NBA

Heat hope for commanding lead over Nets in Game 2

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The Sports Network
5/8/2014 9:55:51 AM
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The Miami Heat will try to remain undefeated in this postseason Thursday night when they host the Brooklyn Nets for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Heat, the two-time defending NBA champion, swept the Charlotte Bobcats in round one, then knocked off the Nets, who went 4-0 against Miami during the regular season, 107-86, Tuesday.

Dating back to Game 6 of the 2013 Finals, the Heat have won seven straight playoff games, which is one shy of tying the franchise record, which has been done twice.

The Heat led by three points at the half Tuesday, but pulled away in the third quarter after outscoring the Nets 33-23 and shooting 70.6 percent (12-of-17) from the floor. They took a 13-point advantage into the fourth, where Miami cruised to victory.

LeBron James had 22 points and five rebounds, followed by Chris Bosh, who posted 15 points and 11 rebounds. Ray Allen knocked down four 3-pointers off the bench and finished with 19 points for the Heat.

Dwyane Wade had 14 points and Mario Chalmers added 12.

The Heat shot 56.8 percent from the floor and only committed 10 turnovers. Their precision was impressive considering Miami hadn't played since last Monday after their sweep of the Bobcats.

"I was concerned just a little bit about our rhythm and our flow because we were off eight days as far as playing a game," James said after practice on Wednesday. "When we got there, it was like we never missed a beat. That's a great sign for us."

Joe Johnson and Deron Williams netted 17 points apiece to lead the Nets, while Kevin Garnett went scoreless for the first time in his playoff career.

"We need to attack them more than we did tonight," Garnett said.

Marcus Thornton was the only other Brooklyn player in double figures with 11 for the second unit.

The Nets advanced to the East semis after barely hanging on to beat the Toronto Raptors in a Game 7 at Air Canada Centre when Paul Pierce blocked Kyle Lowry's floater right before the buzzer.

With the season sweep fresh in their minds, the Nets felt some degree of confidence and played with the Heat for the first half.

Miami extended its halftime advantage with a 15-2 run during the middle stages of the third quarter. Bosh put in the first seven points of the surge, which included a triple and a three-point play from the Miami center, and Chalmers capped it with a layup for a 70-54 spread.

The Heat built a margin as high 23 points down the stretch.

"We know a lot of the things we did wrong defensively," Williams said after practice on Wednesday. "We made a lot of mistakes in our defensive gameplan. The focus going forward is keeping them out of the lane, keeping them from getting so many layups, so many easy baskets. When they do that, they get a lot of confidence and then they start hitting shots from everywhere."

This is the third meeting between the two in the postseason and Miami has won the first two series.

Game 3 of the series will be Saturday night when the action shifts to Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

LeBron James (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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