Heat’s Big Three Overwhelm Nets 101-89
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By Tim Reynolds
MIAMI (AP) – Terrence Williams sent LeBron James into the stands – and into overdrive.
Just like that, a close game turned into a Miami Heat runaway.
Dwyane Wade had 29 points and 10 rebounds, James scored 14 of his 23 points in the third quarter – seven in the last 32 seconds after getting flagrantly fouled by Williams – and the Heat rolled past New Jersey 101-89 on Saturday night for their second easy win over the Nets in a week.
A 25-10 run over the final 7 minutes of the third allowed the Heat to finally take control, sending the Nets to their fourth straight loss.
Wade and James had a few highlight-reel moments. James went behind-the-back, one of his nine assists, to set Wade up for a dunk late in the first half; Wade returned the favor on a lob for a spectacular alley-oop on a 2-on-1 runout in the third quarter, prompting the two to meet in a twisting, side-bumping airborne celebration.
Then Williams really got James flying.
James was coming down the right side of the court in transition when Williams simply drove a shoulder, hockey-style, into the side of the NBA’s two-time reigning MVP. James toppled over the row of courtside photographers and into some of the most expensive seats in the house for an impromptu meet-and-greet with fans.
Williams was called for a flagrant-one foul, James made one of the two ensuing free throws, then a 3-pointer on the extended possession. The next time down, James struck from 3-point range again to close the third quarter and give Miami an 87-68 lead and essentially put away the game.
Chris Bosh scored 21 points for Miami, which started a six-game homestand. The Heat have held all seven opponents under 100 points, and did so again Saturday while shooting 49 percent.
Anthony Morrow scored 25 for the Nets, who got 12 from Brook Lopez – who made three of his first four shots in the game’s opening 2:11, and went 2 for 12 the rest of the way. And Heat fans didn’t forgive Williams, either: He was booed every time he touched the ball the remainder of the evening.
For the seventh game of their season, the Heat were almost implored to take a Game 7 approach.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra – who wasn’t thrilled with the “energy and effort,” two of his favorite buzzwords, in the early going of Miami’s loss at New Orleans on Friday night – wrote the word “desperate” six times on the massive whiteboard that covers one wall of the home locker room.
Miami didn’t exactly respond with that mantra in mind.
New Jersey ran out to a 12-5 lead and led for much of the game’s first 18 minutes, before a three-point play by Wade put the Heat ahead 40-39 with 5:47 left until halftime. Morrow’s jumper early in the third quarter tied the game at 55, but Carlos Arroyo scored on the next Heat possession and Miami wouldn’t trail again.
Eventually, Miami started to click a little bit, too.
With two Nets players in front of him in transition, Wade made a nifty pass to James for a swooping left-handed layup and the foul, the three-point play putting Miami up 62-55. And the other “Big 3″ guy got into the act on the next possession, with James finding Bosh for a dunk that was immediately followed by a long scream under the basket.
Notes: Miami Hurricanes coach Frank Haith was at the game, seated next to Heat president Pat Riley. … It was Wade’s 96th double-double, giving him sole possession of fourth place in Heat history. He had been tied with Tim Hardaway. … Morrow was 4-for-7 from 3-point range, and is 15 made 3’s shy of being eligible to pass Steve Kerr for No. 1 on the league’s all-time accuracy list from beyond the arc. … It was the 900th career game for Heat swingman Jerry Stackhouse.
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