Halfway there: Miami tops Nets in Game 2, 94-82
BY TIM REYNOLDS
AP BASKETBALL WRITER
MIAMI (AP) -- LeBron James scored 22 points, Chris Bosh added 18 and the Miami Heat took a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series by beating the Brooklyn Nets 94-82 on Thursday night.
Dwyane Wade had 14 and Ray Allen scored 13 for the Heat, who tied a franchise record with their eighth straight playoff victory.
Mirza Teletovic set a Nets playoff record with six 3-pointers, on his way to a 20-point night off the bench. Shaun Livingston scored 15, Paul Pierce had 13 and Joe Johnson added 13 more for the Nets.
Game 3 is Saturday night in Brooklyn.
It was a two-point game midway through the fourth, but back-to-back 3s by the Heat opened some breathing room. And then a marathon possession for an NBA team - 100 seconds - sealed the deal for Miami.
Teletovic scored with 3:39 left to get Brooklyn within eight. The Nets didn't get the ball back until 1:59 remained, after the Heat got three offensive rebounds to extend the possession and Wade found James for a layup that put the Heat up 89-79.
Just like that, it was over.
Wade had just six points in the game's first 37 minutes, then eight more in the next three, and that helped the Heat hang on to a far-from-comfortable lead.
With Miami up 79-77, Brooklyn's Marcus Thornton missed a 3-pointer with 6:21 left - which, had it gone down, would have had the Heat facing a fourth-quarter deficit for the first time in these playoffs.
But it missed, and maybe coincidentally, the Heat picked that moment to find some separation for the first time all night.
After Thornton's miss, James was in trouble with less than 4 seconds on the shot clock and still found a way to get a bounce pass out to Mario Chalmers in the left corner for a 3-pointer. After a stop on the ensuing Brooklyn trip, Allen hit from the same spot as Chalmers for an 85-77 lead.
Looking for more offense, the Nets found it from perhaps an unlikely source: Teletovic.
He made his first four 3-pointers, needing less than six minutes to do so after checking in for the first time late in the opening quarter. He had 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting from beyond the arc by halftime alone, a boost that Brooklyn definitely needed.
And his shots came at big times. Of Teletovic's five 3s in the first half, three broke ties. His sixth 3 of the game, late in the third, tied the game at 61. Back and forth they kept going, with James just overpowering Livingston in the post late in the period to break the game's 15th tie and put Miami up 69-67 entering the fourth.
Teletovic's impact was maybe a surprise.
Brooklyn's better commitment to defense early was not.
Miami was scoreless for the game's first 3:32, the longest Heat drought to open a home game since Feb. 26, 2005 - 443 contests ago. And that set the tone for some serious offensive struggles in the early going, with the Nets scoring only 21 points in the first quarter and still leading by six when the period was over.
James had only three shots in the game's first 21 minutes, then closed the half on a 4-for-4 flurry and Miami went into the break trailing 46-45.
NOTES: Trying to save a loose ball in the third quarter, James leaped over a row of people sitting along one sideline, then ran about 10 more rows deep into the stands. ... Mason Plumlee had three first-half fouls for the Nets, matching the entire Heat total. Brooklyn didn't take any free throws until the third quarter. ... Miami shot 6 for 18 in the first quarter, 12 for 18 in the second. ... Nets F Kevin Garnett, who went scoreless in Game 1, had four points.