The Brooklyn Nets handed the Heat their first Playoff loss of the season behind a barrage of 3-pointers and a defense that baited the Heat into mid-range jumpers that clanked off the rim time and time again. The final score was a dominant 104-90 victory that felt wider than that final margin.
The Nets hit 15 of 25 3-pointers and got good looks from beyond the arc with some breathtaking ball movement. Mirza Teletovic had 12 points on four 3-pointers and Andray Blatche scored 15 points off the bench. The effort from the Nets’ role players was absolutely critical and will remain so if the Nets want to climb back into this series. Joe Johnson’s statement that the Nets role players are better than the Heat’s might very well be true.
The real key to having any chance against Miami is slowing down LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. James dominated the first half of the game and finished with 28 points and 10 free throw attempts. In the second half though, he was content to shoot mid-range jumpers and did not attack the rim as aggressively. That slowed Miami’s offense and made it far too stagnant.
It also did not help that Miami could not force a turnover on Brooklyn. That is how the Heat best generate their offense.
It may take another superhuman shooting performance at home for the Nets to even this series up Monday night.