The Brooklyn Nets could've stayed undefeated in 2015 with a victory in Miami, but it never happened. That's something you'd hear a lot if you watched the game: "it never happened". Behind a poor shooting night from Brooklyn, and a good one from the dynamic duo of Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, the Nets failed to make a run when they most needed it.
To be kind, the offense was a mess.
The Heat defeated Brooklyn, 88-84, with Chris Bosh scoring 26 points on 10-of-16. Brooklyn failed to go 3-0 on the road trip and failed to notch their record at one game above .500. They shot 39% from the field and 29% from three, while dishing out only 18 assists. It seemed as though, Brooklyn's fluid ball movement of late went missing in this one.
The Nets were down double digits for most of the third quarter, but eight points in the fourth quarter from Brook Lopez brought them within three with under two minutes remaining. Lopez finished the night with 16 points, all of which came in the second half. The Nets' run that they long awaited throughout the entire game was a bit too late, despite holding Miami to just 15 points in the third quarter. They failed to capitalize and it resulted in a loss because of so.
Mason Plumlee (12 points, five rebounds), didn't receive any playing time in the second half. He was extremely active in the first half, but the Nets needed Lopez's offense.
Miami shot 46.3% from the field and outscored Brooklyn 21-9 at the free throw line with a differential of 15 free throw attempts. Yikes. Still, the Nets had no answers for Miami's surrounding cast. Dwyane Wade finished with a near triple-double. He went for 25 points, six rebounds and seven assists in 34 minutes. It came midway through the third quarter that Brooklyn had cut their deficit down to six, when Wade beat Karasev twice to put Miami back up 10. Hollins immediately substituted Alan Anderson in for Karasev.
Aside from Bosh and Wade, Hassan Whiteside was the only other Miami player in double figures. He finished with 11 points and and 10 rebounds, but blocked five shots that gave Brooklyn some serious trouble scoring down low.
For Brooklyn, Joe Johnson was the leading scorer with 19 points on 8-of-22 shooting. His backup point guard in Williams, went for 13 points, six rebounds and eight assists, but looked plagued by an oblique injury. His new successor at the starting position in Jarrett Jack had an off night. Jack finished with just four points and three assists in 25 minutes. He was 2-of-9 from the field.
Mirza Teletovic was another anchor of the Nets bench, scoring 14 points on 4-of-11 shooting from three. Lopez, Williams and Teletovic were the only three bench players to score for Brooklyn, combining for 43 points on 16-for-36 shooting. The Heat bench on the other hand, scored 21 points on 8-for-20 shooting.
The Nets are now 16-17 on the season with a second night of a back-to-back, Monday night at home vs. the surging Dallas Mavericks.
"We couldn't stop Bosh. We couldn't stop Wade," Lionel Hollins said. "That was the reason we couldn't get any closer."
"It's hard to win in this league," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It really is. ... Even in a game like this, when we had to fight it all the way to the end, you don't take winning for granted when you're having a season like we (are) right now."
Quarter by quarter summary:
First quarter ... Deron Williams came off the bench and scored nine points in four minutes, but it wasn't enough for Brooklyn to take control early. The Heat went to free throw line 11 times and shot 60% from the field with Chris Bosh leading the charge, scoring eight points on 3-of-3 shooting. The Nets on the other hand, shot 34% from the field and trailed 30-21 heading into the second quarter.
Second quarter ... During the Nets' three game win streak, the second quarter has yet to let them down, as they've outscored their opponents 91-45 in the second quarter during their short win streak. Tonight was a different story. Hassan Whiteside was a difference maker, scoring nine points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots in 14 minutes played. Still, it was Chris Bosh who led the way with 13 points, giving the Nets matchup nightmares throughout the half.
The Nets shot 38.4% from the field while Miami shot 48.5%. The two teams evened out at 19 apiece in the second quarter, but Brooklyn looked a lot worse -- partially because Miami went to the free throw line 19 times. Similar to what we've seen all season, the Nets stopped with the ball movement and fell stagnant to Miami's suffocating defense. They've lost to Miami twice already, they were hoping to avoid the trifecta with a big second half.
Score at the half: Miami 49, Nets 40.
Third quarter ... Sergey Karasev was no match for Dwyane Wade on the defensive end. At one point, the Nets cut the deficit down to six, but Dwyane Wade converted on two consecutive buckets to put Miami back up 10. Lionel Hollins immediately took Karasev out in exchange for Alan Anderson. Brooklyn's big run-in-the-making was missing throughout the third quarter, but Deron Williams helped facilitate the offense late to help the Nets cut into the double digit lead.
The Nets scored 19 points in the third quarter, but held Miami to 15 points with eight of them coming from Dwyane Wade. They shot 7-for-17 in the quarter and led Brooklyn, 64-59 heading into the fourth.
Fourth quarter ... The Nets cut their double digit deficit down to three with under two minutes remaining in the game. Brook Lopez scored eight points off the bench during that span, but a late, loose-ball foul call from Scott Foster put Wade at the line with 40 seconds left. He hit one of two, putting Miami up four with 40 seconds remaining. The Nets missed on the next possession and it was all up to Miami to put this one away.
The Nets forced a turnover -- then answered with a Jarrett Jack floater to cut the deficit to two with five seconds remaining. Chris Bosh nailed the next two free throws to ice the game.
Final score: Miami 88, Nets 84.
D-Will hurt his back near the end of the game, but afterwards, it was diagnosed as a cramp and he said he expects to play vs. Dallas on Monday.
For more on the Miami Heat, check them out at Hot Hot Hoops.
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- 2nd Half Game Thread: Nets at Heat - NetsDaily
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