"It was a great basketball game to watch by both teams," Nets
coach Jason Kidd said. "For my guys to fight for 58 minutes, that
win, we needed it."
The victory extended the Nets' season-best winning streak to five
games after they almost threw away a 14-point lead in the third
quarter while the Heat has now lost two straight.
"We didn't play particularly well during the course of the game, but
if we can look to one thing, we at least showed some mental
toughness," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Brooklyn made bigger
plays going down the stretch and in overtime."
The Nets (16-21) used an 11-0 run in the second overtime to put the
Heat away. Forward Paul Pierce made a 3-pointer on his way to 23
points after missing possible winning shots in regulation and the
"Sometimes you make some, sometimes you miss some," Pierce said.
"The most important thing was that we came out with a win."
Heat guard Norris Cole's jumper tied the score with 3.3 seconds left
in the first overtime after the Heat were scoreless in the first
four minutes of overtime and Miami forward LeBron James fouled out
on a charge.
James led the Heat (27-10) with 36 points but was frustrated with a
lack of offensive production. His angst came to a peak when he was
flagrantly fouled by Nets forward Mirza Teletovic in the fourth
quarter and he had to be restrained by multiple teammates.
"I thought I was a little frustrated ... and I apologized to my
teammates at halftime," James said. "I told them that my frustration
and body language was all wrong...but we just came up short."
But James seemed to continue to play angry, and that tenacity helped
put the finishing touches on a Heat double-digit comeback that took
only six minutes to create. He scored 13 points in the fourth
"We played great defense and we made them take some tough shots,"
James said. "It is a tough-shot making team and they go at the
match-up they feel they can exploit, and then they make shots. We
did do a good job to get back into the ball game."
The Nets managed to reopen a five-point lead with three minutes left
in regulation, but James was not going to go away quietly. Playing
with five fouls, he brought Miami back within one.
Cole, who had 18 points, hit a 3-pointer with two minutes left to
put Miami up two, but Pierce answered with one of his own to put the
Nets back in front 87-86 with 1 1/2 minutes left.
"I just play the game as it comes," Cole said. "I am an aggressive
guy by nature and whenever I have a shot, I will take it."
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James showed why he is one of the best players in the NBA,
hitting a driving, step-back jumper, only to be answered by a
floater from forward Joe Johnson.
James was fouled with 40
seconds remaining and made one of two free throws to tie it at 89.
Pierce had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but
his 3-pointer was off the mark.
The Heat managed to come back while overcoming a season-worst 13
points in the second quarter as the Nets managed to hold an
advantage for a majority of the game despite missing guard Deron
Williams with a sprained ankle.
"For us, one of the things we talked about is taking away the three
and making sure that they didn't knock down a lot of threes," Kidd
said. "Defensively, I thought we were solid. We got the ball and we
helped one another."
Four of the Nets' five starters scored in double figures, with
Johnson leading the team with 32.
The Heat were without three starters. Guard Dwyane Wade was given a
day of rest with soreness in his knee, guard Mario Chalmers has a
strained right Achilles and forward Shane Battier has a strained
Johnson had a stellar first quarter, scoring 22 points while hitting
his first nine shots from the field while outdueling James, who had
16 in the opening 12 minutes.
"I just came out trying to be aggressive," Johnson said. "Not only
on offense, but on defense as well. I was really just trying to the
basket, got a couple post-ups and then the three-point line just
kind of opened up."
NOTES: Nets G Deron Williams sat out a second straight game after
spraining his left ankle. It is the second time this season that he
aggravated the same area, missing 12 games earlier this season. ...
Heat G Dwyane Wade sat out Friday night to rest. G Mario Chalmers
missed his third straight game with a right Achilles strain and F
Shane Battier was sidelined for a fifth game with a left quad
strain. ... Heat F LeBron James ranks fourth in the NBA in scoring
at 25.7 points per game and a .592 field goal percentage. ... Six of
the Heat's nine losses this season had come on the road. Miami lost
to the Knicks 102-92 on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. ...
The Nets had won four straight on their current homestand. They won
five games at home all season before this run. ... Both teams will
wear special nickname uniforms tonight. Nets F Andrei Kirilenko's
name will be in Russian and Ray Allen will don J. Shuttlesworth, the
character he played in the Spike Lee film "He Got Game."
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