Heat Check: Miami clamps down in fourth quarter to hold down Nets

MIAMI — The Miami Heat got what they had expected from the Brooklyn Nets in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series: a tougher test.

And the Heat passed.

LeBron James scored 22 points and Chris Bosh added 18 to lead the Heat to a 94-82 victory on Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Miami holds a 2-0 series lead with Games 3 and 4 scheduled for Saturday and Monday in Brooklyn.

After winning Game 1 by 21 points, Heat players said they expected a more physical effort from the Nets. That proved true through three quarters, after which Miami led 69-67.

The Heat stepped up their defense and used an 8-0 run — including 3-pointers from Mario Chalmers ad Ray Allen — to go ahead 87-77 with 3:50 left in the fourth quarter. The Nets never really threatened after that.

Allen, who had 19 points and four rebounds in Game 1, again played an important role for Miami. The veteran sharpshooter finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.

More from Game 2

Dwyane Wade scored 14 points, 10 in the second half, and had seven assists and seven rebounds. He hit two jumpers early in the fourth quarter to help build a 75-69 lead.

Brooklyn point guard Deron Williams failed to score, missing all nine of his shots. Kevin Garnett, who failed to score in Game 1, finished with four points.

James and Brooklyn’s Mirza Teletovic (20 points) each scored 18 points through the first 36 minutes. Teletovic sank six of eight from 3-point territory.

Miami committed just eight turnovers overall.

THE TURNING POINT

Mario Chalmers and Ray Allen hit consecutive 3-pointers to turn a two-point Miami lead into an 85-77 advantage with 5:09 left.

THE DIFFERNCE MAKER

For the second consecutive game, Ray Allen came off the bench to give the Heat much-needed scoring and rebounding help.

STAT OF THE GAME

Brooklyn was two of 12 from behind the arc in the second half after hitting six of 12 in the first half

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WHAT’S NEXT

The Heat and Nets will play Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series in Brooklyn at 8 p.m. Saturday night.

You can follow Charlie McCarthy on Twitter @mccarthy_chas or email him at mac1763@bellsouth.net.