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It was raining threes in Brooklyn as Nets hand Heat first loss of playoffs

May 10, 2014, 11:20 PM EDT

Deron Williams Deron Williams

In a virtual must-win Game 3 at home the big-spending Brooklyn Nets threw out a starting lineup making $68.6 million.

But it was two guys making a combined $4.6 million and coming off the bench that were the spark.

Andray Blatche was attacking inside and had 15 points, shooting 5-of-7 inside 8 feet and keying the Nets in the first half. Mirza Teletovic had nine points in the third quarter (12 for the game) knocking down threes, all the while doing a good job defending LeBron James.

Combine that with the Nets having a hot shooting night from three, hitting 15-of-25 from beyond the arc, and the Nets got the win they needed.

Brooklyn pulled away in the third quarter and cruised to a 104-90 win, handing Miami its first loss of these playoffs. Miami still leads the series 2-1 with Game 4 coming Monday night.

The tale of this game can completely be told from beyond the arc.

Brooklyn not only hit 15-of-25, they were 11-of-18 from above the break. Johnson led the way hitting 5-of-7 on his way to 19 points n the night.

The Heat started out 2-of-2 from three then proceeded to hit 1-of-16 through the heart of the game. Miami hit a few more late to make the numbers look a little better, but in the third quarter the Nets did a much better job of getting back in transition to take away easy buckets, they clogged the paint to take away driving lanes and the Heat did not make them pay with the three ball.

The Nets played with a new energy (call it desperation?) from the opening tip. Early on Deron Williams was pushing the tempo, finding Johnson for a couple threes in transition. Nets attacking more in transition 15-10 early.

Yet they couldn’t pull away early because Miami opened hitting 8-of-11 shots, and because of LeBron James — he had 16 of his 28 points in the first quarter. The Heat put up 30 in the first frame and looked like they could just outscore the Nets. This was a two-point game at the half, the Nets up 51-49 and, like the first two games, it felt like the Heat were just waiting to kick it into another gear.

But from there the Heat just could not knock down shots, even missing a lot of open looks — they had just 14 points on 17 open jumpers, according to Synergy Sports. Teletovic did a good job on LeBron taking away easy driving lanes, turning him into a jump shooter in the second half. LeBron still had 28 points and was the one Heat player looking like he wanted to end the series Saturday night. Dwyane Wade had 20 points but needed 18 shots, Chris Bosh had a dozen points on 11 shots.

Meanwhile the Nets went on a 9-0 third-quarter run to pull away because they had balance. D-Will dished out 10 assists, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett combined for 24, Shaun Livingston was attacking the rim and finished with 12 points.

This felt like a playoff game — it got testy at points. Pierce got called for a flagrant foul for grabbing LeBron James by the shoulders (he made the shot anyway). Ray Allen and Alan Anderson got double-technicals after they got in a little pushing match after being tied it. The series got physical.

It was an impressive outing from the Nets all around, but there remains one question:

Can they repeat that performance?

They shot 52.8 percent as a team and you can expect Miami to bounce back with a new level of energy Monday night. Brooklyn is going to have to stay hot in this series, they are going to need guys coming off the bench with big nights, they are going to need it all.

And they are going to need it Monday night, because they are in trouble if they head back to Miami down 3-1.

  1. antistratfordian - May 10, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Two things about this game:

    1) Expected. It was a must-win game for Brooklyn and if they were going to win any game, it was going to be their first one at home.

    2) You’re not going to beat a team that makes 15 threes. But that’s what you have to do to beat Miami – you have to be hot from deep or you will lose.

    I’d put my money on Miami taking game 4 and closing the series out in 5 in Miami. Why? Because Brooklyn is not that good of a defensive team, and Miami – being the most accurate shooting team in the NBA – is probably not going to shoot so poorly in the next game. And also because Brooklyn is middle of the pack offensively, yet they shot lights out in this game (60% from three) – so don’t expect to see that again in Game 4.

    • kb2408 - May 10, 2014 at 11:35 PM

      You forgot one:
      3) LBJ doesn’t score 16 in the first and 12 the rest of the game while Brooklyn is pulling away.

      • antistratfordian - May 10, 2014 at 11:46 PM

        No, he can still do that. That’s fine.

    • pharohislife - May 10, 2014 at 11:58 PM

      So for all the people yapping about how the Heat hadn’t lost a game in the Playoffs (despite their 1st Rd opponent being an AlJeffersonless Bobcats) And how the Spurs, Clippers, and Thunder all have do you see now that means absolutely nothing.

      Meanwhile the Spurs are blowing the Blazers out every game and being on the verge of sweeping. So to my original point from the other day, the Spurs are looking like the most impressive team thus far.

      • antistratfordian - May 11, 2014 at 12:02 AM

        It doesn’t matter how impressive you look in the 2nd round. The Spurs have looked very impressive in the 2nd round before. It didn’t win them anything.

        It really only matters if you’re the most impressive looking team in the very last game of the season – because that means you’re gettin’ a rang, son!

      • money2long - May 11, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        I like how when I said it matters how u play in the last game of a series u poo poo tht to make the point of how important u “look” in the games before. U always change up ur mentality when u want to make ur point make sense. No consistency whatsoever.

    • money2long - May 11, 2014 at 1:52 AM

      Hahahha anti was camping out for this to be released !
      Look at how long his comment is and when this article got released.
      He barely read this although he’ll say he didn’t need to. But dam. He was def posting up in pbt for this to be written up to write his long comment. He was probably thinking of the perfect thing to say as he was watching the threes rain in BK.

      • antistratfordian - May 11, 2014 at 2:41 AM

        Man, I don’t read the articles here. lol. Who does?

        I take notes while I’m watching the game and after the game I kind of sum up how I feel about it. So my ideas are already written out before PBT posts anything about the game. Most of the time I’m not around when their article first comes up – but today I happened to be so… first.

      • money2long - May 11, 2014 at 3:11 AM

        Shows how worried you are of how people would take this game that you wanted to qualm any joy people got from seein the heat lose.

      • money2long - May 11, 2014 at 3:15 AM

        Funny how u “just happen” to be first on the day they lose.

      • antistratfordian - May 11, 2014 at 3:18 AM

        Just business as usual for me. I was going to post that post whether it was at 11:24 or 12:24 or whenever. But if it did qualm joy then that’s just icing on the cake – so maybe I should do it more often.

    • ProBasketballPundit - May 11, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      Blatche was also a problem for Miami inside. I’d say ball movement/3’s and punishing Miami inside is the formula for beating their defense. And of course packing the paint and forcing jumpers is the way to beat their offense. Brooklyn did all that and got a win, but Miami is too good for them to get it all right again. And no way Blatche repeats his performance again. Miami in 5

      • antistratfordian - May 11, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        I don’t think there is a true way to beat Miami’s offense. They are so used to facing zones and teams that pack the paint on them that I doubt that there’s a more prepared team to face paint packing than they are. They trot out their shooters and normally that takes care of that (they are still the best 3PT shooting team in the playoffs). What you really have to do when you pack the paint is just hope they have an off shooting night.

        But, yes, Brooklyn has to find a way to stay red hot while keeping Miami cold – for at least 3 more games – if they want to have a chance at the upset.

  2. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 10, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    My fault Heat Nation. The wife made plans weeks ago for tonight and I couldn’t get out of it. Didn’t watch on the lucky TV. Didn’t wear the lucky shirt. Had to watch from afar with no sound. I knew this was going to happen.

    Anyway, a game like this happens. I’ll be in place and ready Monday.

    • ranfan12 - May 11, 2014 at 3:22 AM

      lol enjoy the 2-2 monday

    • fanofthegame79 - May 12, 2014 at 7:04 PM

      You have an hour to get your lucky shirt on and your butt in your lucky seat. I’m superstitious like a mofo – sounds like you are too – so get your juju ready.

  3. newyorkball82 - May 10, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    So Brooklyn’s defense had nothing to do with them having a bad night offensively? Your rationale is all about how the heat were in the regular season. This is the playoffs now and things change… Isn’t that what everybody says about the heat. You better hope the nets don’t play like that again, because they made the heat look like an average team tonight.

    • kinggw - May 11, 2014 at 12:08 AM

      Not really, the Heat were getting open shots in the middle of the paint and missing them. They shot 46% which isn’t bad.. The Nets played much better defensively than they had in Miami, but I wouldn’t say that was the reason the Heat had a bad night offensively.

      You can count on the Nets not playing like that again this season. Lets be clear they had a really good third quarter, it wasn’t wire to wire domination. Kevin Garnett won’t shoot 83% again, Joe Johnson won’t shoot 70%, the Nets won’t shoot 60% from behind the arc and Blatche won’t go for 15 and 10 again.

      Tonight was what you call an outlier, not necessarily because the Heat lost, but how they lost. If you think that could happen again, you’re lying to yourself.

    • antistratfordian - May 11, 2014 at 3:15 AM

      No, the Heat are the best overall shooting team in the playoffs too. They’re also the best three point shooting team in the playoffs. Meanwhile, in the playoffs the Nets have been making threes at 32%, which is 13th out of 16 teams, and in this game they shot 60%. Sometimes a team has a game like that, but it’s unreasonable to expect them to duplicate it (applies to both teams).

  4. kb2408 - May 10, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    Had Deron just had an average game, by his career standards, this series would be 2-1 Brooklyn. But I digress. Brooklyn can’t be satisfied with a split at home, they “must” win game 4. Get this series back even and anything can happen.

    • kinggw - May 11, 2014 at 12:12 AM

      And if the Nets didn’t have an amazing third quarter the Heat would be up 3-0. You love playing the what if game.

      • savvybynature - May 11, 2014 at 1:34 AM

        Actually without that amazing 3rd quarter… the Nets still woulda won by two. Sorry.

    • ProBasketballPundit - May 11, 2014 at 1:32 PM

      Deron didn’t have any points because Bosh dominated the paint in Game 2. You can’t just say, “If Deron had an average game…” because there’s no way he could have an average game with Bosh dominating defensively like that.

  5. newyorkball82 - May 10, 2014 at 11:42 PM

    They got out played period. I’m not saying Brooklyn has this series by any means, but if the nets starters gain some confidence and actually score some points then all that stuff you listed gets evened out, because you can’t say Brooklyn’s been playing the best basketball this series.

  6. tmdill18 - May 11, 2014 at 1:10 AM

    This will go 7 games. As Wade begins his post Eason fade and puts it all on Lebron.

  7. dirtyjerseysports - May 11, 2014 at 1:35 AM

    Nothing a little LeWonder tonic cant handle huh?

  8. money2long - May 11, 2014 at 1:57 AM

    Don’t let this game fool any of you. The nets played well. The heat will win the series. Period. The nets may make some games interesting. But they are not ready to oust the defending champs. This was nice of them to get a win to humble some onlookers and show miami’s human side.

    As for the altercation that took place in the game , I was laughing. I know these guys were probably tryna act tough cuz they knew jayz was right behind them. Some people try to look tough to look cool for some people.

    • pharohislife - May 11, 2014 at 2:24 AM

      I highly doubt anybody was thinking about Jay-Z in that moment. In fact you might’ve been the only one.

      • money2long - May 11, 2014 at 3:10 AM

        Then you don’t know Brooklyn.

      • money2long - May 11, 2014 at 3:14 AM

        Not the team. The culture.

      • jimeejohnson - May 11, 2014 at 9:25 AM

        I know Kosher Felafel and Pizza are gut bomb death!

  9. cantonbound13 - May 11, 2014 at 6:37 AM

    KABOOM!!!! Hahaha

    • jimeejohnson - May 11, 2014 at 9:25 AM

      Did your pea brain just explode?

      • cantonbound13 - May 11, 2014 at 10:13 AM

        A real Heat fan would get that comment. A bandwagon fan like yourself is once again clueless.

  10. pacers24 - May 11, 2014 at 6:59 AM

    i guess joey crawford wasnt doing this game

  11. kavika6 - May 11, 2014 at 7:49 AM

    Miami is lucky they don’t have to play a top 10 team until the Finals. Any of the final four teams in the west could take them.

    • naterich21 - May 11, 2014 at 3:55 PM

      Portland would get demolished by the Heat lol

  12. phillyphil005 - May 11, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    Spurs or OKC (most likely OKC) will punish Miami…

    • soflasfinest - May 11, 2014 at 9:14 AM

      You mean the two teams that we beating the last two finals? Ohh, them?

    • the1nonlyk - May 11, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      i say spurs. spurs vs heat rematch! and this time the spurs r bringing it and a ring home. go spurs!

      • jollyjoker2 - May 11, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        this time I hope they don’t bench Tim Duncan at the end of the game defending the three when the rebound is a lot harder to get. They needed 1 freethrow to put Miami away last year in game 6 and it got away.

  13. 25yearindyfan - May 11, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    Miami got a dose of what the Pacers had to deal with in the first round… Threes raining from the sky.

  14. jimeejohnson - May 11, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    Congratulations to the Brooklyn Nets. You earned this victory and a chance to upset the defending champs. And the more you win the worse you make the stinkin’ Knicks look.

  15. jollyjoker2 - May 11, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    spurs / heat.. .should be good championship games.

  16. newyorkball82 - May 11, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Deron had a terrible game because he couldn’t hit a simple jump shot. Blatche over powered bosh last night. To say bosh is a defensive presence is funny.

  17. Great Caesar's Ghost - May 11, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    The Heat are the most boring team in basketball.

    • cwilson6843 - May 12, 2014 at 12:23 AM

      You’re the most boring human on earth. Take a nap

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