We officially have a series in Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn Nets finally got over the hump against the Miami Heat, taking them down 104-90 in a must win situation.
After the first two games in Florida, it seemed like the Heat were ready to take the broom out of the closet, but Brooklyn finally found their stoke from behind the arc. The Nets shot 60 percent from downtown at a ridiculous 15-25 clip.
The Heat had broken each of the first two games open in the third quarter in Miami, but Brooklyn reversed the trend in Game 3. The Nets won the quarter 26-14, extending a two point half time lead to 14 and going up by as many as 17 during the period.
The home atmosphere invigorated Brooklyn. Six players scored in double figured led by Joe Johnson’s 19. Johnson went 4-4 from three in the first half.
Both Deron Williams and Kevin Garnett returned from whatever premature vacation they had been during the first two games. Garnett posted a solid 10 points and 7 rebounds, while Williams added 9 points and 11 assists. The Nets doubled Miami’s assist total 26 to 13.
The “Big 3” didn’t make the job easy for Brooklyn. Dwyane Wade had 20 points on 50 percent shooting, Chris Bosh chipped in 12 and LeBron was beast as per usual. The King went for 28-8-5 while making some incredible three-point plays after ripping through contact in the first quarter. He had 18 in the first half and the Heat looked like they might sleepwalk to another victory, like they did in games 1 and 2 but the reserves were the difference.
Brooklyn’s bench outscored Miami 40–25. Andray Blatche had 15 points and 10 boards in just 20 minutes, and Mirza Teletovic added to the onslaught from behind the arc by getting all of his 12 points from three-point land. Ray Allen and James Jones led the Heat bench with 9 points a piece, with a majority of Jones’ buckets coming in garbage time. Allen has been the MVP of the series so far or the Heat, but the NBA’s all-time leader in three-pointers made couldn’t put one in from downtown.
Allen did manage to get into a scuffle with Alan Anderson. The two got tangled in the fourth with Anderson throwing a little forearm shove. A double technical was assessed.
Miami has been coasting through the postseason so far and being handed their first loss may finally make the Heat bring their A game. The stakes are rising in Brooklyn and the Heat have their first challenge of the playoffs.