The Brooklyn Nets looked like they were in bad shape as LeBron James scored 16 first-quarter points as the Miami Heat continued their hot shooting from the first two games on South Beach.
The Nets then held the star forward to just two made baskets over the final three quarters. Add to that Brooklyn’s 60 percent clip from behind the arc and a balanced scoring effort, the Nets find themselves in position to tie the series at home on Monday night.
Joe Johnson led the team with 19 points as six Nets players were in double figures for scoring. Andray Blatche contributed a pair of career playoff-highs with 15 points and 10 rebounds, Paul Pierce shot 50 percent from the field for 14 points.
Kevin Garnett, Shaun Livingston and Mirza Teletovic all had 10 or more points as the Nets shot 53 percent from the field and hit a stunning 15 of their 25 three-point attempts, the real difference in this game.
Deron Williams has struggled throughout this series, posting a zero-point Game 2. He scored just 9 points in Game 3 but did add 11 assists as Brooklyn’s crisp offense kept them one pass ahead of Miami’s stifling defense.
The Nets held Miami to just 33 points over the second and third quarters, using an 18-7 run at the end of the third to lead 77-63 heading into the final frame.
Mirza Teletovic knocked down another three for an 80-63 lead and the game was all but over as a contest.
The win allows the Nets to avoid falling down 3-0 in the series, a deficit no team in NBA history has recovered from.
Joe Johnson: 19 points, 7-10 FGS, 5-7 3 FGS
Andray Blatche: 15 points, 5-10 FGS, 10 rebounds
Paul Pierce: 14 points, 5-10 FGS, 2-3 3 FGS
LeBron James: 28 points, 8-15 FGS, 8 rebounds
Dwyane Wade: 20 points, 9-18 FGS
Chris Bosh: 12 points, 5-11 FGS, 5 rebounds
Game 3 @BKN: Monday, May 12th. Tip: 8pm ET