The Miami Heat were without starters Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier to start the game. They ended the game without their best player either.
Joe Johnson led the Nets with 32 points, 22 of them set a Heat franchise record for most points by an opposing player in the first quarter. Paul Pierce turned back the clock, if only for one night, with a 23-point performance and was able to make shots down the stretch, though he missed field goals at the end of regulation and the first overtime period that would have won it for the home team. Former Heat project Shaun Livingston had a spectacular game on both ends of the floor. He was instrumental in the final overtime period with two baskets and two blocked shots, including a crucial one on a Norris Cole drive to the hoop. The Nets were playing without starters Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, who is out for the season.
LeBron James did his best to keep up with Johnson and making up for the loss of three starters. Though he poured in 36 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, he struggled with foul trouble (three on the offensive end) and ultimately fouled out at the end of the first overtime when he fouled Livingston while trying to make a move towards the basket. Cole was solid replacing Chalmers and was able to then knock down a midrange jumper to tie the game and force a second overtime. But the team fell apart in the subsequent overtime period, managing just one basket when the game was already decided.
The Name Collection jerseys were a great addition to a memorable game that featured a plethora of big plays, trash talking and a short scuffle between a clearly frustrated LeBron and Nets reserve big man Mirza Teletovic.
Part of LeBron's frustration was due to another weak defensive performance and while Erik Spoelstra experimented with bigger lineups incorporating Chris Bosh, Birdman and Michael Beasley together, it only made the team further disjointed and without much of an offensive flow. LeBron also had little support on offense on a night they needed it most without Wade. Ray Allen again struggled mightily from the field, Bosh only contributed 10 points, and Beasley was unable to provide instant offense off the bench or create scoring opportunities for others.
Many times the Heat's offense was reduced to LeBron dribbling the shot clock down and trying to do too much on his own. While Andrei Kirilenko only scored a single point in the game in 22 minutes off the bench, he was successful in harassing LeBron on defense and drawing two offensive fouls on him.
The Heat's tenth loss of the season also represents their seventh loss to an opponent with a below .500 record this season. They return home before resuming their road trip with a game against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. The team will also visit the White House and meet with the President on Tuesday in recognition of their 2013 NBA Championship.