The Skinny: It was all LeBron James against Kris Humphries in the early going. James tallied 11 first quarter points, while the Big Hump added nine, which helped the Nets keep the game close after one. The Heat went on an 11-2 run spanning the quarters, as Dwyane Wade began heating up. Brooklyn struggled shooting the entire first half, which allowed Miami to open a nine-point lead at the break. The Heat ran away with the game in the third quarter, opening up a 23-point lead as the Nets shooting woes continued. Both teams emptied their benches in the fourth quarter in what was garbage time at the end.
High Scorers: Wade led all scorers with 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting in 32:04. For the Nets, Deron Williams didn’t shoot well from the field (7-of-15), but he led the Nets with 14 points.
Key Stats: The Nets shot just 30-of-80 from the field (38 percent) including just 3-of-21 from three-point range (14 percent). They committed 19 turnovers compared to Miami’s 12. The Heat also recorded 25 assists on 40 field goals, showing great ball movement all game.
Who Was Hot: James recorded a double-double, scoring 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting and pulled down 12 rebounds. He also added eight assists, two shy of a triple-double. Rashard Lewis shot lights out off the bench (6-of-9) for 13 points. After only scoring seven points combined in the first two games, Humphries posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. He even had the double-double after just the first half. MarShon Brooks gave the Nets good minutes off the bench, scoring 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Who Was Not: Brook Lopez had his second consecutive poor shooting performance. He didn’t record a field goal until the 3:47 mark of the second quarter and finished with just eight points on 4-of-8 shooting. Joe Johnson and D-Will combined for just 23 points on 11-of-29 shooting. Mirza Teletovic was extremely cold, shooting just 1-of-8 from the field for three points. For Miami, Chris Bosh was only 2-of-10 from the field but did manage eight points.
Fun Fact: James has now beaten the Nets in 14 straight meetings. The last time the Nets defeated James was in March, 2008 when he was with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
This was actually a close game after the first quarter; too bad they play four in the NBA.
Still without Gerald Wallace, the Nets had no defensive answer for James and Wade, who torched Brooklyn from the opening buzzer.
After scoring 60-plus points in the first half in each of the first two games, the Nets managed just 41 against the Heat. Miami is certainly a tier above the Raptors and Timberwolves.
It’s still early, but hopefully as the season progresses, the Nets find a way to remain competitive against the better teams. If the Nets plan on making the playoffs, they’ll have to pick up the intensity defensively.
Dating back to the final game of last season, the Nets have now lost two of their last four games by 30 or more points.
Brooklyn (1-2) remains in Florida to take on the Orlando Magic Friday night at the Amway Center. The 7 p.m. game will be televised on the YES Network.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.