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Landry Shamet’s career-high spoiled as Nets lose at buzzer to Heat, 109-107; Durant hurt

Landry Shamet’s 30-ball went to waste as the Nets lost a heartbreaker to the Miami Heat on a Bam Adebayo game-winner.

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Brooklyn Nets v Miami Heat Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Bam beat Sham.

In a back-and-forth game that had Bam Adebayo and Landry Shamet alternately playing hero, Bam won it, nailing a 13-foot step-back over Jeff Green to secure the win in Miami. Shamet was the game’s high scorer with a career-high 30.

It was Miami’s defense that ultimately won it though, not letting the Nets score in the last 3:20. After a 15-2 run put them up midway in the fourth, they lost their shooting touch and Miami took advantage late.

Brooklyn entered the final minute of play nursing a two-point lead. Irving attempted to put the game away for the Nets, but missed a 19-foot pull-up. Goran Dragic, who finished with 18 points and six assists in 31 minutes off the bench, snagged the defensive board and went coast-to-coast to knot the game up at 107 with 43.6 seconds remaining.

After two misses from both sides, the Heat wound down the clock looking to win the game, setting up Adebayo for the big shot with both Jimmy Butler and Victor Oladipo out.

“We didn’t execute down the stretch. We didn’t get into our sets a couple of times. We also passed up an open look at the end. Just wasn’t sharp offensively at the end,” Nash said. Defensively, we held them under 45 in the second half. Scrapped, fought but just couldn’t execute down the stretch. We’ll learn from this, get better and lots to be proud of tonight.”

The Nets dropped to 38-19 on the season, but the big news — and it wasn’t good news — came early.

Kevin Durant, after banging legs with Trevor Ariza on a drive, began walking gingerly. After a few possessions — a full three and a half minutes — Brooklyn called a timeout to have trainers attend to him. Durant was subbed out, and after being evaluated in the locker room, was ruled out with a left thigh contusion for the remainder of the game. He finished with eight points on perfect shooting (3-of-3 from the field - 2-of-2 from deep) in four minutes.

“He’s sore but we don’t know how severe. We’ll see tomorrow how he wakes up and go from there,” Nash said. “Right now, nothing’s been determined.”

The Nets head coach said Durant will be further evaluated Monday morning.

Shamet embodied the Nets' next-man-up mentality and scored that career-high 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting overall and 7-of-12 from deep in 38 minutes.

“He was great. (He) made a lot of shots but also was able to drive the ball for us a little bit. Got to the guts of the defense so, key performance and was very important for us to stay in this game with his effort,” Nash said. “Just shows he’s got the potential to expand his game and do a little more.”

Kyrie Irving followed with 20 points, nine assists and four rebounds in 38 minutes. Irving shot 6-of-19 from the field and 2-of-9 from deep in the loss with the Heat often doubling him following KD’s departure. Joe Harris, the other half of Splash Brooklyn, finished with 12 points, but went only 2-of-9 from three.

After Durant went down in the opening minutes, Miami forged a 9-0 run behind the emerging play of Trevor Ariza, who finished with 15 points in 35 minutes, but Brooklyn bounced back behind the play of Shamet, who scored eight points on 2-of-3 shooting from deep.

Shamet nailed two big threes to help swing the tempo and his other two points came off that emphatic slam with the killer Ian Eagle play-call to match!

Brooklyn closed out the quarter on a 5-2 run and shot 54.5 percent overall and 53.8 percent from deep.

The Heat capitalized early in the second, forging great defense that in turn led to efficient offense. Brooklyn had two turnovers in the opening minutes, leading Miami to begin the second frame on a commanding 10-3 run to regain the tempo of the game and force the Nets to call a timeout with 8:22 remaining.

During the timeout, Harden lent his strong voice and was at the center of the conversations. Harden, who did not play due to a hamstring strain, was even seen talking with an official during the break.

Brooklyn tied up the score at 44 off a Shamet three with 6:03 remaining but Miami had the upper hand throughout the remainder of the second. The Nets were led by Shamet and Irving in the first half, combining for 32 of Brooklyn’s 60 points. Irving tallied 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting overall in the first two frames to go along with three assists in 19 minutes.

Shamet was the story of the second quarter, hitting the break with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting overall and 4-of-7 from deep in 18 minutes off the bench lifting the Nets through the adversity from Durant’s devastating injury in the first.

On the other end, the Heat balanced their scoring, having four players in double-figures at the break. Miami shot 51.3 percent overall and 60 percent from deep. Brooklyn hit the break trailing 64-60.

Both teams struggled early in the third, unable to find consistency in the low scoring frame. The Nets targeted their offensive attack inside the 3-point line to forge some momentum while Miami lowered the pace and searched for their best possible look with the three-balls not falling.

Miami forged a 7-0 run lasting two minutes but both teams couldn’t gather consistent stops, resulting in multiple lead changes throughout the frame. The Heat was scoring by committee while the Nets banked on Shamet’s hot play with decreasing support from the rotation in the closing minutes. The pace was high in the closing minute as the Heat entered the final 12 minutes with a flimsy 86-84 lead.

The Heat held the upper edge in the opening minutes but Shamet quickly flipped the tempo, leading the Nets on a 13-0 run to go up six with 4:04 remaining. It was then that Miami clamped down.

The Film Room

Landry Shamet is on a run for the ages. Averaging 14.8 points in the month of April, nearly double his season average of 8.8, Shamet’s 30 points were one heck of a wake-up call early on. It’s a real shame Brooklyn couldn’t come away with the dub to honor his big night.

Frank Isola made the smart point at halftime; after Kevin Durant exited with the thigh contusion, the Nets were a lethargic bunch without their best player. Kyrie Irving was quiet, and the offense as a whole was in a total slog.

Then Landry Shamet came alive.

Is there a better player on the Nets (Joe Harris included) at hitting relocation threes? Shamet’s got this specific shot firmly in his bag — cutting up from the short corner off a pindown and then tossing up a three with his body in rotation. This takes tremendous strength, balance, and accuracy to pull off. Very impressive!

And here’s the young man streaking to the corner in transition and balletically tossing up a three-ball in less than 1 second. Just ridiculous poise while on the move.

The secret sauce to Shamet’s dominance has been his liveliness with the rock in his hands. Here, he rips off a Kyrie Irving screen out of Brooklyn’s “scissor” alignment and takes it to the rim with tenacity.

“The NBA is all about opportunity, and I’ve kind of been thrown in to having to play some point-guard minutes following Kyrie and alongside Kyrie,” said Shamet of his new role which has contributed to his recent play. “Just learning the flow of the game, managing the game, and finding those spots where I need to be more aggressive and be myself.”

When Shamet dusted Bam freaking Adebayo off the dribble with a behind-the-back move into a scoop layup, I just about closed my laptop and called it a day. There was no reason for either of these teams to continue hooping for even another possession after that. Game over.

After his slow start to the season, it’s beyond cool to see the 24-year-old thriving in his Brooklyn home. It’s hard not to root for the kid.

DeAndre Jordan receives first DNP since Lakers game

Since LaMarcus Aldridge’s sudden retirement, Steve Nash has pledged to a model of a matchup-dependent frontcourt. It’s something we speculated about initially and has proven to be the golden rule.

Sunday’s game was no exception. After starting in all of Brooklyn’s three previous games, the Nets went to Blake Griffin for the start and Nicolas Claxton off the bench. What this meant for DeAndre Jordan was a DNP and the afternoon to rest and recuperate for Zion Williamson, Steven Adams, and the rest of the paint-pressuring Pelicans.

Tyler Johnson rehab progressing; James Harden “inching closer” to return.

Prior to tip-off of Sunday’s matinee game, Steve Nash provided brief updates on Brooklyn’s greatly depleted guard-depth. James Harden, who has been out since the April 5th game against the New York Knicks with a right hamstring injury, appears to be getting closer to a return. As mentioned in yesterday’s practice notes, Harden traveled with the team to Miami; and according to Nash on Sunday, “The Beard” got in a workout on Saturday and is set to participate in another one on Monday while he progresses in his rehab.

Tyler Johnson, meanwhile, has been out since April 4 with a knee sprain and is slowly progressing back into game mode. According to Nash, he’s been running and doing shooting drills, though he hasn’t been able to participate in any form of practice (1-on-1, 2-on-2, etc.).

One day, the Nets will get healthy. One day.

What’s next

The Nets will back in action on Tuesday when the team travels to New Orleans to face the Pelicans. The game is set to tip at 7:30 PM ET.

For a different perspective, check out Hot Hot Hoops - our sister site covering the Miami Heat.