The visiting Miami Heat built a 30-20 lead after the first quarter and looked comfortable on both sides of the floor early against the Brooklyn Nets. But the home team went on a second quarter run to tie the game at halftime, 49-49.
It was a competitive first half that lived up to the hype in front of a national television audience. But the game was never the same.
The Heat would go on to make one last run in the third quarter, and this time, Brooklyn (27-19) couldn't climb out of it and fell to Miami 105-85 when it was all said and done.
By the time the quarter was over, Miami (29-13) was up 85-63 and entering the final period on cruise control.
LeBron James dropped 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting with his usual stat stuffing to the effect of nine rebounds and seven assists. Dwyane Wade added 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting. The two superstars have made public the shooting efficiency competition they have against each other every game and in this game, they were neck and neck.
The Nets' pair of centers wreaked havoc on the Heat, as Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche combined for 33 points, but the Nets got next to nothing else offensively. As a team, the Nets shot 44.9 percent, including 5-of-17 from 3-point territory, which has often been a problem for Miami's defense.
Miami, on the other hand, shot 52 percent from the floor and made 11-of-19 3-pointers.
Chris Bosh was third on the Heat with 16 points.
* Chris Andersen played a season high 10 minutes and scored in the first half on a steal and finish. The veteran big man played extended time in the second quarter and looked solid defensively.
* Rashard Lewis played 15 minutes to Mike Miller's four, which is evidence of Erik Spoelstra's recent proposition that only one of them would get minutes in the rotation at a time.