Heat snap losing streak, take care of Nets on the road
NEW YORK (AP) — Surrounded by All-Star talent for so long, Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers teamed with whatever healthy bodies the Miami Heat could find Monday night.
That made this victory even more rewarding.
Chalmers scored 22 points, Bosh ended his shooting slump and added 15 points and nine rebounds, and the Heat snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Brooklyn Nets 95-83.
"I take pride in every win, but especially today," Bosh said. "We had every excuse to just lay to the side, but we have passionate guys. We have great dudes who want to compete every night, and tonight was a prime example."
With Dwyane Wade out for a third straight game due to a strained left hamstring, Chalmers remained in the starting lineup for the second consecutive night and keyed the finishing spurt for the Heat. He converted a three-point play, added another free throw and then set up Bosh for a 3-pointer that turned a four-point lead into a 91-80 advantage with 1:23 left.
"We needed this game tonight," Chalmers said. "After the losing streak we were on, it’s good to get on the road and get a big win like this."
Bosh finished 5 for 11 after shooting 12 for 49 during the losing streak, including 2 for 17 in a loss to Milwaukee on Sunday.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 22 points for the Nets, who came home from an 0-3 road trip and were held to their lowest point total of the season.
"It’s disappointing when you are at home and you don’t play with energy for 48 minutes, you don’t scrap for 48 minutes. It’s disappointing no matter where you do it," coach Lionel Hollins said. "It was disappointing on the road when we didn’t do it for 48 minutes, but there was no reason when we come home."
Jarrett Jack had 15 points and Deron Williams added 14 but shot 4 of 13.
With starter Luol Deng also out with a sprained right wrist, the Heat put Danny Granger in the lineup after he hadn’t played a minute yet during the regular season. He scored four points in 20 minutes.
But Norris Cole had 12, Shabazz Napier 11 and James Ennis 10 as the Heat avoided what would have been their first four-game skid since Feb. 27 to March 8, 2011.
Both teams have changed plenty since Miami’s victory in the Eastern Conference semifinals, with LeBron James leaving Miami, and Paul Pierce and coach Jason Kidd gone from the Nets. The Heat were barely recognizable at one point Monday, playing three rookies together during their 38-point first half.
But Miami surged ahead with an 11-0 run midway through the third and led 70-64 going to the final 12 minutes.
Heat: Miami completed its fourth back-to-back set, with one more scheduled this month. The Heat hadn’t played in five back-to-back sets in November since 2003-04, Wade’s rookie season. … Deng was hurt Sunday when he landed on his wrist. Coach Erik Spoelstra said the forward got treatment all day in hopes of playing.
Nets: Bogdanovic matched his season high and has the two highest-scoring games by a rookie this season. … Kidd will be back at Barclays Center on Wednesday when the Nets host Milwaukee. He led them to a 44-38 record in his lone season, but the Nets arranged a trade with the Bucks to let Kidd out of his contract after he sought more power within the organization.
Spoelstra planned to give Granger a couple more practices to recover from his injured left hamstring before putting the former Indiana forward into a game. "Extreme circumstances call for extreme measures," Spoelstra said. "He’s been medically cleared, he just hasn’t had a lot of full contact opportunities."
SIZZLING TO FIZZLING
The Nets had made 90 percent of their free throws in two straight games, the only NBA team to do that this season. They were just 16 of 26 (61.5 percent) on Monday, with Mason Plumlee missing all five of his attempts.
Heat: Host Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.
Nets: Host Milwaukee on Wednesday.