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Brooklyn didn't lose sight of Miami in the first half, still being within five with less than a minute remaining until the break, before the Heat got late scores from Wade and James to take a 50-41 edge into the locker room.
And as was the case against Phoenix (with a 23-6 run) on Monday, the Heat used the third quarter as the springboard.
It was a 54-46 game after Keith Bogans made a 3-pointer for Brooklyn early in the third, but after that, all Heat. Miami needed just 91 seconds to put together a 10-0 run -- two baskets by Wade started it, and 3-pointers from Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers finished it, putting the Heat up 64-46.
"We know there's going to be moments when you're not going to be able to shoot the ball as well as you want to," Wade said. "It averages out for this team. ... That's why you have to be a good defensive team to be successful in this league."
The outcome was never again in doubt. Chalmers extended the lead to 20 when he sliced down the lane for a nifty layup with 3:45 left in the third, and James made a stepback 3-pointer as time was running out in the period for what was then Miami's largest lead, 79-56.
By then, the only drama was whether James would get his 33rd regular-season triple-double, which would have been his first since March 29, 2011.
Instead, he remained on the bench in the fourth, the Heat comfortably ahead the whole way.
"One, I didn't know," Spoelstra said. "Two, that's not the time to put him back in. We're thinking big picture."
NOTES: Wade sent his mother, Jolinda, flowers during a second-quarter timeout as a video message played on the overhead scoreboards. ... The Nets were without Gerald Wallace, who missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. Brooklyn is hoping he may be able to do more before its game Friday at Orlando. ... Heat F Udonis Haslem was poked in the left eye in the first half, dropping to his knees in pain when he got hit but staying in the game. ... Wade drew laughter after the morning shootaround, pretending he was miffed about Nets part-owner Jay-Z not attending the meeting when the team tried wooing him as a free agent in 2010 -- but that the rapper appeared in person for James' sit-down that summer with the team. "True," James said.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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