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Truth too much for Heat, Brooklyn knocks off Miami

Mar 13, 2014, 12:11 AM EDT

Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets Getty Images

Brooklyn started to look like a threat this season when they were forced by injry to go small without Brook Lopez, which meant coach Jason Kidd slid Paul Pierce over to the power forward slot. You knew Pierce could score at the four, but the surprise is how much better the Brooklyn defense is with him there.

It works. Well. If you have any questions about it or why they are a playoff threat, look no further than Wednesday night.

Or, maybe we should ask what is wrong with a Heat team that has lost four of five.

The Nets moved to 3-0 against the Heat this season with a dramatic 96-95 win in Miami. Pierce had 29 points on 9-of-12 shooting as he hit 5-of-7 from three and he put the Nets ahead for good with 1:45 left on a driving lay-up that broke a 92-92 tie.

Early on in the game Miami gave Pierce the jump shot, daring him to take threes, but then they started to fall. So the Heat adjusted and closed out, so Pierce went the fake and drew fouls or blew by his make on the dribble. He had 17 points in the third quarter. He was knocking down bank shots. He simply was phenomenal — he should wear that shoulder brace every game.

He wasn’t the only one to surprise — Mirza Teletovic had 17 points plus some really nice defensive possessions against LeBron James. Shaun Livingston had 13 points plus played perfect defense on LeBron on the final possession. Brooklyn did this without Kevin Garnett and on a night Joe Johnson (2-of-10) and Deron Williams (2-of-8) were off their game.

LeBron was improved over some recent outings — 6-of-13 shooting, he got to the free throw line 9 times and finished with 19 points — but he still is not his usual ultra-aggressive self. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade each had 22 points on the night, but the rest of the Heat outside the big three shot a combined 33 percent on the night. Overall Miami continues to settle too much for jumpers in the half court, not getting buckets at the rim.

Nor did they execute with the game on the line.

This is just a March slump for the Heat, they can and have played better than this. The two-time defending champs may feel they can flip the switch, and they could be right about this.

But they are giving other teams in the East confidence. Not the least of all Brooklyn, who clearly would make the Heat work for everything they’d get in a seven game series.

  1. seattlesuperchronic - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    Never heard of Mirza Teletovic before, but I’m a fan after tonight. That dude’s got grande cojones. Step back three in your face!

    That was a fun game to watch, it’s nice to see the talent on the Nets start to show. Hopefully the eastern playoffs won’t be as boring as it did a month ago.

    • apkyletexas - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:49 AM

      Guess we won’t be talking about LeBron taking zero shots in the 4th period tonight? After his 2-point 4th period outing against the Spurs last Thursday? Or his zero point 4th period against the Rockets last Tuesday? These Heat losses have one consistent theme – LeBron is pulling his disappearing act again.

  2. antistratfordian - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:42 AM

    I’ve come to really respect Paul Pierce. He can have this one – no hard feelings. But don’t expect the same results in the playoffs, Truth! 😉

  3. money2long - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    Anti is taking his anger out on Kobe in some other posts.

    • dablakdrphil - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      He really has LMAO!!

  4. campcouch - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    I hope Pierce sticks around for a few more years. pretty cool to see a jersey with “Truth” on it flipping crazy shots in.

    • money2long - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:09 AM

      He threw his headband to the crowd after his post game interview. I wonder what the fans did with it

      • misremembered72 - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:08 AM

        It’s Miami I’m sure the fan who caught it claimed he was always a big Paul Pierce fan

  5. rymurphy617 - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:03 AM

    Nets are showing a fire in thier bellly. If they can avoid the Bulls in the first round they will be trouble. They need to keep this intense effort up but not wear Paul out before the playoffs. The East should be weary of the Nets in May.

  6. seattlesuperchronic - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:18 AM


    I second that. Pierce’s game has aged nicely, very nicely.

  7. kb2408 - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:32 AM

    Mr. Mount Rushmore struggled again, huh? How can a guy that claims that he’s destined to be one of the four greatest players ever keep coming up small? Miami could’ve overtaken Indy by now. Indy loses 4 games in a row….they’re still 2 games up on the Heat. Maybe LBJ is too focused on winning another regular season MVP. We are all witnesses….that LBJ shooting an unheard percentage from the field was an anomaly.

    • fanofthegame79 - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:37 AM

      LeBron has been shooting these percentages for the last 3 seasons. The dude is in a slump in the middle of March – that’s the anomaly. Let’s see how this boils out over the course of the playoffs.

    • eventhorizon04 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:20 AM

      Number of seasons shooting over 47% from the field in a career.

      Kobe Bryant: 0 times in 18 seasons
      Dwyane Wade: 9 times in 11 seasons
      LeBron James: 10 times in 11 seasons
      Michael Jordan: 10 times in 15 seasons

      But by all means, criticize LeBron’s shooting efficiency, while Kobe spends the next 2 years adding to his NBA record number of missed shots.

      • reesesteel23 - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:40 AM

        Thanks you for this! HA Thank you!

      • money2long - Mar 13, 2014 at 10:24 AM

        I’m concerned with a player’s overall game and contributions and legacy and talent. I’m noticing ppl brining up fg% lately. Something that is just a minor blip in the overall measure of a player. Kobe is one of the all time greats. And in my opinion, can have a case made for bein better than all those guys. Which in his career, sports observers have tried to start that discussion. But wait. Let’s look at his fg%. Smh. Sorry. For the record. I can say with certainty, wade will never do anything to be on the level Kobe was. He can’t hold a candle to the mamba. So what about his fg%?

      • dablakdrphil - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        Kobe may have been 0 shooting over 47% in 18 seasons but he has 5 rings and 7 NBA Finals to add to that so who cares about STATS when you’re measured by rings

      • bjswoosh805 - Mar 13, 2014 at 10:09 PM

        Why did Kobe make the discussion and not Pierce? Kobe wasnt even playing in this game, kb24 was talkinng abt james shooting slump last couple games. kobe’s riding his bike somewhere while Pierce was torching the Heat.

    • eventhorizon04 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:22 AM

      Kobe has never shot above 47% from the field in his 18 year career.
      Wade has done it 9 times. LeBron and MJ have both done it 10 times.

      So, go ahead and criticize LeBron’s efficiency before moving onto praise Kobe’s volume shooting. It’s funny.

      • kb2408 - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:13 AM

        Who brought up Kobe? Plus, last time I checked 5 was greater than 2.

  8. divan22 - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:51 AM

    “Heat can’t handle Truth” would’ve been a far more clever title, amirite?

    • eventhorizon04 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:23 AM

      “Heat can’t handle the Truth” would’ve been really good.

  9. eventhorizon04 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:28 AM

    Credit to the Nets.
    Livingston’s emergence at PG along with Pierce flourishing at PF gives them a lot of versatility on defense plus good floor spacing on offense.
    They’ll be a tough competitor in the playoffs if Pierce and KG are both healthy.

  10. cantonbound13 - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:13 AM

    Must be the sleeveless jerseys.

  11. knightrider1755 - Mar 13, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    The Heat put every player in their starting 5 on the Truth and he still scored. Pierce was a one-man wrecking machine.

  12. themagicfanguy - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    Maybe if the Heat had done something other than complain at the refs and flop around for the last five minutes they’d have won, Bosh seemed to be the only one trying to get a bucket instead of a foul call.

  13. coffeeblack95616 - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    Just some proofreading would have made this article better. Are these articles written by high school students?

    • tegan3 - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      I was thinking the editor must have been out sick or gotten fired the whole time I was reading this. If not, he should be.

  14. billtetley53 - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    Hey kb2408(lakerluver) shouldn’t you be composing some ridiculous free agent and trade scenarios, right about now?

    What a buffoon you are. I dislike LeBron and Wade as much as anyone, but I recognize their greatness. Hell, even when I rip on Kobe, I say he’s top 15 all time. You are so wo worried that Kobe , in the annals of history. will be a secondary thought compared to LeBron, that you cut him at every turn. Its pathetic.

    For about the 10th time, North Hollywood, July. Tell me where. You Chicken****!

  15. bballhistorian - Mar 13, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    Paul Pierce always plays his best games when facing LeBron. Its been personal for Pierce since LeBron’s rookie season. Shouldnt come as a surprise.

  16. championmamba - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    that 61 points was all animation..special effects and editing…Dominique Wilkins put the word out and teams have re-scouted Lebron James and when u take close out on him at the 3 point line and close the paint, he’s a 18-20ppg scorer, which is exactly what we have seen this week……that inflated shooting percentage is a result of wide open driving lanes playing w/2 other superstars, and now his assist average is being affected too…..he’s nowhere near Jordan or Kobe Bryant in his prime…..NIQUE one of the great luminaries of this sport called this stuff out…Kevin Durant will be MVP and much deserved…

  17. ravenswhat - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    Ever since bron went for 60 they have been horrible.

  18. billtetley53 - Mar 14, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    He was brought up because kb is a lakers fan with a habit of coming onto heat articles and ripping on James.( something he whines about incessantly when its done on lakers stories)( he also swears that he never does it- kb2408 is a sociopath)
    James is going down as the best player of this era, and kb is prett perturbed about it. Kobe is going to be a footnote.

    The 5>2 argument is invalid. Kobe is done winning rings and LeBron is in his prime.

    Pity poor kb, he hasn’t had a ring worthy team since 2010. His team is 1-12 in its last 3 season ending playoff series’s , was swept out off the 1st round last year, and won’t be a serious contender for a good 3-4 years.
    He’s just lashing out.
    P.S. He’s 40 years old, and he’s stated he’s going to bawl his eyes out when Kobe retires……creepy.

    • championmamba - Mar 14, 2014 at 9:17 AM

      Kobe a footnote?

      the truth is Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, T-Mac, G-Hill, Shaq, A.I., Nash, Melo, and even D-Wade himself said Kobe Bryant was the consensus best basketball player in the NBA over the course of the decade of the 2000’s

      Lebron James took the all time shortcut to winning in league history, teamming up w/2 superstar top 10 players in their prime….all facts

      Kobe Bryant is getting a statue, while Lebron won’t even get his jersey retired in Cleveland

  19. billtetley53 - Mar 14, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Kobe didn’t take a shortcut by refusing to play in Charlotte? Uff. Kobe hasn’t been the best player in the nba since LeBron came along, and I’m not a LeBron fan.

    Yes, he will be a distant second to players from his era. Who cares abot freaking statues? What are you, 12?

    LeBron is only in his age 29 season, Kobe is done. LeBron, is by far the better all around player.

  20. championmamba - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    this guy is bringing up Charlotte when this guy was 17 years old…..truth be told, he actually chose the harder path w/LA than with Charlotte, LA, we already had an all-star shooting guard in Eddie Jones who Kobe played behind for 2 years……if he goes to Charlotte, he starts immediately

    and he and Shaq suffered 3 playoff disappointments before winning their first title together…

    Cleveland was the prohibited favorite to win the title in 2009 and 2010, Lebron’s last 2 years w/the Cavs, 66-16 in 2009 and 61-21 in 2010 and they lost in the playoffs both years, and then he goes to Miami, plays w/2 top 10 players and STILL lost in the finals, where his team in Cleveland could not be blamed for

    Kobe in his absolute prime would torch Lebron…..Lebron is an 18ppg scorer when you close out on him at the 3 point line and take away the driving lanes……this is what Dominique Wilkins and Dennis Rodman have alluded to.

    I don’t trip off of what fans say, I listen to all them players I mentioned and they all said, including Dwayne Wade, that Kobe was the best player in the league over the past decade beginning in 2001……

    Kobe and the Lakers will have the last laugh

    they said Kareem was done at 38 and he commenced to obliterating the Boston Celtics in the 1985 NBA World Championship and won series MVP.

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