Everybody knows that Miami still holds the crown. They are stacked with Superstars,veterans and shooters which usually means the other team will have a hard time winning. With that being stated , both teams came into tonight's game riding a 5 game win streak battling for top position in the Eastern conference. But their was only one team that would make it to 6 straight games.
Early domination is what you can describe the first quarter with. Coming off a easy win in Orlando, the Nets brought there defense intensity and got off to a 13 to 4 lead around the six minute mark. Turnovers led to a Deron Williams layup and a Kris Humphries jam and that was the recipe to that lead. Williams showed why he is superstar with thread the needle like passes. After a timeout, Mario Chalmers would hit a three but the Nets continued to play great defense, causing more fast break points. Along with that, came with great ball movement which pushed them to a 10 point lead and another timeout made by Erik Spoelstra. As the quarter ended, the Nets got sloppy with bad turnovers but Williams kept the level up with a beautiful pass to Gerald Wallace. Without Brook Lopez, the Nets still led the points in the paint category with 14 points. This was set off from Williams, aggressiveness, Wallace's shooting and the Nets defense. They led, 24 to 16 after one.
C.J Watson has been quiet the last couple of games but he opened up with a quick three. On the other hand, Jerry Stackhouse continued his hot shooting and confidence, converting on a fade-away after using a behind to back move to get some open space. He didn't stop there, hitting another fade-away over Mike Miller and he lead would extend to 13 points. Miami would make a small run and bring the deficit down to ten and coach Avery Johnson was not having it, calling a quick timeout. Starters on both teams worked their way in around 8 minutes and the Nets defense picked up. Norris Cole would continue to get abused by Williams in the post and the heat suffered while double teaming. Him and Stackhouse would continue their assertiveness and the Nets would continue to hold. Later in the quarter LeBron James and Dwyane Wade started to make their presence with ESPN highlights.Those plays would pick up the Energy in the Arena but defense was put on the back burner. After a Joe Johnson three pointer, the Nets and Heat would trade buckets. That was okay though because of the Nets having a pretty good lead all through the first half. Jerry Stackhouse would convert on a beautiful "And-one" and this convinced me that Jerry has taken a trip back into the time machine. The quarter would end with back to back buckets and fouls with the Nets leading 59 to 50. Surprisingly, Andrey Blatche was the Nets leading scorer with 12 and Williams led in assists with 8. Another key stat in favor of the Nets was the rebounding, leading 22 to 11.
The Nets opened up the second half sloppy with turnovers and fouls. Wade would attack which helped the Heat cut into 5. But a three by Williams and a another fast break would push it up to ten. Wade would continue to stread the Nets defense, which was good all game but most teams can not stop that. A key ingredient to the Nets lead was ball movement. There was multiple times when the nets would move the ball until they found a open shot and it would sometimes go down to the shot clock. Wallaces cutting ability has also been key in this game giving Williams multiple assist. The Heat would battle back cutting the lead down off of Wade and multiple defensive stops. That would tie the game at 73 and cause Coach Johnson to take a full timeout. In response to the Heat's run, both teams would partake in lead changes after a Lebron dunk . The momentum was clearly shifting but a Stackhouse three would qwell the attack. The Nets offense was sloppy in the thrid quarter and it led to Miami making momentum baskets. The third quarter ended with the Heat leading 82 to 78.
1 of 7 from the free throw line in the second half was part of the reason they did not lead. But C.J. Watson would bring it closer hitting a three pointer. It was battle of the benches early in the fourth quarter and Coach Johnson would recieve a technical on a conterversial call. But the nets would continue to turn the ball over. 9 turnovers in the second half was key reason the Nets lost the lead. The starters would come back in for the Nets and Williams would try to calm down the team. However, the offense was still stagnant and the Nets would contine to be jumpshot happy. The Heat defense wouldnt allow the Nets to replicate the ball movement in the first half, which lead to more one-on-one plays that were unsuccessful. After a timeout made from Williams, Dwyane Wade would take over. There was a turnover and a fastbreak dunk that would leave Humphries in a poster. After that Wade would hit another basket and simply destroy the Nets on defense. It went downhill from their and the Heat would open up the lead with a a couple of threes. By then, the Heat would end the Nets streak at five, winning by 13 points.
This game had two different outlooks for the Nets. In the first half, Brooklyn looked like they would win but that wasn't the case in the second. Dwyane Wade scored 34 points making 14 of his 20 shots. Elite teams do not turn the ball over and they make their free throws. 19 turnovers and 10 missed free throws is unacceptable. On top of that the Nets stars didn't have a good shooting night. The Nets Backcourt went 8 for 25 from the field. Andray Blatche has been playing phenomenal basketball but he can not be the leading scorer when you're going against the Miami Heat. MarShon Brooks still did not play and there is something going on. Hopefully it is fixed soon so the Nets can play these type of teams at full strength. Brook Lopez did not play and it turned out to be bad in the end, giving the offense tough jump-shots to rely on. The Nets face the Thunder on Tuesday in Brooklyn which should be a good one and another test.
Final Result : 102-89 Miami
Disappointing Stats of the Game : 19 turnovers and 10 missed free throws.
Promising Stat of the Game: 20 points and 8 rebounds for Andrey Blatche.
Scary Moment of the Game: LeBron James dunk that put the Heat ahead in the third quarter.
Best Moment of the Game: Humphries fast break dunk.