We weren't sure how many Heat players would even dress for the game against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night. With illness and injuries going around, the it wasn't looking pretty. But the Heat played a great game and won it 95-91 for their second win in Brooklyn this season.
The first half saw the Heat play really good basketball. Surprising, considering the Heat were without Josh McRoberts, Chris Bosh and Danny Granger. Dwyane Wade scored the first ten points for the Heat, and helped pace them to a 33-25 lead at the end of the quarter.
How did the first quarter end? Well, after the 31 minute delay due to a leak in the Barcalys Center ceiling, the remaining 1:47 was played. And then we saw Luol Deng getting away with 5 steps before draining the three at the buzzer.
The second quarter was less efficient for the Heat, but they ran out a 15 point lead that was trimmed to 10 by the half. Contributions from Wade, Shawne Williams, Mario Chalmers and Luol Deng helped the Heat play their best half of basketball in a while. The Heat held the Nets to 40% shooting in the first half.
Typically the third quarter has been trouble time for the Heat. And this was no different for them in this game. Their once 15 point lead was trimmed to two points, but in a show of true pride, the Heat maintained their ten point lead going into the final quarter. Mario Chalmers really helped the Heat with his steals, and ball control in the quarter.
Miami continued its good play with help from others. Shabazz Napier connected from deep a few times and played well. It was almost sad, seeing a Brooklyn team with talent, but they just weren't any good. The Heat maintained a comfortable lead for most of the fourth. The final four minutes were a little tighter, but Wade's clutch shots helped them pull ahead.
The Nets were able to trim it to 2 points with 35 seconds to play. Two free throws from Deng pushed it to 4 with 11.8 seconds to go. Jarrett Jack missed a layup and the Heat capitalized with the win.
It was encouraging to see the fight in the team. If you watched the game, they were engaged, always and were intentional about offense and defense. With the injuries and the sicknesses that have created a cloud over the team, they came out tonight and played hard.
Miami had three players off the bench score in double figures (Williams, Napier and Chalmers). The Heat were able to out-rebound the Nets largely in part to the guards who contributed on the glass: Chalmers - 7, Wade - 6, Napier - 3, Cole - 3. Wade led the Heat with 28 points, Deng added 18 and the Heat improved to 12-13 on the season.
The Heat will host the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.