MIAMI (AP) — Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter, Mirza Teletovic scored 17 off the bench and the Brooklyn Nets beat Miami for the third time in as many tries this season, topping the Heat 96-95 on Wednesday night.
Shaun Livingston scored 13 points, Andray Blatche added 11 and Deron Williams had eight assists for the Nets, who’ve won seven of their past eight games and are 23-9 since Jan. 1.
Chris Bosh scored 24 points for Miami, giving him 15,003 for his career. Dwyane Wade scored 22, LeBron James finished with 19 and Mario Chalmers scored 14 for the Heat.
The Heat got within one three times down the stretch, and tied it after Wade made a free throw with 2:02 remaining. Brooklyn scored the next four, Miami answered with a three-point play by Bosh with 30.6 seconds left, but never got the lead back.
The Heat had a chance to win with 3.5 seconds left, but never got a shot off after the Nets knocked a pass away.
So for the second time this season, Brooklyn beat Miami by one.
And without Pierce getting hot, it likely wouldn’t have happened.
Pierce was 5 for 5 from the field, 3 for 3 from 3-point range and got fouled on another try from beyond the arc in that third quarter, his biggest-scoring period of the season. Wade fouled him on that 3, then got whistled for a technical, and Chalmers was given another technical for arguing another play later in the quarter.
And in the end, the Heat had little room for that kind of error.
Chalmers made a 3-pointer to get Miami within 84-81 with 6:57 left, but Teletovic — who hadn’t had a double-digit scoring game in exactly a month before Wednesday — answered from several feet beyond the arc on the next Brooklyn possession to restore a six-point lead.
Miami never got the lead back. Pierce had a 3 to make it 90-86, then a drive to snap a 92-all tie with 1:45 remaining.
Miami beat every other team in the league last season, and still could repeat the feat this year. The Heat entered Wednesday having beaten 26 of the 29 opposing clubs, the three holdouts being Houston (who visits Sunday), Memphis (who Miami hasn’t faced yet) — and the Nets, who won the first two meetings against the Heat this season in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn is now 31-1 when leading after three quarters.
It was tied after one quarter, then tied again at the half, and at times in the opening 24 minutes the game wasn’t exactly loaded with plays that will make the teams’ respective highlight reels.
Livingston threw a pair of passes into the crowd, Williams had an alley-oop try that missed its target by several feet, Chalmers lost his dribble once without any real defensive pressure and James had an array of odd first-half moments. He missed four of his first five shots, changed his shoes a few minutes into the game, and had one jumper bounce off the side of the backboard.
In the end, no harm was done either way: It was 42-all at the break.
The Nets were without Kevin Garnett (back) and Andrei Kirilenko (ankle). Garnett is expected to miss at least one more game, while Kirilenko tested his ankle in a morning shootaround practice before the Nets figured he wasn’t ready to play.
NOTES: James took a pair of free throws 3:07 into the game. He didn’t take any in games earlier this week against Chicago and Washington. … The teams left for halftime with the scoreboard showing Brooklyn up 44-42, but referees reviewed a basket by Livingston and waved it off after determining it hadn’t beaten the shot clock. … Johnson had a 22-point first quarter against Miami in January; he had only two first-half points Wednesday. … Brooklyn was staying in Miami overnight, a perk since it doesn’t play again until Saturday in Washington.
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