Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler reacts during a time out in the final minutes of the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Heat Burn Nets in the Barclays

The Miami Heat took down the Brooklyn Nets 106-93 on Wednesday. 

Brooklyn Burnt in the Second Half

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) set up on the foul line for play to resume during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Something’s cooking in Miami. Coming off an impressive 106-93 road victory over the Brooklyn Nets, the Heat now sit a 3-1. It’s still extremely early in the NBA season, but the Heat are certainly living up to the hype they generated after retooling their roster in the offseason.

Fueled by a 22-8 run and Blake Griffin converting a 3-point play to end the first half, Brooklyn went into halftime up 51-49. Miami would then use a strong 3rd quarter run to enter the 4th up 81-74, before the Heat’s leaders—Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo—led the team’s close out effort.

Despite the loss, Joe Harris made history in Brooklyn. Adding a spark in the 3-game, scoring all of his 15 points off of 3-pointers, Harris became the Nets’ all-time leader in 3-pointers made in the process.

Inside Job

The Heat put in work on the glass as their 62 rebounds are the most the team’s had since 2018. That work inside was the key difference in the matchup. The Heat outrebounded the Nets 62-42 and outscored them 48-34 in the paint. For Brooklyn, the most concerning stat of the night was Miami outscoring them 31-4 on second chance points.

In terms of scoring, the Heat played as a balanced team last night, with five players going for double-digits. Adebayo led the way for the Heat last night, as the center racked up 24 points and 9 rebounds. Butler posted a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds. The Heat’s new point guard Kyle Lowry led the team with 9 assists, while Tyler Herro and Dewayne Dedmon each added 14 points off the bench. 

Bad News in Brooklyn

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) reacts to a referee’s call alongside forward Kevin Durant (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

It’s not necessarily time to hit the panic button in Brooklyn, but Nets fans do have a fair reason to be concerned. Forget the real possibility of Kyrie Irving missing the entire season. Forget their inside defense looking real shaky last night. The 2-3 Nets may have a bigger problem.

Even with Irving out, the Nets should still be an elite team headlined by Kevin Durant and James Harden. Both players were recently named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team. Durant held up his side of the bargain last night, scoring 25 points and posting 11 rebounds. 

James Harden, though, noticeably struggled. The shooting guard did contribute a healthy 7 assists and 7 rebounds. Harden’s calling card is scoring, however, and for the third straight game, he failed to go over 15 points. It’s not for a lack of trying either. Harden only managed 14 points on 12 shots. He attributed his slow start to the season to a lack of pickup games over the summer, due to being in rehab mode coming off injury.

Looking Ahead

Harden said he’ll have to take his time with the process of regaining his form, even though he wants “to rush the process and be back to hooping and killing.” The Nets will hope he goes vintage against the 1-4 Pacers, as Brooklyn hosts Indiana tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.

The Heat will look to extend their win streak to 3, as they play host to the Charlotte Hornets, who are making a buzz in the standings at 4-1. The game will tipoff tomorrow night at FTX Arena at 7:30 p.m.

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