Hola Miami, y adiós Mexico City! The Brooklyn Nets faced off against the Miami Heat in their final game in Mexico City this season. Unfortunately, they could not extend their Mexico City win streak to two, and their international game win streak to five.
Coming off an extraordinary fourth quarter against the Thunder on Thursday, the Nets got off to a hot start against Miami. Allen Crabbe knocked down two consecutive threes in the opening two minutes. The game’s beginning was also marked by playmaking from Spencer Dinwiddie, who dished out five assists in the first quarter.
Still, powered by Justise Winslow and Tyler Johnson, the Heat were able to cut into the Nets’ lead and only trailed by two, 26-24 at the end of the first.
Things started to get intense in the second quarter, as the game still remained close. Jarrett Allen and Bam Adebayo bumped heads at around the nine-minute mark, and the Nets’ rookie was replaced in the game just half a minute later. From there, the two teams were neck-and-neck and played at a ridiculously fast pace.
More chippiness? You bet! Toward the end of the second quarter, Isaiah Whitehead had some words to say to Goran Dragic after fouling Dragic to stop a Heat fast break. At halftime, the Nets held a slim 53-50 advantage.
The third quarter was yet another quarter of runs, with both teams having an answer for one another’s short-lived streaks. After three quarters, Miami was the team with the lead though, 75-72.
That takes us into the beloved crunch time. The Heat continued to pull away to start the fourth, as the Nets had no answer for Dragic and Wayne Ellington. (Except for Caris LeVert’s layup where he really moved like the Road Runner, but yeah, that was essentially all Brooklyn had in that stretch.)
Out of the Nets’ timeout, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson canned a big-time three-pointer. That trimmed the Heat’s lead to 86-79.
Spencer Dinwiddie kept Brooklyn in the game for the final five minutes, hitting three big shots including two triples that got the Nets back within four points. That was as close as they would get though. Miami countered with six straight points, capped off by a dagger slam from James Johnson.
15 PTS, 5-15 FG, 3-9 3FG, 2-2 FT, 3 REB, 9 AST, 4 TOV, 1 STL, 32 MIN
Dishin’ — not so much swishin’ until the fourth quarter — was in Spencer Dinwiddie’s veins. The Nets would have been without nine buckets without his dishin’, though. And, he was really the only person keeping them alive in the fourth quarter. Larga vida al alcalde.
13 PTS, 4-7 FG, 1-1 3FG, 4-5 FT, 5 REB, 1 TOV, 17 MIN
Fresh from the G League and brought to Mexico City, Isaiah Whitehead made the most of his limited minutes. It will be interesting to see where player development in Long Island takes him and how he will perform next season in potentially a full year with Brooklyn.
12 PTS, 4-9 FG, 0-1 3FG, 4-4 FT, 5 AST, 2 STL, 3 TO, 31 MIN
Caris LeVert had a tough task to follow his career night on Thursday, though Saturday was not bad for him, either. Look at that assist total from this point/shooting guard/small forward, whatever title it is.
5 PTS, 2-10 FG, 0-3 3FG, 1-3 FT, 7 REB, 1 TOV, 25 MIN
Not much going on here. It was clearly not Junkyard Dog’s best night, though he still contributed on the glass.