Nets overpower Heat with 15 threes, trail series 2-1
With his right hand barely back at his side after his foiled shot-block attempt, Dwyane Wade turned and peered at the ball falling through the net.
He wore an exasperated look after Mirza Teletovic hit his latest three-point bomb early in the fourth quarter, continuing the Nets' ridiculously hot second-half shooting display.
The Heat's shoulders began slumping a bit. The Nets' offense was flowing. And for more than a few minutes, all was well in Brooklyn.
Just in time to make it a series, too.
The Nets knocked down 15 three-pointers, a franchise playoff record, and shot 60 percent from outside the arc in a 104-90 victory over Miami in their Eastern Conference semifinal series Saturday night at Barclays Center.
The Heat, which lost for the first time in seven games this postseason, leads the series 2-1. Game 4 is Monday night in Brooklyn.
"We needed a win,'' said Deron Williams, who bounced back after going scoreless in Game 2, contributing nine points and 11 assists. "I don't think the percentages of teams that go down 3-0 are very good. So it was definitely a much-needed win and changes the series.''
Led by Joe Johnson's 19 points, the Nets had six players in double digits. Andray Blatche had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Paul Pierce scored 14 points for the Nets, who shot 52.8 percent from the field, including 15-for-25 on three-pointers.
LeBron James had 28 points for Miami and Wade scored 20.
The Nets made 20 of 33 second-half attempts, including 9 of 14 from beyond the arc. They had 26 assists on their 38 field goals, an example of their impressive offensive flow.
"It's a momentum boost for us,'' Johnson said. "The basket seems as though it's a little bigger. I thought the thing that was great about it was ball movement, us getting into the teeth of the defense, kicking it out for wide-open shots. That was the biggest key, so I think that was what started guys making threes and us going on that run.''
Some nifty shooting after halftime was all the Nets needed to take control. They shot 8-for-11 to begin the third quarter and finished the period 11-for-18.
The crowd really got into it when Blatche tipped in Shaun Livingston's miss, leading to a Miami timeout. Blatche's hustle play came on the heels of Teletovic's smooth-looking corner three-pointer, the result of solid ball movement and a nice swing pass by Johnson.
Teletovic sent the crowd into a frenzy during that third-quarter stretch in which the Nets had the defending champs reeling. Teletovic drained a three-pointer after a mad scramble, watching the loose ball into his hands and scooping it off the floor like a shortstop before swishing one for a 74-61 advantage.
Williams also got into the act late in the quarter, tossing in a three-pointer of his own with 1:13 remaining to punctuate the Nets' 18-5 run and keeping momentum squarely in the Nets' favor heading into the fourth.
"When we went down 2-0, we didn't panic,'' Pierce said. "We knew they would do things right the first two games, so we said no need to panic. We are going to get stuff right that we needed to get right, come home and execute.
"You lose Game 3 and this series is definitely not in your favor. So we've got to play with urgency each and every night. Tonight was the type of urgency that we are going to need for the rest of the series.
"It's easy to have that at home. We've got to to have the same type of urgency when we go on the road.''