It's been a long time since the Miami Heat have had a losing record. In fact, for the length of LeBron James' tenure in Miami, there's only been one time they have had a losing record, after an 88-80 opening night loss to the Boston Celtics in October of 2010.
And it was none other than Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett who pushed the Heat back to a losing record again. The Nets beat the Heat 101-100.
The Nets got out to a fast start, taking a double digit lead in the first quarter. With all the offensive weapons that the Nets have, it was their defense that was Miami's problem. The Heat couldn't get into any type of flow early on against them. Miami came back strong in the second quarter bringing the game to a tie at halftime. Wade started to look better, and the Heat found themselves dictating things. The scoring was balanced with James, Wade and Bosh scoring a combined 30 points.
The third quarter was disastrous for the Heat, falling behind by 16 points. Brooklyn moved the ball and Miami struggled to score. They were outscored 31-20 in the quarter, and it forced them to change the rotation. Credit to coach Spoelstra for not sticking to his rotation like a book, he kept LeBron in and brought Wade back to keep them Heat within range to make a run at it.
The fourth quarter saw the Heat play even with Nets for the majority of the quarter leaving a comeback out of range for most of the quarter. The Heat made a flurry at the end, coming within 2 points with 7 seconds to go. Ray Allen missed a free throw that could have cut it to 1, and then Pierce iced the game at the line to go up 4. James then hit a corner three to be within 1 with 4.7 to go. After exchanging free throws, the Nets ran the clock out on an entry pass, and the Nets celebrated the home opener with a victory over the defending champs.
Miami's scoring output was again balance from the entire team, but Brooklyn's was better. It may be early in their experiment with all these All-Stars, but they shared the ball with ease tonight. The Nets played 9 players 19 minutes or more. Pierce and Joe Johnson led the way for Brooklyn who are now 1-1 on the season. The Nets out-rebounded the Heat by 10 and pummeled them with their bench scoring.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wad were steady for the Heat, but not good enough. James finished with 26 points, 7 rebound and 6 assists and Wade contributed 21 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Chris Bosh had 17 points and Mario Chalmers and Ray Allen both contributed 12 each.
The Heat will regroup and play again on Sunday against the Wizards.