|Jan 30, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) controls the ball around Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports|
Highlights Video :
Five days after the Brooklyn Nets blew a large lead against the Miami Heat, Brooklyn got a chance to avenge the loss against the red-hot Heat in Miami.
The Brooklyn Nets’ offense was not the problem for three quarters in the last matchup versus the Heat, and the Nets’ offense showed up early in Miami on Monday night. The Nets led for the entire first quarter, thanks to Brook Lopez‘s eight points, Trevor Booker‘s seven, and Bojan Bogdanovic‘s six. The Nets shot 58.3 percent from the field in the first quarter, and led 32-28 at the end of the first quarter.
The Nets were effective in the paint, as they outscored Miami 30-14 in the paint midway through the second quarter. Kenny Atkinson, to the delight of fans, used the young trio of Caris LeVert, Isaiah Whitehead and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson on the floor together during the second quarter. However, the Nets saw the lead slip away as Dion Waiters and the Heat went on a 17-0 run near the end of the half to take a 56-50 lead.
Brooklyn, after a second quarter meltdown, trailed 56-52 at halftime. Waiters led all scorers with 15 points in the first half, while Lopez and Bogdanovic each led the Nets with 10 points.
The Heat opened the third quarter on a 10-2 run to push their lead to 12. The Nets clearly came out of the halftime break flat, and Brooklyn needed a spark in order to stay in the game.
Trailing by 10, Whitehead hit a three pointer to pull the Nets within seven midway through the third quarter. The Nets cut the Heat lead to four, 76-72, with 1:50 remaining in the third quarter, as Justin Hamilton hit a floater. The final seconds of the quarter were filled with a flurry of points. James Johnson hit a three pointer, and Hamilton answered with a three of his own on the ensuing possession. Then, with the clock winding down, Johnson hit a midrange jumper on the final possession of the quarter. As a result, the Nets trailed 84-77 through three quarters.
The Nets tried, valiantly, to climb back into the game in the fourth quarter. A Booker dunk with four minutes remaining cut Miami’s lead to five. Then, with two minutes left, the Nets trailed by four, 97-93. The Heat would continue to add on, highlighted by a massive dunk from James Johnson, which pushed Miami’s lead to 101-93 in the final minute.
With 29 seconds remaining, Hassan Whiteside fouled out of the game after recording 12 points and nine rebounds. But the Heat had the game in hand, as the Nets would fall in South Beach, 104-96.
1. The Nets should an absolutely putrid 15 percent from beyond the arc
To say the Nets were cold from beyond the arc on Monday night would be an understatement. The Nets made just four of their 26 three-point attempts, equating to 15.4 percent shooting. Bojan Bogdanovic, Randy Foye, Justin Hamilton and Isaiah Whitehead each made one three-pointer, accounting for the only three’s of the game for Brooklyn. Foye was 1-5 and Bogdanovic was 1-4. Brook Lopez, perhaps most notably, was 0-6. The Heat also shot 26 three-pointers, but shot a much better 42.3 percent compared to Brooklyn’s 15 percent.
2. The Nets excelled on the glass
Brooklyn out-rebounded Miami by a wide margin — nearly 20 rebounds. The Nets pulled down 53 rebounds to Miami’s 34. Hassan Whitehead had 12 rebounds in 30 minutes for the Heat, but no other Heat player had more than six rebounds. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had a terrific night on the glass, as he led the Nets with 11 rebounds, while Trevor Booker added eight. Ultimately, winning the rebound battle didn’t result in winning the game, but the Nets have been out-rebounded far too many times this season. If the Nets can build off of this performance on the glass, it would solve one of their problems.
3. The Nets caught the Heat at a bad time
The Miami Heat may be 11 games under .500 at 19-30, but they are in much better shape than they were just one short week ago. The Heat, by defeating the Nets, have now won eight straight games. In that span, Miami has defeated the Rockets, Mavericks, Bucks, Warriors, Bulls, Pistons and the Nets twice. The Heat had five players score in double figures, led by Goran Dragic with 20. Dion Waiters poured in 19, and James Johnson scored 17 points off the bench. The Heat are playing good basketball at this point in the season. Despite holding a lead early, the Nets could not keep pace with the Heat throughout the second and third quarters.