Games One and Two didn't bode well for the Nets as they took the floor for Game 3. They hadn't necessarily played bad, but their inability to score in the second half killed their chances in both games. Saturday night, the series was headed to Brooklyn where the Nets hoped to save their chances at making this a series.
They needed to defend their home court. With the Brooklyn crowd popping ear drums all game, the Nets rallied behind the praise and took Game Three, 104-90. Joe Johnson and Andray Blatche combined for 34 points and 16 rebounds on 12-20 shooting. The Nets as a team shot 15-25 from three, their best all postseason.The series is now 2-1 with Game Four this Monday in Brooklyn.
A black and white filled Barclays Center crowd was ready to get a victory and make this a series again. "Lets go Nets" and "Brooklyn" chants were reigning down from the Nets faithful.
The Nets came out to start this game with a ton of energy. Feeding off the crowd, the Nets were penetrating and kicking to the open man, finding the best possible shot without committing any silly turnovers. Great. Except, there's a guy named LeBron James on the other team. The Nets were feeling good with a 15-10 lead, but following a flagrant and-one foul committed by Paul Pierce, the Heat went on a 10-0 run and suddenly the high energy was deflated for the moment.
Behind LeBron James' 16 first quarter points, the Heat led the Nets 30-29. Shaun Livingston chucked up a prayer as time expired which ended up going in and provided the Nets with three points. Andray Blatche scored nine points off the bench for Brooklyn.
Similar to what we've seen in the first two games, the Nets have been unable to capitalize when LeBron James is on the bench.
Oddly enough, the Nets played better when James checked back into the game. They contained the Heat to just 19 points in the quarter alone, while Joe Johnson and Andray Blatche led the Brooklyn offense. Johnson scored 12 points in the first half on 4-5 shooting, all three pointers. Andray Blatche really led the offense off the bench with 13 points and six rebounds.
Compared to the Heat's 53% field goal percentage, the Nets were shooting just 46% from the field, but it was their 55% from three that jolted them.
Andrei Kirilenko has been known for doing the little things that don't show up in the box score. Although he hasn't played much this postseason, the second he stepped onto the court his presence was felt immediately.
The score at the half: Nets 51, Heat 49.
The Nets played arguably their best overall quarters of the entire postseason in the third quarter. The Heat brought an extra man off every screen the Nets' set, but instead of panicking the way we've seen, they found the open man and built their biggest lead of the series. Mirza Teletovic knocked down two huge threes to give him nine points on the night and contribute to the Nets' rout of the Heat in the third.
While the offense was extremely impressive, it was the Nets' defense that opened eyes. They held the Heat to just 14 points, and more specifically, LeBron James scored just six points on 1-5 shooting. LeBron was being contained and the Heat weren't capitalizing off the Nets' defense playing so far off from the perimeter. They were 4-18 from three and for the first time all series, the Nets had a double digit lead, 77-63, heading into the fourth.
I remind you, this was all done with Deron Williams shooting 3-10 from the field.
Just a few minutes into the fourth quarter, emotions got high. Alan Anderson gave Ray Allen a little shove that escalated with the players coming together and exchanging some words their mothers wouldn't be too proud of. The game moved along with a double technical assessed.
Everything was going down for the Nets. Their high energy, penetration, ball movement, and execution was top notch all game, but most notably in the fourth quarter when they found a 21 point lead with five minutes remaining. It came after a Paul Pierce and-one from behind the arc. Pierce immediately went near the scorer's table to pound his chest and pump up the crowd.
It's never over when the Nets are ahead, or should I say, when the Heat are trailing. In the span of three minutes the Nets' offense grew dry, while the Heat had to make one last attempt at coming back. They cut their deficit to 12 with a little above two minutes remaining.
The Nets didn't back down either. They fought the Heat's last attempt at a comeback and sealed the deal at home.
The dagger: a Joe Johnson three pointer with one minute left to go up 16. Johnson led the Nets with 19 points and propelled their offense over the star-studded Heat. Andray Blatche also contributed an incredible night with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Deron Williams was just 3-11 on the night, but dished out 11 assists.
The Nets as a team shot 15-25 from three, their best all postseason. The Heat? They were 8-24 from three, really haunting their chances in this game. Think that's alarming? The Nets dished out 26 assists as a team, compared to the Heat's 13.
The Nets look to tie the series this Monday in Brooklyn.
Final score: 104-90.
Series count: Heat 2, Nets 1.
For more on the Miami Heat, check them out at Hot Hot Hoops.
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- NBA Playoffs 2nd Half Game Thread: Game Three - Heat at Nets - NetsDaily
- Heat vs. Nets: Game 3 (Video) - NBA.com
- Heat vs. Nets: First half (Video) - NBA.com
- Play of the Day: Shaun Livingston (Video) - NBA.com
- Dunk of the Night: Shaun Livingston (Video) - NBA.com
- Assist of the Night: Kevin Garnett (Video) - NBA.com
- Steal of the Night: Dwyane Wade (Video) - NBA.com
- Block of the Night: LeBron James (Video) - NBA.com
- Mirza Teletovic Highlights (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: Jason Kidd (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: Erik Spoelstra (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: Johnson and Pierce (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: LeBron James (Video) - NBA.com
- Iso Joe (Video) - NBA.com
- Chippy Play (Video) - NBA.com
- Bulldozer (Video) - NBA.com
- Redemption (Video) - NBA.com
- Wade Floater (Video) - NBA.com
- Attack (Video) - NBA.com
- Move It Inside (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: Mirza Teletovic (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Postgame: Shaun Livingston (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Postgame: Andray Blatche (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Nets Use 3-Pointers To Stop Heat (Video) - ESPN
- Joe Johnson After Game 3 Win (Video) - Rachel Nichols - ESPN
- Nets Get Back In Series (Video) - ESPN
- VIDEO: Shaun Livingston hits the half-court runner buzzer-beater - CBS Sports
- GIF: Nets Get Standing Ovation from… Lebron James??? - RickBarry1971 - The Brooklyn Game
- VIDEO: Happy Dray Day (15 points, 10 rebounds) - RickBarry1971 - The Brooklyn Game
- VIDEO of: 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 - RickBarry1971 - The Brooklyn Game
- VIDEO: BAD BLOOD: Alan Anderson & Ray Allen skirmish - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Kevin Seraphin doesn't want players to fight near Beyonce - Mike Prada - SB Nation
- Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn Nets - Recap - AP
- Nets Hand Heat First Playoff Loss - Reuters
- The Nets and Their Fans Dig Deep to Shift the Tone Against the Heat - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- James Fades While Nets Broaden Focus - Zach Schonbrun - New York Times
- Nets overpower Heat with 15 threes, trail series 2-1 - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets should have been modeled on 'Dem Bums' - Neil Best - Newsday
- Nets' Jason Collins happy for Michael Sam - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Mirza Teletovic, Andray Blatche come up big for Nets - Barbara Barker - Newsday
- Good news: There’s still a pulse in Brooklyn - Mike Vaccaro - New York Post
- Hey, LeBron, Nets not scared of you or the Heat - Steve Serby - New York Post
- Nets get back into series with Game 3 win over Heat - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- A sharp Deron Williams rebounds from Game 2 debacle - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Teletovic’s trey-mendous effort propels Nets - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- NBA Playoffs: Nets go off in second half of Game 3, rout Heat to get back into series - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets’ Jason Collins says it's a ‘great day’ for openly gay Michael Sam - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- NBA Playoffs: Mirza Teletovic hits key three-pointers in Nets win over Heat - Mitch Abramson - New York Daily News
- Nets show some life, keep LeBron James quiet in second half - Mitch Lawrence - New York Daily News
- Nets blast Heat, 104-90, in Game 3 - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- NBA: Heat focusing on themselves - Steve Popper - The Record
- Nets notes: Jason Collins sends congratulatory text to Michael Sam - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Rapid Reaction: Nets 104, Heat 90 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Brooklyn Nets nail 3s to clinch Game 3 win over Miami Heat - Ian Begley - ESPN New York
- Kevin Garnett, Andray Blatche come through for Brooklyn Nets in Game 3 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Brooklyn Nets show they aren't afraid of the champion Miami Heat - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- Brooklyn Nets need Deron Williams to be more than a game manager - Johnette Howard - ESPN New York
- Jason Collins on Michael Sam: 'A great day' - Ian Begley - ESPN New York
- Nets gain lifeline with 104-90 victory over Heat - Michael J. Fensom - Star-Ledger
- Visiting the Nets from New Jersey is not a trip for the weak of heart - Steve Politi - Star-Ledger
- Not Done Yet: Nets 104, Heat 90 (GAME GRADES) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Kevin Garnett has a message for Deron Williams, and all of us - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Game Recap: Nets 104 — Heat 90 - Brian Erni - SNY Nets
- Hamilton: In Game 3, Nets show blueprint for icing HEAT - Moke Hamilton - SNY Nets
- When depth is cooler than superstardom - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Incredible images from game 3 (choking AND cheering) - RickBarry1971
- Heat admit lack of urgency, aggressiveness in Game 3 loss to Nets - Shlomo Sprung - Sheridan Hoops
- Heat Reaction: Heat-Nets, Game 3 - Brian WIndhorst - ESPN Miami Heat Index
- 2014 NBA playoffs: Heat lose first playoff game of 2014 - Brian WIndhorst - ESPN Miami Heat Index
- Dynamic duo cannot save Miami Heat - Tim Casey - Miami Herald
- Excitement makes rare appearance in Miami Heat’s Game 3 loss to Nets - Greg Cote - Miami Herald
- Miami Heat struggles in Game 3 loss to Brooklyn Nets - Joseph Goodman - Miami Herald
- Miami Heat: Nets' Jason Collins congratulates Michael Sam - Shandel Richardson - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
- Is Game 3 loss slap in the face needed by Miami Heat? - Ira Winderman - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
- Nets 3-pointers, rebounds too much for Heat 104-90 - Ira Winderman - South Florida Sun-Sentinel