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Home sick: Nets lose 14th straight at Barclays, 108-99

NBA: Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — “Lets go Heat” chants erupted from the Barclays Center crowd as the NBA’s hottest team took down the NBA’s coldest team.

That’s just the way it is. When the Knicks were in town a few weeks back, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson called the opposing fan takeover as “weird”. Indeed it is. Despite the losing this year, it doesn’t make it any easier to take in that the Nets are the underdog in their own arena.

Maybe if the Nets protected their home court, then it wouldn’t happen. They were handed their 12th straight loss and 14th straight at home, 108-99, Friday night in Brooklyn. To go along with the losing streak, they’ve lost 28 of the last 30 games. They still haven’t won a home game in 2017.

The Miami Heat (24-30) have won an NBA-high 13 straight games.

The Nets led the entire first half, but like usual they failed to close out the final 24 minutes of the game. The Heat outscored them 59-46 in the second half, which was capped off with a dagger layup from Goran Dragic with 43 seconds left to put Miami up by seven.

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 30 points and eight rebounds dominating Hassan Whiteside, but the rest of the team finished just 25-of-64 from the field. Miami, without Dion Waiters, were led by the likes of James Johnson (26 points) and Goran Dragic (21 points).

With Waiters sitting out for a second consecutive game, the Heat struggled to get any offense going in the first half. The Nets failed to take full control. They led 53-49 behind 19 points from Lopez.

Otherwise, the starters were 2-of-11 from the field.

The momentum swung right into Miami’s favor in the third quarter. They held the Nets to just 19 points in the quarter and regained a 74-72 lead entering the fourth. It was Miami’s first lead since 20-17 in the first quarter. The key? They held Brook Lopez to just four points.

Lopez cooled off but still had a stellar night and finished with 30 points, eight rebounds on 10-of-17 shooting. The Heat were just too much for the Nets in the second half, and specifically in the fourth quarter where the Nets have struggled the most of late.

Around the five-minute mark, the Heat capped off an 11-2 run and took a 94-85 lead – their largest of the night. And so, the Nets had ground to make up.

Miami outscored Brooklyn, 34-27, in the fourth. Like I said, closing out games has been a huge problem for the young Nets.

The Nets committed 22 turnovers, which led to 27 points for Miami.

Almost-Net Tyler Johnson finished with 18 points and six rebounds. For Brooklyn, Randy Foye finished with 15 and Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 10. Aside from those two and Lopez, exactly zero other Nets finished in double figures.

Atkinson on pressure from Heat:

“You felt it. They every every catch tough. Bringing the ball up was a task, sideline out-of-bounds was a task. We had trouble getting open, so we’ll have to go back to the drawing board now and try to help our guys when the pressure is turned up like that, but credit to them. Again, I thought that small lineup really hurt us.”

On Miami’s small lineup:

It gave us a lot of problems. Their speed, their aggressiveness, obviously we had trouble handling it on both ends. I thought offensively, they turned us over and then defensively, they had kind of five small guys out there driving and getting to the paint and just too much penetration, so it was a good move by them. I thought it changed the game.”

Brook Lopez on 4th quarter confidence:

“I think we’re out there, we’re together and we definitely believe we can do that. I don’t think it’s sort of Groundhog Day or anything like that. We’re out here just focused on the moment and on the game.”

Goran Dragic on James Johnson:

“I don’t know if you have another guy in the league — maybe LeBron James — who can play from position one to five and JJ (James Johnson), he’s such a good player. He can handle the ball, he can get into an offense, he’s a great passer, a great finisher and in defense, most of the time he was guarding Brook Lopez.”

For Nets post-game audio, click HERE.

Next up: Monday, home vs. Memphis.