Duncan Robinson started the game off with a three-pointer and Bam followed it up with an elbow jumper. Bam’s midrange game is elite. According to Cleaning the Glass, he ranks in the 82nd percentile, shooting 53% from the midrange, an improvement from 38% last season. He lit up the Nets from midrange all quarter long.
Miami’s defense was solid on Brooklyn’s scorers as it kept the Nets 0/5 and caused the generally smiling Steve Nash to stare daggers from the sideline. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving would eventually get Brooklyn back in things, but their offense looked clunky early on. In fact, it took until the 6:38 mark for James Harden to even attempt a shot. A lot of that can be credited to KZ Okpala and his exceptional defense on the Beard.
Amazing defense from the Heat. They double Harden, Robinson is in early on the roll and gets out to Harris, then they double Kyrie. On the weak side as the ball rotates Bam goes to Harris and Dragic goes to KD. Then they absorb the Harris cut which turns into a turnover pic.twitter.com/uIXpFCDRz0— Mo Dakhil (@MoDakhil_NBA) January 26, 2021
Miami’s reserves would keep the offense consistent as it moved the ball well, and kept things relatively turnover-free. The Heat would take a six-point lead into the second
Iguodala would make a steal to start off the second quarter, that through a series of improvisation and a saved ball would eventually lead to some Duncan free throws.
Miami continued its strong defense, with Precious Achiuwa nearly sending blocked shots into the empty bleachers. Still, with so much firepower the Nets would get back within striking distance on a 9-2 run.
Kendrick Nunn continued his solid play carrying Miami’s offense with the reserves. He had some spectacular moves and really showed his confidence slashing to the rim. Gabe Vincent also performed well as the primary ball carrier finding Precious for a spectacular slam dunk.
Gracing your TLs with back to back Precious slams pic.twitter.com/PTR7qM98O9— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 26, 2021
Bam returned to the game and continued his dominance with some big dunks of his own. He had over 15 points in the half as he feasted on DeAndre Jordan’s subpar defense.
Still, even with some great output, Miami’s terrible three-point shooting let the Nets steal the lead, but only momentarily. Goran Dragic would redeem the Heat quickly with multiple scores from deep enough for the Heat to take a 4 point lead into halftime.
Kyrie opened up the third with a three. One thing that’s equally cool and terrifying about this Brooklyn team is that it only takes a few shots for them to heat up. They’d take the lead on an 8-0 run. Miami struggled to guard the paint letting Kyrie in for drives, and letting DeAndre dominate the glass.
The Heat struggled briefly on offense, but Goran’s hot shooting would carry over from the first half. He had five threes at the 7-minute mark of the third. He also looked great driving to the rim really showing some flashes of playoff Goran.
Bam, after going scoreless for much of the quarter erupted towards the end of the third, blocking shots and hustling to the other end for outback dunks. Bam was absolutely phenomenal resembling a prime Kevin Garnett at times.
There was a lot of good from the Heat in this quarter, but it didn’t take much for Brooklyn to hang around. The Heat had opportunities to blow this one open, but Duncan’s surprisingly rough shooting kept things close. Bam hit a buzzer-beater bank shot to add an exclamation point on things headed into the fourth and final quarter.
Andre Iguodala stepped up tonight for the Heat with some fantastic rebounding. He’s not the star he used to be, but he knows how to affect the game in different ways. With Bam on the bench, Miami’s offense stagnated slightly. But as soon as he got back in the game, he kept it (and the Heat) going with an awesome And-1 jumper. He also did an exceptional job drawing fouls (I assume Jimmy has taught him a few tricks).
Bam was really Miami’s only offensive weapon save for a bucket from Kendrick Nunn. That left room for James Harden and Kyrie to step up for Brooklyn and run up their lead to eight. Where the Heat really only had two weapons tonight in Bam and Goran, Brooklyn can casually go to Harden, Durant, and Irving whenever they want. It’s dangerous. The 17-3 run exemplified this.
There was a lot of good from the Heat in this one, but they just didn’t have any juice left towards the end of this one. Miami will be fine as it gets players back for the homestand. But losses like this one still sting.