The Nets went into game 3 down 2-0 and in desperate need of a win. Thanks in large part to connecting on 15 three point shots they were able to get the win on their home court, setting up a chance for to tie the series on Monday night in front of the home crowd after their 104-90 victory. Paul Pierce said that his team was "not afraid of them" in reference to the Heat after game 3 and it certainly showed on a night when they played perhaps their best all around game of the season.
Brooklyn relied heavily on not only the three pointer, but the outside shot in general. They took a total of 47 jumpers. They took 10 open shots throughout the game and connected on 8 of them, and in a testament to how well they moved the ball, an assist was credited on all of them. Deron Williams had a poor shooting night on 3-11 from the field, however he played a team high 40 minutes and had 11 assists as well as multiple other passes that indirectly led to points for the Nets. He played a lot like his coach (Jason Kidd) would in his playing days and it got his team the win. Joe Johnson had 19 points and 6 assists in another strong performance in these playoffs. He has been consistent throughout. Shaun Livingston was solid with 12 points and 5 assists, he also used his length to disrupt the Miami offense on numerous occasions. Kevin Garnett played his role as the leader of the defense and chipped in with 10 points and 6 rebounds. Pierce had 14 points and proved prophetic on his words. Mirza Teletovic had a second straight strong performance off the bench with 4 three pointer en route to 12 points. Andre Blatche had his best game of the playoffs with a double double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.
It appeared that the Heat's "Big 3" were the only players on the Miami roster to get the memo that there was a game on Saturday night. LeBron James was his typical dominant self with 28 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. He would have had many more assists if some of his teammates had made open shots. Dwayne Wade had 20 points on 9-18 from the field. Chris Bosh finished with a dozen. The rest of the Heat team combined for a mere 30 points.
Pierce and Garnett were critical of the lackluster Brooklyn home crowd during the Toronto series. Its unclear whether they got the message or it just because LeBron is in the building, but the Barclay's Center was electric from the opening tip till the final horn in game 3. Miami is too good a team to not find a way to better defend the three point shot. The key to game 4 will be to see how Brooklyn reacts to whatever changes Miami makes. A win in for the Nets in game 4 and Miami will have to face adversity for the first time in these playoffs in game 5.
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