The Skinny: Miami’s “Big Three” started red hot from the field, hitting on seven of their first 10 shots to establish a 10-point advantage. The Nets made a small dent into the lead, but the Heat shot 5-for-5 from three-point range in the quarter to maintain a 10-point lead after one.
Miami kept knocking down threes, but the Nets’ second unit, led by Andray Blatche, provided an energy boost to get within six. Brook Lopez began heating up from the outside to help cut the lead to two, and he then found Gerald Wallace down low for a layup on the next possession to tie the game. The teams traded buckets in the closing seconds to head into the break all tied up. The Nets outscored the Heat 29-19 in the second quarter.
Two Lopez free-throws early in the third quarter gave the Nets their first lead since 2-0. But the Heat answered formidably with a 20-2 run to open a 16-point lead. Miami increased that lead to 22 to close out the quarter. Brooklyn had eight turnovers in the third alone, as the team was outscored 36-14 in the frame, which marked the most points the Nets gave up in a quarter this season.
Miami kept pouring it on in the fourth quarter to coast to the blowout win.
High Scorers: LeBron James led all scorers with 24 points on 10-of-18 from the field, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out seven assists. For the Nets, Lopez led the way with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting, pulled down seven boards and blocked three shots.
Key Stats: The Heat shot 11-of-19 (58 percent) from beyond the arc in this one, compared to 32-of-64 (50 percent) from two-point territory. The Nets meanwhile managed just 5-of-17 (29 percent) from downtown.
Who Was Hot: Dwyane Wade continues his stellar play against the Nets this season. He scored 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Blatche was 5-of-5 from the floor for 12 points.
Who Was Not: Joe Johnson struggled from the outside, shooting just 4-of-15 from the field and 1-of-5 from three-point range. He finished with 16 points, since he made seven free-throws.
Fun Fact: Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra’s father worked as an NBA executive for the Nets.
Another typical Nets third-quarter collapse was the story in this one. The team must have used up all its energy fighting back in the second quarter that it forgot that there was a full second half to play.
Things got so bad in the third that “Let’s Go Heat!” chants began breaking out in Barclays Center. Not exactly the home-court advantage the Nets thought they had. The loss snaps the Nets’ eight-game home winning streak.
The Nets have now lost 13 straight games to the Heat, including seven on their home floor. James has defeated the Nets in 17 consecutive games dating back to his days with the Cavaliers, and he’s also scored at least 20 points in 20 straight games against the Nets.
It’s strange that all five losses under P.J. Carlesimo have been blowouts. Brooklyn is now 10-19 against teams .500 or better.
The loss completes the season-sweep at the hands of the Heat, but luckily for the Nets, the teams do not meet again during the regular season.
If the teams happen to meet in the playoffs, the Nets will need to make a handful of adjustments to keep up with the Heat’s fast-paced style.
Brooklyn (27-19) continues its homestand Friday night against the Chicago Bulls. The 7:30 p.m. game will be televised on the YES Network.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.