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Thursday, May 8, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Heat 94, Nets 82

By Mike Mazzeo

This series could be over shortly.

The Brooklyn Nets were much more competitive in Game 2 than they were in Game 1.

But the end result was still the same.

The Nets got outplayed by the Miami Heat in the fourth quarter and fell 94-82 on Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The two-time defending NBA champions lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals series 2-0.

What it means: The Nets have never won a best-of-seven series when trailing 0-2 (0-4). The Heat have never lost a best-of-seven series when leading 2-0 in the LeBron James-Dwyane Wade-Chris Bosh era (6-0).

Teams that take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven series go on to win the series 93.8 percent of the time, according to data from ESPN Stats & Information (242-16). Bottom line: The Nets are in huge trouble.

Turning point: Remember Andray Blatche's missed layup in the third quarter of Game 1 that led to a 14-2 Heat run? Well, the same type of thing happened again in Game 2. Only this time it was Garnett missing a layup that would’ve gotten the Nets within 82-79 in the fourth quarter.

Instead, Ray Allen hit a 3-pointer on Miami’s ensuing possession, putting the Heat up 85-77. In the final 6:54, the Nets had just two field goals. They got outscored 25-15 in the fourth quarter. Garnett did not hit his first field goal of the series until the 10:56 mark of the third quarter. Garnett finished with four points and 12 rebounds on 2-for-8 shooting in 21 minutes.

The missing ($98 million) man: Deron Williams was held scoreless for the first time in his 60-game playoff career. Williams went 0-for-9 from the field, adding seven rebounds and six assists. Not good enough for a franchise player in a must-win game. Not good enough at all.

The Big Three: James got whatever he wanted again, scoring 22 points on 9-for-18 shooting. Bosh added 18 points and six rebounds, while Wade added eight of his 14 points in the fourth.

That was bad: The Nets shot just 42.3 percent overall and went 8-for-24 from 3-point range and 8-for-14 from the free throw line. They had 14 turnovers. Shaun Livingston was good and had 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting, but Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson had just 13 each.

No freebies: The Nets did not attempt a single free throw in the first half, the first time that has happened since the 1996-97 season, according to data from ESPN Stats & Information. They attempted one free throw in a half on two different occasions this season. The Nets didn’t get to the line until the 8:08 mark of the third quarter.

MT3: Mirza Teletovic entered Thursday night’s game just 9-for-35 from 3-point range in the playoffs. But he hit his first four 3s -- and finished 6-for-9 from downtown. His six 3s were a franchise single-game record.

Packing the paint: The Nets didn’t want the Heat to score 52 points in the paint again. So they packed the paint. It worked early on. Miami went just 1-for-8 from 3-point range in the first quarter, and Brooklyn held it to just 15 points -- its fewest points in a quarter this postseason. The Heat wound up shooting 49.3 percent overall and 10-for-24 from downtown.

Up next: Game 3 on Saturday night at Barclays Center