final score was 107-86 and the Heat lead the series, 1-0.

Recap:

Both the players and crowd were ready for this highly anticipated series to begin. The American Airlines Arena was packed with a 'whiteout' theme of their own, giving the reigning NBA champs the support they deserve.

The Nets certainly looked ready on offense early, but five lousy turnovers costed them a few possessions. It's clear in a series against the Miami Heat: You must cherish every offensive possession that you get.

On a more positive note, their ball movement was solid all quarter which enabled them to get a variety of open shots. Both teams were hanging around the 50% mark from the field, resulting in a 22-20 score in favor of the Heat.

Down two after the first quarter was inconsequential for both teams. With Jason Kidd rotating the second unit through the early stages of the second quarter, the Nets struggled. Even with LeBron James sitting, the Heat went on a 10-4 run behind Ray Allen's seven points. The offense was stagnant and they struggled to get any points in the paint.

The Nets' bench has been disappointing thus far in their short playoff run. So, once again, the starters came in and had to dig themselves out of a hole. The starters returned to the style of play that we're accustomed to. They spread the court and moved the ball, helping contribute to their strong comeback in the quarter. Deron Williams began to look like the star that he is.

He scored seven points in the second quarter, dishing out smooth passes and making the offense look a whole lot better with him on the floor. He ended off the half nailing an extremely deep three pointer, hoping to spark some momentum heading into the second half.

When you're playing the Miami Heat and you allow just 46 points in a half, you've done something right. The Heat were killing the Nets in the paint, but shot just 3-13 from three. LeBron James & Mario Chalmers carried the Heat with 10 apiece.

The score at the half: Heat 46, Nets 43.

Deron Williams certainly carried his momentum to start the second half. He scored five points in the matter of two minutes. But, Andray Blatche missed a wide open layup to go down three which was then answered with two three point plays from Chris Bosh. The momentum had swung in favor of the Heat, and things would only get worse from there.

The Heat answered with a 22-12 advantage after the Blatche miss to end the third quarter. The Nets interior defense was absolutely horrible. They were outscored in the paint 42-16 after three quarters of play, while their centers were serving no duty protecting the paint. But, thanks to another Deron Williams prayer of a three pointer in the final seconds, the Nets cut the deficit down to 13, 79-66, heading into the fourth quarter. The Nets were outscored 33-23 in the quarter alone.

Interesting note: The Heat were called for zero fouls in the third quarter.

The backup unit started the fourth quarter down 13, and things didn't improve from that point on. They struggled to find any offensive rhythm and make defensive stops against the reigning NBA champs. The Heat held a 17 point lead through seven minutes into the fourth and it looked like Jason Kidd was waving the white towel. Game over.

Still, there are zero excuses for the Nets poor play in the second half. Whether you blame the rotations, interior defense, bench, etc., the Heat were absolutely the better team in this game. The Nets showed up for only 24 minutes, rather than 48. The Nets' starters attempted just two free throws all together (Shaun Livingston), proving to be a prime example of how the Nets did not attack the basket at all.

Thursday night is a new day and a new game.

Final score: 107-86

Series count: Heat 1, Nets 0.

Deron Williams & Joe Johnson were the only Nets in double figures with 17 apiece on a combined 14-21 shooting. Kevin Garnett scored zero points in only 15 minutes of action. It was his first scoreless playoff game in his career.

Meanwhile for Miami, LeBron James led the way with 22 points on 10-15 shooting, while Ray Allen (19), Chris Bosh (15), Dwyane Wade (14), and Mario Chalmers (12) all scored in double digits combining for 82 points on 55% shooting.

For more on the Miami Heat, check them out at Hot Hot Hoops.

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