The Miami Heat lost for the first time this postseason on Saturday with the Brooklyn Nets taking the game 104-90.
Miami still leads the best of seven series 2-1 with one more game coming in Brooklyn before the teams travel back to American Airlines Arena. The key to this one was a barrage of three-pointers from the Nets. In all, Brooklyn was 15-25 from downtown and hit those treys in bunches to pad a big lead along the way.
Brooklyn began the game with an early three-point lead and would extend that out to five with around seven minutes left in the quarter. The biggest lead for the Nets in the first quarter ended up being five, the same as Miami’s biggest advantage. A moment that stood out in the quarter came with 6:22 left when Paul Pierce committed a flagrant foul on LeBron James. The Heat star would hit the free throw which was an and-one to give him ten quick points. It appeared that Miami would hold a four point lead after the quarter until Shaun Livingston hit a buzzer beating three-pointer. At the end of one, the score was 30-29 Miami with James having 16 of those points for the Heat.
It took nearly two minutes for a basket to be made by either team in the second quarter with a combined five misses before Chris Bosh hit a jump shot. The basket which was assisted by Norris Cole gave Bosh six points at the time. With 6:25 left in the half, Dwyane Wade made a floating jump shot to give him seven points in the game and extend Miami’s lead back to five. Things would change in a hurry after the Nets called a timeout at this point. By the time, Miami took a timeout of their own at 2:58 remaining, it was Brooklyn that led and by three. When the buzzer rang at the half, the Nets had a 51-49 lead.
The Nets scored fast and often over the first six minutes of the second half and opened up an eight point lead heading into a Heat timeout. Things did not improve for Miami following that break as Brooklyn went on to extend the lead to double digits during a 9-0 run. James put an end to the run with a three-pointer to cut the deficit to nine with 4:48 left in the quarter. Mirza Teletović would then go on to hit two three-pointers of his own in less than two minutes to give Brooklyn a 13 point lead, their biggest of the game up until this point. The Heat only scored 14 points in the quarter and trailed 77-63 heading to the fourth.
The final quarter continued what began in the third with Brooklyn opening up an 18-point lead with 9:34 remaining. At that point, the two teams needed to be separated following a brief scuffle between Ray Allen and Alan Anderson. After a lengthy review by the officials, a double technical was called on both players. With 8:44 left, James Jones was put into the game due to the large deficit and the need for three-point baskets. As the game winded down to the five minutes remaining mark, the Nets held onto a 17-point lead. After Jones hit a couple of three-pointers and Allen made a finger roll, the Heat had cut the deficit to 12 with 2:23 to play. With 58 seconds left, the Nets extended their lead back to 16 and the Heat elected to empty the bench.
The Heat and Nets will meet again on Monday at 8:00 p.m. from Brooklyn as Miami will once again try to move one win away from the conference finals.