New Jersey Nets-Miami Heat: Miami's Big Three Overwhelm Nets Again
Their Halloween meeting last Sunday resulted in a 101-78 Heat victory, so at least the Nets were able to improve offensively.
James, Wade and Bosh combined for 73 points, with Wade being the high man at 29. Wade added in 10 rebounds while James dished out nine assists.
Late in the third quarter on a fast-break, Wade connected with James on an alley-oop in which Wade was airborne near the rim before flipping the ball up. James plucked it out of mid-air and slammed it down emphatically, leading to a New Jersey time-out.
The play will surely be on every highlight show tonight and will probably make some appearances all year.
New Jersey's leading scorer was Anthony Morrow with 25. He also grabbed seven rebounds and displayed moves off-dribble he had not shown before. He is normally a spot-up, catch-and-shoot guy, so it was nice to see him make some plays on his own.
Aside from Morrow, it didn't seem that anyone from the Nets came to play.
Derrick Favors had another nice game with 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting and collected five rebounds, but everyone else was less than impressive.
After a dreadful game against Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic, Brook Lopez ended up scoring just 12 points and totaled all of three rebounds.
He started the game 3-of-4 from the field, but went 2-of-12 after that to finish 5-of-16.
Lopez is beginning to appear somewhat soft, not willing to finish strong while shying away from contact near the basket. We've seen guys shed the soft label in the past, so it's not like all is lost for Lopez. He still has enormous potential, but needs to be more aggressive.
Speaking of lacking aggression, Devin Harris finished the night 1-of-4 for six points and had just one assist.
Harris is at his best when he is driving the ball and making plays in, or near, the paint. He had been good at doing just that in the Nets' earlier games, and it's possible that his shoulder injury has led to some hesitancy on his part.
Overall, the Nets did not have a good shooting night at 41 percent. Without Morrow's 10-of-17 performance, the team would have been at 37 percent, as they repeatedly missed open shots, particularly in the first half.
The Nets were out-rebounded 44-41, but had an 11-6 advantage in offensive rebounds. Had they been able to cash in on more of their opportunities, the game could have gone in a different direction.
The Nets also struggled mightily in the third quarter for the second game in a row.
Against Orlando they were outscored 32-16 in that frame and Miami had a 32-17 third quarter advantage.
New Jersey was in both games at the half before being severely outplayed in the third and it is clear that, as of right now, the Nets can hang with elite teams for stretches at a time, but not for entire games.
Miami also attempted 29 free throws compared to New Jersey's 17. The disparity was not nearly as drastic as the Magic's 32-9 free throw attempt advantage, but it was a factor nonetheless.
While no loss is ever a good loss, it was still nice to see the Nets again being competitive against a top-tier team.
Their play improved over their last game against the Heat, which is a good sign.
New Jersey will get two days to mend their wounds before playing a home-and-home against Cleveland on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It is a much more favorable match up for a team that is still trying to figure it all out.
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