Nearly six weeks ago, the Miami Heat withstood the elevation and turned on the defense in a "road win" over the Brooklyn Nets in Mexico City.
It began a run of 15 wins in 20 games for the Heat, who visit the Nets on Friday night at Barclays Center.
When the Heat took the court Dec. 9 they were two games under .500 at 11-13 and entered the game by allowing 100 points in five straight games. They wound up holding the Nets to 36 points in the second half of a 101-89 win and are allowing 98.4 points in their last 20 games.
Miami's defensive rating since then is 103.7 points per 100 possessions while limiting opponents to 44.9 percent from the floor and 35.5 percent from 3-point range.
Miami is putting this run together while dealing with a few injuries. They lost Dion Waiters to season-ending left ankle surgery and played without Tyler Johnson due to an ankle injury in Wednesday's 106-101 win at Milwaukee. << Read more
Copyright 2018 by the Associated Press