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Wednesday, January 30, 2013
W2W4: Nets vs. Heat

By Mike Mazzeo



The Brooklyn Nets lost their previous two meetings with the Miami Heat by a combined 43 points. Tuesday night in Brooklyn, the teams will meet for the third and final time this season. It's Miami's first and only visit to Barclays Center (pending playoffs) and the Nets' last chance to make a statement against the defending champs.

Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. Here's what we'll be watching for:

BRON DOMINATION: LeBron James lost 10 of his first 16 games against the Nets, but he's 16-0 since, according to ESPN Stats & Information. During the James/Heat era, the Nets are 0-8 and are being outscored 103.1 to 86.1 points per game while being outshot 52.6 to 39.8 percent.

HOME-COURT ADVANTAGE: The Nets have won eight straight at home, including a 6-0 mark in January. They are outscoring their opponents by an average of 13.8 points during that six-game stretch.

D-WILL'S STRUGGLES: Deron Williams is averaging just 12.0 points on 38.5 percent shooting (12.5 percent from 3-point range) against the Heat this season. Interim coach P.J. Carlesimo reiterated that Williams (flu-like symptoms) is probable.

KEYS TO WINNING: In the previous two meetings against Miami, Brooklyn shot a combined 9-for-49 from 3-point range and had 37 turnovers. These numbers must be much, much better if the Nets have any chance to pull off the upset.

BENCH MOB: The Nets are 8-0 when getting at least 40 points from their bench, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

CLOSING OUT STRONG: The Nets are 11-3 in January. A win would tie a franchise record for wins in a month with 12 and set a new mark for wins in January.