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Balanced Heat take Game 1, top Brooklyn 107-86



BY TIM REYNOLDS
AP BASKETBALL WRITER

MIAMI (AP) -- 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 win for Miami in five meetings with Brooklyn this season.

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 win against every team except Brooklyn, losing four times by a total of 12 points.

This one was a different story.

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-seven series is Thursday night.

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. 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.

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.

For Brooklyn, it was a collapse 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.

And 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.

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 consecutive Game 1s since the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the 2012 playoffs.

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about ourPRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

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wayne May 07 2014 at 9:19 AM

The nets are playing it smart. They just had a grueling game seven against the raptors and two days later they are playing a well rested heat on their floor. This was a rest game for the Nets. The series will get better as the games progress.

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5 replies
gotigersthomas May 07 2014 at 1:30 PM

They haven't impressed me yet. Yes swept first round but all close games. If it wasn't for refs they wouldn't have head back to back titles.

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1 reply
no_freedomof_speech gotigersthomas May 07 2014 at 2:02 PM

And people think i am the only one that thinks this.

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johnjon24mar May 07 2014 at 12:20 PM

Heat Solved What ??? They beat a bunch of tried players that just came from a game 7.... Nets rested in the 4th QTR and with a day off tonight They will be ready for game 2...

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checorecords May 07 2014 at 8:56 AM

Good to hear about Heat......but what about the Spurs????? They too won game 1 with an
outstanding high score game. Lebron is terrific but so is Duncan, Ginobli and Parker. So why no mention???????

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3 replies
no_freedomof_speech May 07 2014 at 7:49 AM

No need to even watch. The nba and the refs will give james and his band of thugs another championship. Just like they gave jordon his.

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5 replies
portaltest24 May 07 2014 at 10:18 AM

good, Heat

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portaltest24 May 07 2014 at 10:18 AM

Go for it!

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beverlyamy1 May 07 2014 at 10:43 AM

the heat toyed with them when it didnt count....guess what ? IT COUNTS NOW .

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chuckpullium May 07 2014 at 10:48 AM

At age 70, and having been a BB fan since I fist saw George Mikan, I've come to the realization that LeBron James is the best BB player I've ever seen. The man handles and passes the ball like Pistol Pete, shoots like Sam Jones, plays great defense, rebounds with the best of them, and plays like he has eyes in the back of his head. Jordan was great, but to me, anyway, Jordan didn't see the other 4 players on the court as well as James.

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2 replies
justgreyc chuckpullium May 07 2014 at 12:56 PM

Yes, you are so right, Lebron is by far the best ever.

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Billy chuckpullium May 07 2014 at 4:37 PM

Jordan played the whole floor as well as James and made the same passes James does when he needed to. But Jordan was a shooting guard who played shut down defense on his cover, not a point forward who played closer to the basket increasing his rebounding opportunities. They play different games. Let James be directly responsible for 6 championships like Jordan, who quit and came back, (every other player in any sport who quit and came back in his 30's was a bust, including Jordan on his second comeback) then we can talk.

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Charles May 07 2014 at 10:56 AM

Yo, Melo did you see how many players the HEAT had that scored in double figures? How does that happen, well you ball hogging SOB, it's called teamwork.

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1 reply
jbaer10314 Charles May 07 2014 at 11:26 AM

You apparently have 'Melo confused with Stephon Marbury.

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