Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Nets 88, Heat 87
By Mike Mazzeo
Take that, LeBron.
Mason Plumlee blocked LeBron James' dunk attempt with two seconds left, and the Brooklyn Nets completed a historical four-game sweep of the Miami Heat on Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena, winning 88-87.
The Nets became the first team to go 4-0 against the Heat during the regular season in the Big Three era.
What it means: With the Indiana Pacers in turmoil, the Nets (43-34) look like they are the biggest threat to the two-time defending champion Heat (53-24) and their chances of completing a three-peat. Both teams play similar styles, but Brooklyn has just executed better. The Nets’ play down the stretch on Tuesday night was nothing short of sensational.
Brooklyn shot 52.9 percent from the field and overcame 29 points, 10 rebounds and six assists from James to emerge victorious.
Joe Johnson had 19 points on 9-for-17 shooting. He hit a tough floater with a minute left to give the Nets a four-point lead.
Plumlee’s layup put Brooklyn up 88-85 with 41 seconds left. Chris Bosh responded with a dunk seven seconds later. Ultimately, it came down to James and Plumlee. The rookie won.
Paul Pierce scored 14 points. He is five points shy of becoming the 18th player in NBA history to reach 25,000 for his career. Pierce got himself into foul trouble (the third personal called on him was not to his liking) in the third quarter and picked up a technical for voicing his displeasure.
Deron Williams didn’t have a good game but made a couple of key assists in crunch time. Williams broke the franchise record by getting a steal in his 27th straight game.
Marcus Thornton (16 points, six rebounds season-high four steals) and Mirza Teletovic (11 points) both scored in double figures off the bench. Thornton hit a 3-pointer with 1:40 left to give the Nets an 84-82 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Nets led by as many as 13 points early in the second quarter.
No KG: Kevin Garnett (rest) did not play. Garnett is expected to return on Wednesday. Andray Blatche (illness) also missed the game. Dwayne Wade, Udonis Haslem and Greg Oden were all out for Miami.
Up next: The Nets, 6-12 in the second half of back-to-backs, face the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night at Amway Arena.