Nets return home in search of a win against Miami
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Brooklyn Nets hope to get back into their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Miami Heat Saturday night when the action shifts to the Barclays Center for Game 3.
The two-time defending champion Heat have marched to a 2-0 series cushion thanks to a pair of double-digit victories over a team that went 4-0 against them during the regular season.
"We need a win. It's a must-win," said Brooklyn guard Deron Williams. "We can't afford to go down 3-0. We need to get both of these at home, starting with Saturday."
No team in NBA history has overcome a 3-0 deficit in a seven-game series.
The Nets obviously won both of the regular-season meetings in Brooklyn, but Miami had taken seven straight as the visitor in this matchup, prior to this season.
The Heat increased their series lead with a 94-82 win in South Beach on Thursday night.
LeBron James had 22 points to lead all scorers, followed by Chris Bosh, who finished with 18 points and six rebounds. Dwyane Wade netted 14 points with seven assists, Ray Allen scored all of his 13 points in the second half and Mario Chalmers was the fifth Heat player in double-figures with 11.
"Teams are trying to figure out ways to be at their best (in the playoffs)," said MVP runner-up James. "We have to continue to work our offense, work our defense, put ourselves in a position to be successful."
Mirza Teletovic tallied a team-high 20 points off the bench for Brooklyn on 6- of-9 shooting from 3-point range. Shaun Livingston contributed 15 points, while Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson added 13 points apiece in the setback.
Kevin Garnett made his first field goal of the series early in the third quarter and finished with four points along with a game-high 12 rebounds for the Nets.
Williams was bad on Thursday. He shot 0-for-9 from the floor and was held scoreless in a playoff game for the first time in his career.
"I thought he had some great looks," Nets coach Jason Kidd said of Williams. "We look for him to bounce back in Game 3. Overall though, I thought he played good."
Brooklyn shot 20-of-40 from the floor in the first half, including 6-for-12 from beyond the arc, to take a slim 46-45 lead into the break.
Miami, however, flipped the switch at halftime and stifled the Nets in second, holding the visitors to 13-of-38 (34.2 percent) shooting from the field and just 2-for-12 (16.7 percent) from 3-point range.
The Heat were just two ahead at the onset of the fourth quarter and even at the midway point of the final frame.
Chalmers and Allen both hit 3s before Bosh's jumper gave the Heat an 87-77 lead. Teletovic's layup at the other end cut the deficit to eight, and Miami countered with a deflating possession that lasted 1:40.
James missed the first three shots of the possession, as Allen, Wade and Bosh corralled each miss, respectively.
Wade then found James, who made it count on his fourth attempt with a layup inside that pushed the margin back to 10 with a tick under two minutes left.
"That was a killer," Johnson said of the possession. "We couldn't come up with the rebound. It was almost as if we didn't have the energy to stay with them down the stretch. Those last few possessions killed us."
Game 4 will be in Brooklyn on Monday night.
05/10 10:22:46 ET