The New Jersey Nets scored 21 consecutive points in the third
quarter Friday night and beat the short-handed Heat 91-81.
"We had a horrible, horrible third quarter," Miami coach Pat
Wade was sidelined after straining his right wrist in a loss
Wednesday, and O'Neal has sat out the past 23 games with a knee
injury. Also missing was reserve forward James Posey, who served a
one-game suspension for a flagrant foul.
"We're hurting right now," Heat forward Antoine Walker said.
"It's unfortunate. We've got to try to keep our head above
New Jersey snapped a four-game losing streak.
"Winning is always good," guard Jason Kidd said. "It's the
Miami built a 49-46 lead, but during the next 5½ minutes the
Heat went 0-for-4 with eight turnovers, while New Jersey went
10-for-11 to take a 67-49 lead.
"Definitely it was defensive oriented," said the Nets' Vince
Carter, who finished with 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
"We created our offense through easy baskets. That's the style of
basketball we can put on the floor."
The poor stretch by the Heat followed a spirited first half when
they led by as much as six points.
"In the time between the walk to the locker room and the walk
back to the court, I don't know how it happened," center Alonzo
Mourning said. "You'd have to ask some of my teammates."
The Nets' Richard Jefferson scored 22 points, including eight
during their 21-point run. New Jersey scored on five consecutive
possessions, missed a shot, then scored on the next five
possessions, with Kidd's 3-pointer capping the surge.
During the same stretch, Miami committed a turnover on four
possessions in a row.
"We had a lot of mistakes on both ends," Heat forward Dorell
Kidd had 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the Nets,
who had lost both previous games against Miami this season.
Three-pointers by Kidd and Bostjan Nachbar helped New Jersey
maintain a comfortable cushion in the final period.
"It's all about confidence," Carter said. "Guys have been
struggling. We played good basketball tonight, and hopefully that
Wright sparked the Heat's strong start. He finished with 21
points, six blocks and four steals, all career highs.
"If there's a silver lining in this whole thing, it's his
development," Riley said. "He's a bright spot right now for us."
Miami finished with 18 turnovers, including six by Walker. Jason
Kapono, who replaced Wade in the starting lineup, totaled only
The Heat fell to 0-3 this season without Wade, who may also sit
out Saturday's game at Orlando.
"Missing is missing two of the top five players in the
league," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "But you never know how
a game is going to be determined. We needed to find a way to win a
game, and we did."
The Heat fell to 8-8 at home. Last season they went 31-10
en route to the NBA title. ... The Nets improved to 2-14 when fail
to score at least 100 points. ... The Heat are 5-0 on Saturdays
going into the game at Orlando.