Nets deny Heat a clincher with tight win in OT
MIAMI — Caris Levert scored with about a half-minute left in overtime to put Brooklyn up for good, Dwyane Wade missed on a play where he thought he got fouled at the buzzer and the Nets beat the Miami Heat 110-109 on Saturday night.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson finished with 20 points for the Nets, who denied Miami a chance to clinch a playoff spot. Levert finished with 19 and Brooklyn put seven players in double figures for the second straight game — the first time the Nets have done that in 29 years.
Brooklyn’s six-game overtime losing streak ended, and the Nets went 3-1 against the Heat this season.
James Johnson and Goran Dragic each scored 18 for Miami, which got 16 from Kelly Olynyk and 14 from Hassan Whiteside. Wade and Josh Richardson each had 13 for the Heat, whose magic number for clinching remained one.
Wade found Johnson for a layup with 41.1 seconds left to put Miami up one, and that was followed by the Levert score that became the one that mattered most.
Miami came out flying, taking a quick 30-16 lead when Wade hit a 3-pointer. The lead was still 11 early in the second, and it looked like a bit of comeuppance — clinching a spot against a Nets team that offered no resistance in Game 82 at Chicago last season, a Bulls win that eliminated the Heat from the postseason — was on the way.
Brooklyn trailed by only seven at the half, and took its first lead since 7-5 when Dinwiddie’s 3-pointer midway through the third put the Nets up 62-61. The lead eventually grew to nine midway through the fourth, and Miami’s frustration was on full display.
Wade thought he got fouled when he missed a spinning layup, slapped the basket stanchion and drew a technical.
It seemed to be a spark.
Johnson had 12 of his points in the fourth, including a pair of three-point plays 24 seconds apart. Wade put the Heat ahead with a drive with about a minute remaining, Hollis-Jefferson got a three-point play to put the Nets on top again, and Wade tied it with a pair of free throws.
Brooklyn missed two shots on its last possession of regulation, Dragic missed for Miami at the buzzer, and to overtime they went.
Nets: D’Angelo Russell started for Brooklyn, played the first 6½ minutes, missed all five of his shots while turning the ball over twice and never saw the floor again. … Brooklyn has had a great year against the Southeast Division. The Nets are 12-6 against Miami’s division — and 13-45 against the other five divisions, including 1-13 against their Atlantic rivals.
Heat: Miami remains one win shy of clinching its 18th winning record in Pat Riley’s 23 seasons with the organization. Only San Antonio has more winning seasons (22) in that 23-year stretch. … The Heat have scored at least 90 points in 26 consecutive games, tying the third-best streak in team history. They’ve done it in 37 straight games on two other occasions.
The Heat finished March averaging 111.7 points for the month — the best for any full month in team history.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he can see, and respects, how the Nets are trying to create a winning culture. Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson took that as high praise — knowing “culture” is a very significant word to the Heat. “From Erik to Pat Riley, they’ve been doing it for a long time. They’re a team that we imitate,” Atkinson said.
Nets: Host Detroit on Sunday.
Heat: Visit Atlanta on Tuesday.