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Miami Heat too hot for ice-cold Nets, 104-98

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets are like a broken record with their losing ways. They lost their fifth straight game, this time against the Miami Heat, 104-98. A year after sweeping the Heat in the season-series, the Heat turn around and do the same to the Nets this year. Although, that's not saying much.

The disaster waiting to happen is practically inevitable with their playoff hopes diminishing by the game.

They beat teams like Dallas and Golden State, yet make marginal teams look like the 1995-96 Bulls. That's what below-average NBA teams do, though.

The Nets were undermanned with Alan Anderson sitting out for the night with a bruised tailbone. They were also missing Sergey Karasev -- who just before tip-off, was deemed out for the remainder of the season with a torn MCL he suffered last night in the nightmare against New Orleans.

No excuses, however, because Miami was missing Hassan Whiteside, and Chris Bosh -- who's also out for the season after the found a blood clot on his lung, just like the Nets' Mirza Teletovic.

Despite trailing the entire way, the Nets showed signs of life in the third quarter. They cut their deficit down to six, the lowest of the second half, but allowed Miami to jump out to an 11-2 run to increase the lead back up to 15.

Then in the fourth, the Nets cut it to five with one minute remaining but failed to make the necessary stops in order to come back and win the game. Mario Chalmers (8 points) sealed the deal with an open three-pointer to put Miami up eight with 41 seconds remaining.

Jarrett Jack did all he could to keep the Nets alive as he scored 16 points of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. He showed heart, provided some fight -- but couldn't get the W. He was the Nets' leading scorer, along with Deron Williams who also scored 18 points and four assists.

Joe Johnson scored 12 points but shot 3-of-11 from the field. After the game, Mike Fratello said the cause of his struggles is an injury that we're not hearing about. So he thinks.

The Nets were sloppy all night. The Heat scored 26 points off 21 turnovers with six coming from Deron Williams, five from Joe Johnson, and four from Jarrett Jack. That's 15 turnovers from the teams three primary ball handlers. They also shot the ball 44% from the field and 35.3% from three. On the bright side, they made a season-high 28 free throws on 39 attempts.

Dwyane Wade led Miami with 28 points and nine assists. Chris "Birdman" Andersen had a career-night with 18 points, 14 rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot. The Nets have issues with covering the opposition's big men.

Brook Lopez finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds and one block in 33 minutes. Thaddeus Young was next in line with 15 points and seven rebounds.

The Nets are now 25-38 and stand 3.5 games out of the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference. With 19 games remaining and the season spiraling out of control, it's time to start expecting the worst with this team as the season progresses. It's an inevitable disaster waiting to happen.

Quarter by quarter summary:

First quarter ... It didn't take long for the Nets to go down double digits. They allowed the Heat to hit their first 9 of 10 shots attempted -- 14-for-21 on the quarter and trailed 34-23 after one quarter. On the offensive side, they were 9-for-25 from the field and 1-for-5 from three. Not the start they envisioned.

Second quarter ... The deficit was built up to 17 but the Nets made a late 8-0 run to eventually cut the deficit down to 11 before the half was over. Brooklyn's defense was non-existent. They allowed the Heat to shoot 51.7% from the field with Chris Andersen leading all scorers with 14 points, five rebounds and one block. Brook Lopez had a near double-double for Brooklyn with nine points and nine rebounds.

Brooklyn shot 39% from the field and  turned the ball over 11 times (17 points for Miami). The Heat, however, only coughed up the ball twice in the half.

Score at the half: Heat 62, Nets 51.

Third quarter ... The Nets showed signs of life, cutting the deficit down to six following a 9-0 run behind the lead of Deron Williams. Still, Miami had the game in their hands and answered with an 11-2 run to build the lead back up to 15. The Nets scored just 16 points in the third quarter and trailed 82-67.

Fourth quarter ... The Nets cut it to five with one minute remaining, but failed to make the necessary stops needed in order to come back and win the game. Mario Chalmers (8 points) sealed the deal with an open three-pointer to put Miami up eight with 41 seconds remaining.

Final score: Heat 104, Nets 98.