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Nets 88, Heat 87

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MIAMI — The Brooklyn Nets swept the regular-season series from the Miami Heat, winning 88-87 Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Nets rookie center Mason Plumlee blocked Heat forward LeBron James’ dunk attempt with two seconds left to preserve the win.

Plumlee made a layup with 41 seconds remaining to give the Nets an 88-85 lead. After a dunk by Heat forward Chris Bosh and a miss by Nets forward Joe Johnson, the Heat had a fast break with nine seconds left. Forward Rashard Lewis dished to James, leading to Plumlee’s huge block.

Before leaving for the dressing room, James watched the replay on the giant scoreboard and angrily tapped his right arm, indicating he thought he was fouled.

Johnson led Brooklyn with 19 points.

James had 29 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to lead the Heat, who have beaten every team in the NBA this season except for Brooklyn.

The Nets, who are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, became the first team to beat the Heat four times in the regular season since 2007-08.

Brooklyn (43-34) has been the best team in the East since Jan. 1, compiling a 33-13 record.

Miami (53-24) still leads the Indiana Pacers by a half-game in the battle for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Miami plays the Grizzlies in Memphis on Wednesday before returning home to face Indiana on Friday.

Brooklyn got off to a great start Tuesday, leading 26-14 after the first quarter. The Nets shot 55 percent in the period, thanks to a 12-6 advantage in points in the paint. The Heat, the top-shooting team in the NBA at 50.4 percent, shot just 38.5 percent in the first quarter.

Miami stormed back, winning the second quarter 29-18 and cutting Brooklyn’s halftime lead to 44-43. In the second quarter, Miami outrebounded Brooklyn 11-6, outscored the Nets in paint 14-6 and outshot them from the floor, 58.8 percentage to 42.9 percent.

The Heat surged ahead after three quarters, 65-62. Nets forward Paul Pierce was charged with his fourth foul with 6:09 left and sat out the rest of the quarter. James scored nine points in the quarter and had 22 points heading into the fourth.

For the game, Brooklyn shot 52.9 percent from the field, while Miami hit 47.8 percent of its shots.

NOTES: Nets C Kevin Garnett (back spasms) sat out Tuesday’s game but is set to play Wednesday at Orlando. … Garnett played for the first time in a month Saturday at Philadelphia. While he was out, the Nets went 14-6. … Heat F Udonis Haslem (stomach flu) was not in the building Tuesday. Coach Erik Spoelstra said he hopes Haslem doesn’t have the same bug that recently kept SG Ray Allen out for five games. … Heat SG Dwyane Wade (hamstring) and C Greg Oden (back) missed their seventh consecutive game. … Heat C Chris “Birdman” Andersen (knee, back) returned to the lineup after sitting out one game. … Former Heat C Alonzo Mourning was officially selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday. He is the first player who competed primarily for the Heat to make the Hall. … Allen was in Dallas on Sunday night to watch his alma mater, Connecticut, win the NCAA national title.

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

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