The Brooklyn Nets dispatched the shorthanded Miami Heat, who were on the second night of a back-to-back, 112-97 Saturday evening inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Heat were without Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson and Bam Adebayo due to injury. They struggled to find much offensive flow throughout the evening, shooting 43.7 percent and 11-of-34 (32.4 percent) from 3-point range without getting to the free-throw line, hoisting just 13 attempts (10 makes).
Caleb Martin led the Heat with 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting in 31 minutes off the bench. He also hauled in seven rebounds with three assists. Jaime Jaquez had 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting with five rebounds, four assists and one steal.
Their only other double-figure scorers were Josh Richardson and Cole Swider, who got his first extended run this season, finishing with 11 points apiece. Swider knocked down a team-high three triples in 20 minutes.
Nikola Jovic, who was called up from the Sioux Falls Skyforce (G-League affiliate) ahead of Saturday’s game, primarily played as a backup 5. He finished with one point without a made field goal, but had six rebounds and five assists in 17 minutes.
Haywood Highsmith (tailbone/lower back) and Kevin Love (knee) exited Saturday’s game in the second half with separate injuries. Highsmith had eight points and four boards in 15 minutes while Love tallied nine points and 10 rebounds in 17 minutes.
Mikal Bridges finished with a game-high 24 points, in addition to six rebounds and three assists on 8-of-19 shooting. Every other Nets starter finished with double figures, led by Cam Johnson, who started 5-of-5 and had 19 points with 10 rebounds and five assists on 8-of-13 shooting.
Dorian Finney Smith had 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting while Spencer Dinwiddie had a double-double of his own with 14 points and 11 assists.
The Nets, collectively, shot 50 percent (39-78) from the game and 14-of-36 from 3-point range, shooting 38.9 percent from distance. The Nets pierced Miami’s zone in the final three quarters, shooting 53.4 percent and knocking down 10 of their 14 3s over that span.
It was encouraging to see Cain, Jovic and Swider get their (NBA) sea legs under them, as it was to see Martin continue to progress individually since returning from injury. But the Heat were not able to consistently create–or capitalize–on advantages offensively while its backline got punctured defensively.
The Heat now fall to 2-1 against the Nets this season, and 10-7 on the year. Saturday evening marks their first two-game skid since they lost four of five to begin the 2023-24 season. Brooklyn snapped a three-game losing streak and moved to 8-7.
They will cap their five-game road trip against the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday, their final in-season tournament game, hoping to keep their IST Wild Card hopes alive.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.
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