Norris Cole defends Deron Williams. - US PRESSWIRE
The Heat turned up the intensity on defense in the second half to defeat a very good Brooklyn Nets team. Dwyane Wade scored a season-high 34, but Chris Bosh struggled mightily and sat on the bench in the final moments.
The Miami Heat faced a tough test Saturday night, playing against an 11-4 Brooklyn Nets team that defeated the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers. The Heat played sloppily out of the gate and gave up 59 points by halftime, but played with sharper defense in the third to take the lead. On Dwyane Wade's back, Miami pulled away in the fourth to win 102-89 and improve to 12-3 on the season.
This win stands as the Heat's most impressive victory thus far. Yes, Miami beat Brooklyn by 30, but that was early into the season, before the Nets had beaten two teams that blew out the Heat. Miami played great defense in the second half, giving up only 32 Brooklyn points in the third and fourth quarters.
From last year's playoffs, people have chided Wade for hitting a perceived decline. He hasn't played well to start the season, but scored a season-high 34 points on 14-of-20 shooting from the field. Far from showing signs of decreased athleticism, Wade easily took players off the dribble and rose high for some spectacular dunks.
LeBron James added 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists, but Chris Bosh struggled mightily. The Heat's 6-foot-11 center shot 2-for-7 and grabbed only two rebounds in 30 minutes. Erik Spoelstra benched Bosh in favor of Udonis Haslem to close the game.
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