Nets fail to take road split, lose 94-82; Heat take 2-0 series lead

Chris Trotman

Final score: Heat 94, Nets 82. The series is now 2-0 in favor of Miami. The Nets' offense was completely shutdown and franchise player Deron Williams was held scoreless in 36 minutes of play.

Game One didn't go so well for the guys in black. The Nets trailed by only three at half, but were outscored 61-43 in the second half and went onto lose, 107-86. Thursday night, the Nets looked to split the two games and head back to Brooklyn with a 1-1 series tie.

For the second straight game, the Nets had a strong first half, but failed to get any offensive rhythm in the second half. Mirza Teletovic did all he could to keep the Nets afloat, but a scoreless night from Deron Williams will not get you a victory on the road against Miami. The final score was 94-82 and the teams will meet in Brooklyn this Saturday.

"I just missed some shots," D-Will said post-game. "I had a couple of open looks, and I got to the basket, thought I got fouled on a couple and no call. But you’ve just got to keep playing."

Nets coach Jason Kidd liked Williams' agreessive play.

"I thought he had some great looks. Some were just around the rim," Kidd said. "But the other thing he did well is he set the tone. He was attacking and getting the ball into the paint. He had seven rebounds and six assists, so we look for him to bounce back in Game 3 with making shots, but I thought his overall game was really good."

And Paul Pierce thought D-Will would figure it out.

"I think he's fine," Pierce said. "He's a competitor, he knows how to bounce back, he's done it his whole life. He'll be fine."

Recap:

Similar to Game One, the Nets committed three turnovers in their first four offensive possessions. Luckily for them, the Heat started off 0-5 from the field in the first three minutes of the game. Inability of capitalizing on opportunities is crucial in the playoffs, especially against the reigning NBA champions.

The first quarter was a defensive battle throughout. It was obvious after the Heat's dominance in the paint during Game One, Jason Kidd adjusted the defense and looked to be daring the Heat to attempt three's. They were 1-7 from three after the first quarter and LeBron James scored just two points. Adjustments.

On the offensive side, the Nets shot an impressive 59%, but turned the ball over six times, disabling them from really taking advantage. They led the Heat after the first quarter, 21-15. Shaun Livingston scored eight points on 4-4 shooting, despite getting hurt early in the quarter.

With two seconds remaining in the first quarter, Mirza Teletovic nailed a three to get his game started. The carryover was a legitimate threat in the second quarter as Teletovic hit three straight three pointers. Last game we saw the bench struggle, so Teletovic's 15 points off the bench were absolutely imperative to the Nets offensive game plan.

Teletovic's five threes in the first half tied a franchise record for most three pointers in a playoff game. This was likely to change with more playing time in the second half.

The Nets went up by as much as seven late in the half, but as expected, the Heat wouldn't go away. Chris Bosh's 10 first half points had the Heat right in this game. They looked to be outplaying the Heat tremendously, but the score proved otherwise. LeBron James finished out the half strong with 11 points on 5-7 shooting.

Brooklyn was 6-12 from three in the first half. They were very aggressive attacking the paint, but they had zero free throw attempts. Want more zero's? Deron Williams & Kevin Garnett were both held scoreless in the first half.

The score at the half: Nets 46, Heat 45.

The third quarter was flowing with the same pace we saw throughout the first half. Neither team was able to fully take control of the game, but a Ray Allen three pointer put the Heat up three and gave them the momentum. Following that three, Mirza Teletovic returned into the game and nailed a three of his own. Teletovic was on fire in this game and bailed the Nets out of many offensive jams.

As stated, the Nets attempted zero free throws in the first half. In the third quarter alone, they attempted 10 free throws and converted on only five of them. They were throwing away points at the line and were allowing the Heat go on short runs that got the crowd back into the game. The Nets' three point halftime lead was squandered and the Heat had the advantage, 69-67 heading into the fourth quarter. Down two was reluctant to say the least.

As the fourth quarter was underway and established, Nets stayed neck and neck with the Heat through the first six minutes, but two consecutive three pointers from Mario Chalmers & Ray Allen put the Heat up eight with five minutes remaining. The Heat gained all the momentum and with a strong final hold from the defending champs, it looked inevitable that it would be a 2-0 series lead. The Nets had to turn the game around with limited time remaining. It didn't help the Nets' cause that Deron Williams was 0-9 from the field.

Missed opportunities. Down eight with a little above two minutes remaining, the Heat failed to hit on three straight shots. But, they grabbed three straight offensive rebounds which finally led to a LeBron James layup. This game was over with only two minutes remaining, and the Nets quest to steal one of the road was lost. The dagger: A Mario Chalmers' three pointer to go up 11 with 56 seconds remaining.

They were outscored 49-36 in the second half, missed on six of their 14 free throws and couldn't get any offensive rhythm in the second half. In Game One and Game Two combined, the Nets have been outscored 110-79 in the second half.

In 708 games with a minimum of 15 minutes, Deron Williams has never been held scoreless. Thursday night in Game Two, Williams played 36 minutes and scored zero points.

The Nets must win at home this Saturday if they want any chance at the Eastern Conference Finals.

Final score: Miami 94, Nets 82.

Series count: Miami 2, Nets 0.

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

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