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Bosh hits clutch shots to lead Heat past Nets

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NEW YORK — Chris Bosh could have easily stewed on the bench in frustration after picking up his fifth foul with eight minutes remaining in a close fourth quarter.

Instead, Bosh maintained his focus while sitting for nearly five minutes.

When Bosh returned, he hit a pair of clutch shots that helped the shorthanded Miami Heat close out a 95-83 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night at Barclays Center.

Coming off a 2-for-17 night in a seven-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, Bosh was limited to 28:42 and had 10 points on 3-for-9 shooting when he sat with his fifth foul at the 8:24 mark. Miami held a 78-72 lead when Bosh sat and led by only four (82-78) when the center returned with 3:57 left.

“He was connected throughout the course of the game even through the foul trouble (and) even through the frustration,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I think it was his best game of leadership just in terms of his voice and impact in the game in other ways. It was something that he knew he had to do even better than the Milwaukee game and it was good to see him respond that way.”

Bosh then helped Miami close out the win by starting a game-ending 13-5 run with an open 20-footer from the left wing for an 84-78 edge with 3:15 remaining. Nearly two minutes later, he hit a 3-pointer that gave the Heat a 91-80 and sent many in the crowd headed for the exits.

“It’s always tough going out but those were the things that we kept talking about,” Bosh said. “You have to have good mental focus, be mentally tough. You have to have good concentration. Those are things that we always say. You’ve got to lead by example so I wanted to make sure I stayed locked in the game. It wasn’t necessarily the shots or the rebounds. I was trying to affect the game in some way and play good basketball.”

Bosh wasn’t the only member of Miami to play well, especially in the second half. Point guard Mario Chalmers just missed his season high as he scored 13 of his 22 points in the second half when Miami outscored the Nets, 57-40 and outrebounded Brooklyn by a 22-13 margin.

The Heat snapped a three-game losing streak on a night when guard Dwyane Wade (left hamstring), forwards Luol Deng (right wrist) and Josh McRoberts (left foot) were unavailable. Besides getting the late shots from Bosh and the big night from Chalmers, guard Norris Cole added 12 points while rookie guard Shabazz Napier chipped in a career-high 11 points and first-year forward James Ennis had a career-best 10.

The Nets led by eight early in the second quarter and were outscored 76-56 over the final 33 minutes en route to their fourth straight loss.

“We didn’t bone up or have a backbone when things got tough,” Brooklyn coach Lionel Hollins said. “It’s disappointing when you’re at home and you don’t play with energy for 48 minutes.”

Rookie forward Bojan Bogdanovic tied a career high with 22 points, and reserve guard Jarrett Jack added 15 for the Nets, who shot 11-for-30 from the field in the second half and 16-for-26 from the foul line overall.

Brooklyn point guard Deron Williams had 14 points and seven assists but missed eight consecutive shots before making a late 3-pointer. Forward Joe Johnson was held to six points on 2-of-9 shooting from the floor while center Brook Lopez was held to five points on 2-of-8 shooting and benched for most of the fourth quarter.

“I just think defensively, we are just not getting it done as a whole,” Johnson said. “Us as guards having to rebound, us as guards being the low man on defense and helping. So it’s a lot of things.”

Miami took its first lead on a 3-pointer by Cole with 6:36 left in the third quarter that made it 52-51. The basket triggered a 15-3 run that allowed the Heat to surge ahead and take a 70-64 lead into the fourth after they shot 58 percent in the third.

NOTES: Miami G Dwyane Wade missed a third consecutive game due to a strained left hamstring. Wade did some pregame shooting, and coach Erik Spoelstra said he was encouraged with his progress. … Heat F Josh McRoberts (left foot blister) is close to returning, Spoelstra said. … Miami F Luol Deng didn’t play after having X-rays on a sore wrist before the game. Deng fell on the wrist Sunday during a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. … Brooklyn entered the game averaging 19.1 assists per game, which ranked 26th in the league. The Nets averaged 17 on a winless three-game trip last week, and F Joe Johnson and G Deron Williams talked about the team’s selfish tendencies. … Nets F Andrei Kirilenko was inactive. The Nets picked up his player option in the summer after he missed 37 games last year with a back injury, and so far Kirilenko has played 36 minutes in seven games.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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