The Nets may have dropped seven of their last eight games and could not win a game on the road, but you couldn’t tell Friday night against the Heat.
After going down 18-8 early, the Nets completely turned the switch and went on to blow out Miami, who had won seven of its last 10 games, 111-87.
The star of this one was Caris LeVert, who put up a career game and stat line of 12 points, 11 assists and five rebounds. He had a noticeable control and confidence after nearly missing the game with a hip pointer.
When the Nets pour it on from the field, it helps LeVert’s case. Brooklyn shot 39-of-79 (49.4 percent) from the field and 11-of-26 (42.3 percent) from three to power over Miami’s 30-of-89 (33.7 percent) shooting from the field and 3-of-26 (11.5 percent) from three.
Throughout the game the Nets benefitted from their bench play, finishing with a 55-27 advantage in bench points. Besides LeVert, Joe Harris (career-high 21 points) and Jarrett Allen (career-high-tying 12 points) bolstered Brooklyn’s bench contribution and score.
The Nets ended up with seven players in double-digits to balance out the scoring.
After going down early, Brooklyn answered with an extended 21-2 run after stepping up on defense. The Heat had no answer to the Nets’ bench and adjustments, and Brooklyn outscored Miami 61-40 in the second and third quarters alone.
After being out-played Wednesday night by the Pelicans, Brooklyn’s performance was a big step up. Scoring 111 points and allowing just 87 is up there for most complete performances of the season, probably second to the team’s dominance of the Washington Wizards on Dec. 22.
The Heat ended up with the 27-16 advantage in the fourth quarter, but Brooklyn held as much as a 38-point lead on the night. The statement win brings Brooklyn to a 13-22 record on the season and 6-12 on the road. According to Nets PR, Brooklyn did not record its 13th win last season until March 16, 2017 against the Knicks (the 67th game of the season).
The Nets get one day off before finishing off the 2017 slate against the Celtics on Jan. 31 at 5:30 p.m.
The ball may drop later that evening, but Brooklyn will not to let it drop too soon at gametime as the team will attempt to end the year on a high note.
The stats: 12 PTS, 4-10 FG, 0-1 3FG, 4-4 FT, 5 REB, 11 AST, 2 TOV, 1 STL, 23 MIN
A career night for the sophomore guard, who put up the second double-double of his career. He also put up a career-high in assists while facilitating the offense and brought the highlights all night long.
Ooooo, LeVert with a two-hand dunk on Tyler Johnson. pic.twitter.com/cyE0OwQ3d4
— Michael Grady (@Grady) December 30, 2017
Early on, LeVert looked like he might hit a triple-double. He came five rebounds short, but LeVert has been Brooklyn’s best point guard as of late. He may come off the bench, but he’s had the largest impact.
The stats: 10 PTS, 8-9 FG, 2-2 FT, 8 REB, 1 AST, 3 TOV, 2 STL, 23 MIN
The Hyphen is Mr. Confident and Mr. Reliable. He almost hit a double-double and continues to put in double-digit contributions each night. Nothing fazes him anymore.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) December 30, 2017
He was crafty tonight and brought the highlights. Brooklyn’s youth core is coming to life now more than ever.
The stats: 10 PTS, 3-10 FG, 1-5 3FG, 3-4 FT, 4 REB, 3 AST, 3 TOV, 25 MIN
It’s all about the intangibles for DeMarre Carroll. Not his best shooting night, but he was a mainstay on the court as Brooklyn ran over Miami. The three assists were a good addition to his stat line as well.