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New Jersey at Miami

Heat now NBA's worst after Jefferson, Nets end road skid

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- Dwyane Wade chatted with fellow Eastern Conference All-Star starter Jason Kidd more than once Friday night, emerging from those discussions with a smile.

"I told him pass me the ball in the All-Star game," Wade said.

Hey, there might not be much else for Miami's star guard to look forward to this season.

Richard Jefferson scored 25 points, Josh Boone added 15 and the New Jersey Nets ended a seven-game road losing streak with a 94-85 victory over the Heat -- now the not-so-proud owners of the league's worst record.

Vince Carter had 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Kidd finished with 11 points and 12 assists for the Nets, who have won two straight following a nine-game losing streak.

"Any time we can pass the ball and knock shots down like we did, we're tough to beat," Kidd said.

So now, less than two years after an NBA championship, the Heat have a new title: NBA's worst team.

Miami's loss, combined with Minnesota's 104-83 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, gave the Timberwolves (10-36) a half-game edge over the Heat (9-36) in the race to occupy the NBA basement.

"Defensively, we were deplorable, with a real lack of focus individually on certain plays, layups or lobs or just things that we walk through on a regular basis that we know how to play and that we have absolutely lost our focus on," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "And those are big baskets."

Wade, who returned after missing Wednesday's loss at Orlando with the flu, finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Alexander Johnson scored 14 points on 6-for-6 shooting, and Mark Blount also finished with 14 for Miami.

And after 18 losses in Miami's last 19 games, frustration isn't merely settling in. It's boiling over.

Wade, upset after not drawing a foul call after getting hit while shooting a jumper midway through the final quarter, grabbed Jefferson to stop the Nets' next possession and argued his case to referee Eric Lewis, to no avail.

"That was a foul," Wade said. "Most of the time, I can let things go all game, but when I think it's blatant I'm going to say something."

Wade then headed to the Miami bench, throwing down a towel. He didn't, however, throw in the towel.

His three-point play with 4:35 left got the Heat within 85-76, but Wade lost the ball on Miami's next possession while trying to split three defenders.

New Jersey got a fast break, Carter got a three-point play, and the Nets weren't in real trouble again.

"It is good to get two wins, regardless of the situation," Jefferson said. "But we still have a long way to go."

Jason Williams finished with 12 points, Ricky Davis scored 11 and Luke Jackson added 10 for the Heat.

New Jersey entered as the NBA's second-lowest scoring team this season, averaging 93.6 points, and wasn't even on that dismal pace in the first half. The Nets shot only 40 percent and managed just 43 points.

Of course, against the worst-scoring team in the league, that was enough for a 12-point lead at the break.

Miami scored only 10 points in the second quarter and 31 points in the first half, both new season lows for a team that's had almost nothing but low points all season.

Kidd made a 3-pointer with 9:46 left in the third to push New Jersey's lead to 49-35, before Miami scored 12 points in the next two minutes to get right back in the game. Davis' two free throws after a clear-path foul cut the Nets' lead to 51-47.

But Miami started sputtering again, made only one field goal over the next three minutes, and New Jersey held a 70-60 lead entering the final quarter. The only third-quarter bright spot for Miami was Johnson, who made all four of his shots while his teammates went 6-for-15.

"We did a really good job with the pick-and-roll defense as a team," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "I thought it was a good team win."

Notes

  • Amid reports that he was on the cusp of being traded to Memphis for Stromile Swift, Jason Collins had six points in 18 minutes for the Nets. Collins may indeed be expendable; New Jersey expects to have center Nenad Krstic, who has played in only 12 games this season because of knee trouble, in uniform at Atlanta on Saturday. "A silent hero in this game was Jason Collins," Frank said, perhaps in a final tribute.
  • With the shot clock running down midway through the second quarter, Wade knocked the ball away from Carter twice before the Nets' guard regained control and airballed a 30-footer. Wade looked at him and grinned.
  • Quote of the day comes from Wade, when asked about O'Neal's Super Bowl commercial for vitaminwater, in which the 7-foot-1, 325-pound center plays a jockey: "Is the horse on him or is he on the horse?"
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Richard Jefferson and the Nets limit Dwyane Wade to 15 as the Nets extend the Heat's misery.  (AP)
Richard Jefferson and the Nets limit Dwyane Wade to 15 as the Nets extend the Heat's misery. (AP)

Scoreboard
New Jersey (20-26) «2320272494
Miami (9-36) 2110292585
NJ:R. Jefferson 25 Pts
NJ:V. Carter 11 Reb
NJ:J. Kidd 12 Ast
MIA:D. Wade 15 Pts
MIA:R. Davis 7 Reb
MIA:D. Wade 6 Ast
Players of the Game
MiamiNew Jersey

D. Wade

V. Carter
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
157614117

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New Jersey
V. Carter, SG425-144-5117114
R. Jefferson, SF3711-192-224225
J. Kidd, PG365-110-0312011
J. Boone, PF276-83-550515
S. Williams, PF221-32-45144
A. Wright, SF252-70-03035
B. Nachbar, SF211-73-47135
J. Collins, C192-52-21036
M. Williams, PG123-52-25109
D. Armstrong, PGDid Not Play
J. Magloire, CDid Not Play
M. Allen, PFDid Not Play
N. Krstic, CDid Not Play
Totals 36-7918-2442262194
 45.6%75.0% 
Miami
J. Williams, PG374-112-212212
D. Wade, SG377-141-176315
M. Blount, C285-94-441414
D. Wright, SF271-55-65237
E. Barron, C171-60-06202
R. Davis, SG383-125-675111
A. Johnson, SF266-62-231214
L. Jackson, SF244-101-150310
C. Quinn, PG70-10-00000
A. Mourning, CDid Not Play
S. O'Neal, CDid Not Play
S. Parker, PGDid Not Play
U. Haslem, PFDid Not Play
D. Cook, SGDid Not Play
J. Anthony, CDid Not Play
Totals 31-7420-2238191885
 41.9%90.9% 
Other Games
Hou 106 Final
Ind 103
Orl 108 Final
Phi 106
LAL 121 Final
Tor 101
Utah 96 Final
Wash 87
LAC 83 Final
Min 104
NO 103 Final
Sac 112
Char 96 Final
GS 127
NY 88 Final
Port 94