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Brooklyn at Miami

Balanced Heat pull away from Nets in series opener

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- Turns out, the Miami Heat can beat the Brooklyn Nets.

And rest hardly led to rust for the two-time defending NBA champions.

LeBron James scored 22 points, Ray Allen added 19 and the Heat stayed perfect in this postseason by beating the Nets 107-86 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series. It was the first victory for Miami in five meetings with Brooklyn this season.

"It's one," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "But I liked the energy, the activity."

Chris Bosh scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Dwyane Wade finished with 14 points and Mario Chalmers had 12 for Miami, which recorded at least one regular-season victory against every team except Brooklyn, losing four times by a total of 12 points.

This one was a different story. A 24-9 run in the third quarter blew things open for the Heat, who hadn't played in eight days after sweeping Charlotte in the opening round.

"It was great that we were able to come out the way we did after being off eight days," James said. "We got a lot of work in. We had eight days off of not playing a basketball game but Spo got us in the gym. [We] got each other in the gym. We made each other accountable throughout the layoff and it proved tonight."

Deron Williams and Joe Johnson scored 17 points each for the Nets, who got only eight from Paul Pierce and no points from Kevin Garnett in 16 minutes.

Game 2 of the best-of-7 series will be Thursday night.

"This is the defending champs," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "It's always going to be at a high level and we've got to find a way to match it."

James finished 10 for 15 from the field and Allen -- who had never faced his former Boston "Big 3" compatriots Pierce and Garnett in the playoffs -- was 4 of 7 from 3-point land.

"He was focused on the job at hand," James said.

Miami's lead was 55-52 early in the third quarter after a 3-pointer by Williams, and every indication was that the Heat and Nets -- who played three one-point games and a double-overtime affair in the regular season -- were heading down to the wire again.

Not quite.

The Heat took off on the 24-9 run over a 7-minute span, with Bosh scoring the first seven points of that burst to get Miami going. Allen's 3-pointer pushed the lead to 14, James and Chris Andersen (who left in the fourth with a right knee contusion) added two free throws apiece and just like that Miami's lead was up to 79-61.

"It's fun when you win the game and you can at least for a night do whatever it is you do, have some dinner, chill at home and exhale a little bit," Bosh said. "When you lose, you can't sleep, your stomach hurts and it's not a very good situation."

For Brooklyn, the trouble came at an unexpected time. The Nets had the best third-quarter scoring differential in the East after Jan. 1, but were outscored 33-23 in that pivotal quarter in Game 1.

It was a hectic news day long before Heat-Nets, with Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant being announced as the league's MVP, the firing of Golden State coach Mark Jackson and the NBA saying that Los Angeles Clippers president Andy Roeser would be taking an indefinite leave as part of the fallout related to the Donald Sterling scandal.

James' two-year reign as MVP lasted 198 games.

"We have a new MVP, but when you talk about the best players in the world, he's 1A, 1B with Durant," Kidd said.

Pregame lineup moves by both clubs lent more intrigue. Miami brought Shane Battier -- who played 2 minutes, total, in the first round against Charlotte -- back into the starting five, while Brooklyn reinserted Shaun Livingston into its lineup after using him off the bench late in the Toronto series.

After never leading by more than seven points against Brooklyn in the regular season, the Heat led by 11 after a drive by James with 3:32 left in the first half. But the Nets closed on a 14-6 run, and Williams' first beat-the-clock 3-pointer of the game sent Brooklyn into halftime down 46-43.

Williams did it again in the third, but that one only got Brooklyn within 79-66.

"It came down to defense tonight," Williams said. "Our defensive game plan was not executed at all."

Notes

The Heat held a pregame moment of silence for Hall of Famer Jack Ramsay, who died last week at the age of 89. ... David Beckham, who will be bringing an MLS team to Miami, sat next to the Heat bench. ... Livingston was on the court to warm up for the second half with about 10 minutes left in the intermission. Small problem: The rack of basketballs wasn't on the court yet. ... The Nets are 1-9 all-time against Miami in playoff games. ... Miami had not won back-to-back Game 1s since the second and third rounds of the 2012 playoffs.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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LeBron James soars for an easy layup past Kevin Garnett, who goes scoreless in a playoff game for the first time.  (USATSI)
LeBron James soars for an easy layup past Kevin Garnett, who goes scoreless in a playoff game for the first time. (USATSI)

Scoreboard
Brooklyn (0-1)2023232086
Miami (1-0) «22243328107
BKN:J. Johnson 17 Pts
BKN:P. Pierce 6 Reb
BKN:S. Livingston 3 Ast
MIA:L. James 22 Pts
MIA:C. Bosh 11 Reb
MIA:D. Wade 5 Ast
Players of the Game
BrooklynMiami

Deron Williams

LeBron James
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
17332253
Brooklyn
S. Livingston, PG334-91-20309
J. Johnson, SG327-110-042217
D. Williams, PG307-100-033017
P. Pierce, SF293-80-06028
K. Garnett, PF160-20-04020
M. Thornton, SG215-90-010111
A. Anderson, SF192-72-32136
M. Teletovic, PF192-50-22015
M. Plumlee, PF141-30-03032
A. Kirilenko, SF131-23-42135
A. Blatche, C121-42-24114
J. Gutierrez, PG20-02-41002
J. Collins, CDid Not Play
B. Lopez, CDid Not Play
M. Teague, PGDid Not Play
Totals 33-7010-1732111886
 47.1%58.8% 
Miami
L. James, SF3610-152-253222
D. Wade, SG337-130-045214
C. Bosh, PF315-114-5113115
M. Chalmers, PG285-92-212212
S. Battier, SF263-50-01228
R. Allen, SG266-103-343219
N. Cole, PG222-30-02126
C. Andersen, PF162-33-44017
R. Lewis, PF120-20-01110
J. Jones, SF20-10-00100
U. Haslem, PF21-10-03012
M. Beasley, PF21-10-01112
T. Douglas, PG20-00-00000
G. Oden, CDid Not Play
J. Hamilton, CDid Not Play
Totals 42-7414-16372217107
 56.8%87.5% 
Other Games
Port 92 Final
SA 116