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Wayne Ellington catches fire from beyond the arc, propels Nets to win in Miami, 111 to 105

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The talk of the Brooklyn Nets lately has been their poor play in the fourth quarter. Of of the Nets 22 losses this season, 13 have come in games where they have either led, tied or were within one basket in the fourth quarter. But in Miami on Monday night, the Nets fortune changed and they played at their best when the game was winding down. Led behind a second half spurt from behind the three-point line, hitting on 9-of-13 from beyond the arc in the second half, the Nets pulled out an impressive win over the Heat, 111-105

In a game that seemed like the Nets stood no chance, Brooklyn used a strong outing from Wayne Ellington to get a spark and push past the sluggish Heat. Ellington scored 26 on the game, 23 coming in 23 second half minutes, including a career high seven three pointers. Willie Reed also provided some aid off the bench, not found in the box score, doing a fine job containing Hassan Whiteside and Amar'e Stoudemire.

Brooklyn hung within striking distance in the first half but the Nets offense went stagnant in the second quarter, helping the Heat to open up a 14-point halftime lead. The Nets defense was getting picked apart by Goran Dragic and Dwyane Wade isolations, yielding open Miami looks either at the rim or beyond the arc. Brooklyn shot 31% from the field in the first half and hit on three of their ten three-point looks. Brook Lopez started four-of-six from the floor, but then finished the half shooting one-of-nine, posting a team-high 13 points. For the Heat, Wade and Bosh combined to shoot nine-for-nine, scoring 29 points.

In the second half, the Nets hung tough with the Heat, but it seemed like they were just outmatched by Erik Spoelstra's club. Then, Ellington happened. Ellington started the second half and struck fire by the end of the quarter. Ellington started the third quarter alongside Shane Larkin with Jarrett Jack on the bench and shot four-of-seven from the field, draining three three's in the third quarter. Ellington gained more confidence with every passing possession and the Nets offense began to run through him and Lopez during the third quarter. Brooklyn outscored the Heat 34-19 in the frame to take a one-point lead heading into the fourth. it was the best quarter of the season.

In the fourth quarter, all the Nets kept riding the hot hand in Ellington. The Tar Heel alumni drained three three's in the fourth quarter, winning the frame 33-28. Brooklyn's momentum carried over from the third quarter and they used a strong effort on the glass in the fourth to hold on—they out-rebounded the Heat 16-10.

The Nets were led by Ellington's hot shooting were also led by Lopez's big night. The Nets' marquee big man scored 26 points while grabbing 12 rebounds. Despite hitting a rough patch, Lopez played tough down low with the likes of Whiteside.

Of course, the key to the win was the Nets three-point shooting. After a rough start from three, the Nets rounded into form and shot 52% for the game. Worth noting: Joe Johnson struggled again for the Nets, getting his first bucket in the second half and finished the night with four points on 1-of-6 shooting.

For Brooklyn, this was a huge victory over another quality opponent, all but one of their wins have been against quality opponent. The key is to sustain some consistency. The Nets, when they bring their best, can compete with teams for the entire game but they need to patch up the holes in their defense and continue to hit their stride from beyond the arc. If players like Ellington, Bogdanovic and Johnson can heat up from three, it opens up Lopez and Thaddeus Young's (who had a surprisingly quiet game) post game.

The Nets—who move to 9-22 after the victory—stay in Florida, as they travel to take on the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.