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Nets 96, Heat 95

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MIAMI — The Brooklyn Nets remained a perfect 3-0 against the Miami Heat this season, beating the two-time NBA champions 96-95 on Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Both of the earlier Nets wins were in Brooklyn. Wednesday marked the Nets’ first win in Miami since Feb. 1, 2008, breaking a streak of eight straight losses.

Forward Paul Pierce led the Nets with 29 points.

The Heat were led by forwards Chris Bosh (24 points), guard Dwyane Wade (22 points) and LeBron James (19 points).

Bosh made a three-point play with 30 seconds left to cut the Nets’ deficit to 96-95. After Nets guard Deron Williams missed a jumper, Wade grabbed the rebound and called timeout with three seconds left.

Bosh tried an inbounds pass to James in the lane, but Nets guard Shaun Livingston deflected the ball to allow Brooklyn to get the game’s final stop.

Brooklyn (33-20) won for the seventh time in their past eight games.

The Nets have held opponents to less than 100 points in eight straight games, the longest active streak in the NBA. The Nets are 7-1 in those games.

Meanwhile, the Heat (44-18) had its six-game home win streak snapped. The Heat fell two games behind the idle Indiana Pacers in the battle for the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Heat also trail the Pacers by one game in the loss column.

The teams played to a 22-22 tie in the first quarter, which was notable in the sense that James finally got to the foul line after not getting a free throw in the past two games.

Still, James had just three points in the quarter. Bosh had nine to lead all scorers.

The teams were still tied at halftime, 42-42. Bosh (13) and Wade (12) led all scorers at the half, but the Nets got excellent play from their bench, which outscored Miami 23-8. The Nets’ bench also had a better shooting percentage (53 percent to 22 percent).

Meanwhile, James was quiet — only seven points — and the Heat as a team made just 1 of 10 from 3-point range.

Brooklyn finally took a small lead after three quarters, 73-71. Pierce had a huge quarter, making all five of his shots from the floor, including three 3-pointers, and scoring 17 points.

But just as Pierce came alive, so did James, who had 10 points in the quarter and made four of seven shots. Guard Mario Chalmers also helped out the Heat, making three 3-pointers.

NOTES: Nets F Andrei Kirilenko (sprained right ankle) missed his second straight game. … Nets C Kevin Garnett (back injury) missed his seventh straight game. … Nets coach Jason Kidd on the leadership void with Garnett out: “KG’s voice is always dominant. But now, with KG out, (F Paul Pierce) has become the voice of our team.” … When Heat G Dwyane Wade blocked the shot of 6-foot-10 F Drew Gooden of Washington on Monday, it marked the 143rd time in his career that he has rejected someone who is at least six inches taller than his listed height of 6-4. … Looking at the Heat’s remaining schedule, they have five sets of back-to-back games, including four games in four cities in five nights next week. Circled on the calendar are two games: March 26 in Indiana and April 11, when the Pacers visit. … Up next, the Nets have a bit of a break before finishing their two-game road trip Saturday at Washington. … The Heat’s four-game homestand will end this week with Friday’s game vs. Denver and Sunday’s visit from Houston.

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

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