Barclays Center, Brooklyn- The defending NBA champions strode into town looking to make a statement, and left the Brooklyn Nets to take notice after a 105-85 road win thrashing that had pockets of the Barclays Center crowd glimmered in red chanting, “Let’s go Heat, let’s go Heat.” It was a chant indicative of their performance.
In a game that seemed up to the hype of two Eastern contenders ready to duke it out in front of a national TV audience, the contest was tied at 49-49 at the half, seemingly destined for a lats minute game-winner, a down-to-the-wire affair worth the price of admission.
Then the script got changed and the Miami Heat, led by LeBron James’ game-high 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists took over and ended the game before the fans came back from the concession stands at the start of the second half.It was a flurry of shooting not just inside the paint, where the Heat scored 42 points, but from three-point range where Miami roasted the Nets, converting on 11-of-19 from downtown, putting the game out of hand with a high lead of 22 and 24 points in the third and fourth quarter respectively.
“We just shot ourselves in the foot defensively,” said Brooklyn interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo. Asked about James’ performance and whether or not it was the game-changer, Carlesimo replied, “I don’t think anyone counts on LeBron [James] cooperating. I thought Gerald [Wallace] and Keith Bogans did a good job, but he’s going to get his [points].”
The Heat’s starting five accounted for 77 of their 105 points, as Dwayne Wade cashed in 21 points, while Chris Bosh added 16 and Mario Chalmers 11.
Brook Lopez of the Nets had a strong outing and led Brooklyn with 21 points in nearly 32 minutes on 8-of-13 shooting from the perimeter, but had only two points in the fourth quarter.Buttoning a purple dress shirt, Lopez talked about the giant adhesive underneath his chin saying, “It’s good, got a hit by [Chris] Bosh earlier. Can’t make me any uglier right?”Asked about the loss and Lopez’s voice went flat.”It was tough, played great basketball for the first 30 minutes, [then] they made a run and we didn’t respond.”
An off night for Nets’ starting point guard Deron Williams resulted in a nine point, five assist night, as Williams only took nine shots, one more than backup forward Mirza Teletovic who shot 3-of-8 from the field for seven points.
“My energy was low during spurts,” commented Williams. “It’s a bad loss…leaves a bad taste in our mouth.”
The biggest problem for the Nets was their turnovers, 19 in all, a statistic that did not escape coach Carlesimo’s attention and which enabled the Heat to get off 14 more shots for which they were deadly effective at 51.8-percent overall in the win.
“It’s the third time we’ve played them and we’ve turned it over 19 times in all three games.”
A telling story indeed.