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Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Nets 96, Heat 95

By Mike Mazzeo

The two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat have been tough to solve for most teams this season.

Not the Brooklyn Nets. They have Miami’s number.

The Nets improved to 3-0 against the Heat in 2013-14, earning their first victory in Miami since Feb. 1, 2008, 96-95, on Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

What it means: The Nets (33-30), who have won seven of their last eight games overall, became just the fifth team to beat the Heat three times in a single season during the Big Three era (2010-14).

Paul Pierce was brilliant, scoring 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter. The 36-year-old veteran unlocked a 92-92 tie when he drove to the basket for a layup with 1:45 remaining. He sure loves playing Miami, doesn’t he?

Shaun Livingston came away with a huge deflection on the Heat’s final possession to secure the victory.

Mirza Teletovic registered his first double-figure scoring game since Feb. 12 (11 games), totaling 17 points. Teletovic also had a career-high three blocks and played terrific defense on LeBron James, whose streak of 22 straight 20-plus point games against the Nets ended. He had 19.

Deron Williams and Joe Johnson combined to go just 4-for-18 from the field. But Williams did hit a huge fadeaway jumper with 35.8 seconds remaining that put Brooklyn ahead 96-92.

No Ticket or AK-47: Kevin Garnett (back) and Andrei Kirilenko missed their seventh and second games in a row, respectively.

Up next: A couple days of rays and practice in Miami, and then it’s on to D.C., where the Nets will face the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.