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Recap: Heat stop Brooklyn 88-84, end losing streak

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Despite a fourth quarter surge by Brooklyn, Miami managed to hold on with strong efforts by Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to finally end their four game losing streak.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

First Quarter

This was the third time the Miami Heat played the Brooklyn Nets this year, but the first time with both Bosh and Wade.

Right off the top it was obvious that the pressure of losing four straight was getting to Miami, who turned the ball over on their first possession. The ugliness seemed to be contagious as they struggled to score, missing their first six buckets.

Wade tried to facilitate early, and in turn set up a great basket for Bosh. Luol Deng was frantic to start, hustling like crazy in order to try and make a difference. Birdman made an conscious effort to guard the rim, where the Heat were dominated last night. But was replaced less than half way through the quarter by Hassan Whiteside, who began his shift by rejecting Jarrett Jack with authority.

Whiteside rejects Jack

Wade found himself at the line (semi-often) and built on his streak of 27 made free throws. He had multiple highlight worthy plays in the first quarter including a beautiful reverse lay-up.

Upon replacements, Miami struggled to find their rhythm and turned the ball over often. It didn't last however, and thanks to a good effort on defense (by Mario Chalmers) things started to translate on the other end. Miami found themselves up by 10 around the 3 minute mark, however Brooklyn battled back with the appearance of Deron Williams and Brook Lopez off of Brooklyn's bench. Mario and Norris Cole, also started to find their range, but it was Hassan Whiteside that stole the show in the first delivering shots, and rebounds while being a major factor on defense.

Second Quarter

The second quarter began with a Brooklyn three, and a notification that Birdman had hurt his thumb, yet he would return later. Miami attempted to continue feeding Whiteside, but a lob by Chalmers was deflected.

The beginning of the quarter, was all Brooklyn, who scored six straight. However, Miami battled back and held control thanks to Hassan Whiteside who was incredible. Whiteside's length is unbelievable, and his improvement is very noticeable. A factor that may go unnoticed is how he changes shots on defense, but it was huge in frustrating Brooklyn (Brooklyn missed 13 of 15 shots headed into the end of the quarter) Wade had trouble scoring (2 of 8 from the field), missing easy layups as well as a missed free throw ruined his streak. That being said he continued to work well as a facilitator, finding Birdman and Bosh for numerous buckets. The Heat went into halftime leading 49-40.

Third Quarter:

The third quarter implosion has been an issue for Miami all year, however despite various slip-ups Miami managed to maintain control. Bosh was tenacious to start, hitting a beautiful shot from the elbow, but seemed to vanish as things progressed.

Wade seemed to get it going from a scoring perspective where he hit multiple buckets utilizing his signature fade away. It was actually Wade who kept Miami alive in a shooting slump, where he finished inside the key with some great looks. Miami struggled on defense in this one allowing Brooklyn multiple buckets from beyond the arc and in turn allowing them to cut into Miami's lead significantly.

Fourth Quarter:

Miami started this quarter with a lot of energy scoring immediately with a Chris Bosh bucket and a Cole pick-six steal and layup. Bosh continued his stellar play, hitting multiple jumpers and contributing with some great passing.Miami's young guns were also effective, with Ennis delivering in setting up some key plays, and Whiteside continuing to dominate on both ends.Wade left his scoring woes behind him, putting the team on his back scoring in bunches and proving that on some shots, impossible is nothing.

Miami was awfully physical on defense, resulting in numerous fouls and allowing Brooklyn room to climb back. As the clock wined down Miami struggled with closing out once again, with a little bit too much hero ball and some ill advised looks. Wade missed a crucial foul shot in the final 40 seconds to go, but redeemed himself later at the line. It was Bosh's free throws that allowed Miami to finally seal the contest, and end the cold sweat of Heat fans everywhere.

The Good

  • The Win: Miami really needed to win this game, and although it wasn't pretty it was a necessary victory for the Heat
  • Chris Bosh: Bosh was fantastic in this one scoring 26 points and grabbing five rebounds.
  • Dwyane Wade: Despite shooting poorly to start, Wade regained his composure as a facilitator and contributed when he was needed in the second half putting together an impressive stat line of 24 points, 2 steals and 7 assists.
  • James Ennis: Ennis was scrappy and his energy was needed tonight. It was interesting to see Spoelstra depend on him in key minutes, and might point towards more minutes in his future.
  • Hassan Whiteside: Whiteside was great managing to tie his season high in the first half, and he wouldn't stop there. Whiteside finished with a double double scoring 11 points, grabbing 10 boards and 5 shots. He also managed to make some beautiful offensive plays.

The Bad

  • Danny Granger: Despite multiple very good scoring games, Granger's shot was short tonight and he shot 1-7 from the field scoring only 3 points. He was however decent on defense, and thus found redemption somewhat.
  • Mario Chalmers: Chalmers had started this game very well, but couldn't continue the trend putting up a forgettable stat-line of 3 points and 1 assist.
  • Turnovers: The Heat struggled in keeping possession of the ball all game, and turned the ball over 14 times. This can't happen in the future if we expect to keep winning.

The Ugly

  • How close this was: While Miami avoided the regular third quarter implosion, they allowed Brooklyn back in the game and almost let them steal the win in the final minutes. This can't happen, and Miami needs to continue searching for a better method to close out games.