Culture of Hoops

LeBron James goes for 49 as Miami Heat top Brooklyn Nets

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

What exactly did Jay Z say to Solange in that elevator? He must have paraphrased Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson. Something along the lines of, “Outside of Beyonce and I, you’re the most talented person in this family.” Not nice, but true.

As Hov and Bey watched the Nets fall to the Miami Heat 102-96 in Barclays Center last night, it was clear that superior talent doesn’t just matter in the music world, but on the basketball court as well. One King is better than any number of pawns.

While Brooklyn went hard, LeBron James went harder. James dropped 49 points while chatting up Spike Lee, Denzel Washington, and the aforementioned King and Queen of Hip Hop. He could’ve had 50, which would have been a playoff career high, if not for a missed free throw with 1.1 seconds left on the clock.

James’ 49 points are more than double the series high of any Brooklyn player.

LeBron carried the Heat the entire game. James had 25 in the first half and at one point in the third quarter he scored 13 consecutive points for Miami. Dwyane Wade had a quiet 15 points and almost gave Brooklyn the game with some sloppy cross-court passes in the fourth. Chris Bosh chipped in 12, including a big three from the corner with a minute remaining. The Nets trapped James in the paint, he passed out of the the double-team to Mario Chalmers, who found Bosh for the dagger.

Despite James’ dominance the Nets fought valiantly throughout the game, never falling into a particularly deep hole like they did during the first two games of the series. Brooklyn went into the half down 7 and managed to chip away at the lead throughout the third. In the fourth quarter, the Nets finally took the lead on a Pierce dunk in the lane.

But unlike their victory in Game 3, Brooklyn had trouble knocking down shots from behind the arc. They managed to stay in the game by getting second-chance points off their 14 offensive boards. The Nets went only 5-of-22 from distance. Bosnian bomber Mirza Teletovic didn’t knock down any off the bench.

Ultimately, James and the Heat’s consistency is what proved to be the difference. In the waning minutes, the Nets went away from moving the ball early in the shot clock to stagnant standstill jump shots. Iso Joe led the Nets with 18 points but his poor shot selection down the stretch gave Miami too many chances to close the game.

The Heat are looking for the gentleman’s sweep on Wednesday at Miami. Unless Brooklyn can execute down the stretch they may have played their last home game of the season.

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