The Miami Heat beat the Nets 105-85 on Wednesday night at Barclays Center, fueled by a third quarter in which they outscored Brooklyn 36-14.
The game was tied at 49 at halftime, and the Heat put on a show in the third quarter, with the crowd reacting to every play.
The Heat played their starters nearly the entire quarter, and LeBron James had 10 points, Dwyane Wade had 8, Mario Chalmers had 6, Udonis Haslem had 5, and Chris Bosh had 5 in the quarter, in which they shot 65 percent from the field.
The quarter ended with a thunderous dunk by Udonis Haslem and a three-pointer by Ray Allen in the closing seconds that made it 85-63.
For the game, LeBron James led the way with 24 points on 10-for-18 shooting from the field with 9 rebounds and 7 assists.
Dwyane Wade had a huge game as well, with 21 points (9-for-16), and the other member of the Big Three, Chris Bosh, had 16 points on 7-for-14 from the field wiuth 4 rebounds.
As well as they performed, the key for Miami is their bench led by the veterans Shane Battier and Ray Allen.
Battier played solid defense, living up to his reputation as one of the best in the league. Allen played solid defense as well, including at one point guarding Deron Williams, making up for the fact that he had just 6 points on two 3-pointers in 20 minutes.
The Nets were led by Brook Lopez, who made the All-Star Team on Wednesday afternoon before the game, with 21 points opn 8-for-13 shooting with 7 rebounds. Lopez said of the game, “I think we are just disappointed in ourselves. We really just let this one get away. We felt we were playing great ball up until about midway through the third quarter. They got going, we didn’t really respond and that was it.”
Joe Johnson was held in check all night, having trouble getting open agains the fierce Heat defense. He had 16 ponits on 4-for-15 shooting with 6 assists and 3 rebounds.
Deron Williams also had a tough night, as he had just 9 points (4-for-9) with 5 assists. Williams was suffering from the flu, and there was question if he’d even play.
Williams said of the game, “This is a bad loss. We hoped to come out and put a better effort out against these guys. With how close we are in the standings with them and a chance to gain a full game and just really try to prove we could play with them. We just didn’t do that today.”
Reggie Evans, who questioned the strength of the Heat’s championship because it came in a lockout season, was held scoreless with just 6 rebounds in 20 minutes. The other Net in the frontcourt, Gerald Wallace, never got going either, as he had just 6 points (3-for-5) with 2 rebounds.
Andray Blatche had a strong night off the bench, with 12 points and shot a perfect 5-for-5 from the field. 10 of Blatche’s points came in the second quarter when the Nets outscored the Heat 29-19 in the second quarter.
This was the Nets first loss at home under Head Coach P.J. Carlesimo, and their record falls to 27-19, and 13-5 under Carlesimo.
He said of the third quarter, “Well, the first thing was Miami playing excellent defense. It’s the third time we played them and we’ve turned it over 19 times in all three games. I thought our guys really played an excellent first half. (We) hung in and we dug a hole doing the same things we did in the third quarter, we turned the ball over early did a poor job rebounding and we didn’t make our threes.”