It's so good to see Dwyane Wade turn back the clock. With 28 points on 13-17 shooting (including ten in the fourth quarter), he put his team on his back and led the Miami Heat to a third straight win over the Brooklyn Nets 104-98.
But Wade was not the only reason why the Heat beat Brooklyn tonight. Miami also controlled the paint behind Hassan Whiteside's great performance (he scored 20 points with 13 rebounds and 1 block) and despite Chris Bosh's struggles (only 7 points and 7 rebounds). Justise Winslow (11 points, 8 rebounds) and Gerald Green (13 points) deserve their credit too, just like Goran Dragic who finished with 16 points and 5 assists.
Brook Lopez scored 25 points for the Nets and Jarrett Jack added 22. Andrea Bargnani and Wayne Ellington combined for 24 points coming off the bench, but it wasn't enough for a Brooklyn team who looked better than its overall record.
In the first minutes of the game, the Nets dominated the Heat thanks to great ball movement and big contributions from Brook Lopez and Jarrett Jack. On the other side, Miami didn't look as good offensively but Wade kept his team afloat by scoring twelve quick points (including a Stephen Curry type three) and Whiteside was active in the paint. After one quarter, the Heat was down 30-22, which wasn't so bad considering the Nets shot at 58% with no turnover.
In the second, the Heat's bench led by Winslow and Green helped Miami to come back. Both players scored eight points in the first half and the rookie out of Duke even hit two 3-pointers. The Heat also showed better activity on defense and dominated the rebounding battle. Furthermore, Goran Dragic was very agressive and gave Miami's offense a boost. Overall, Erik Spoelstra's team outscored the Nets 33-20 in the second quarter and took a 55-50 lead going into halftime.
Early in the third quarter, the Heat continued to dominate in the paint and increased its lead to double-digit behind great production from Whiteside. Unfortunately, the Nets responded with a 11-3 run thanks to strong defense and good outside shooting. But just like in the first half, Winslow and Green gave Miami a much-needed spark and helped the Heat to take a 84-78 lead with only one quarter remaining.
In the final period, the Heat's offense took more than four minutes to score its first points. In than span, Brooklyn cut the lead to one and had all the momentum in the world. But from that point on, Miami played terrific perimeter defense and Wade took care of the rest on offense. He scored ten points in the fourth quarter, including a huge floater to ice the game with less than a minute to play, and helped his team to win 104-98.
On a three-game winning streak, the Heat will try to stay hot against the Toronto Raptors on Friday at AmericanAirlines Arena.