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Full-power Nets blast the heat for a decisive victory

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MIAMI — The model of the Nets their followers are hoping to see seem within the playoffs appeared on Saturday night time.

The protection was sturdy, however nonetheless stifling; the fast break was fueled by turnovers. And the outcome was a powerful 110-95 rout of the Jap Convention-leading Warmth in entrance of a sold-out crowd of 19,600 — together with Nets proprietor Joe Tsai — at FTX Enviornment.

Kevin Durant had 23 factors and three steals. Seth Curry got here again from an ankle harm to attain 17 factors. Kyrie Irving — now capable of play at dwelling after New York’s personal sector vaccination mandates had been waived — had 11 factors and 6 assists. The Nets led as much as 37 factors earlier than the starters pulled out of the fourth quarter.

“You possibly can see the power and the dedication,” coach Steve Nash stated. “It’s nice to have the ability to flip protection into assault. We could be punitive in transition, however actually it’s nearly getting saves. That’s the #1 factor.”

The Nets had 15 interceptions, and by the point the starters sat down late within the third quarter, they’d a 34-8 benefit in factors on turnovers. With the Nets forward 96-68, the starters had been clearly not wanted within the fourth.

Kyrie Irving (left) and Seth Curry have fun the Nets’ 110-95 win over the Warmth.
NBAE by way of Getty Photos

The eighth-placed Nets (39-35) stayed three video games behind the No. 6 Raptors and grabbed two of the fast-fading Cavaliers. Passing the Raptors is crucial as Irving wouldn’t be eligible for a qualifier in Toronto.

The Nets additionally eradicated a sport from the No. 9 Hornets, whom they’ll host on Sunday in Irving’s dwelling opener this season.

“It was a playoff sort sport for us. We’re on this frame of mind the place each sport counts; we play each sport with a way of urgency,” stated Andre Drummond, who had 13 factors, 11 rebounds and a fast steal and dunk.

After falling 15-7 to a 3-point PJ Tucker, the Nets closed the primary quarter on a 20-10 run.

Then they opened it with a 40-21 second quarter, taking a 67-46 halftime lead.

Kevin Durant, who scored a game-high 23 points, goes up for a layup in the Nets' win.
Kevin Durant, who scored a game-high 23 factors, goes up for a layup within the Nets’ win.
Getty Photos

With the Nets main 80-55 and simply over seven minutes remaining within the third, Drummond skipped a cross go, ran uphill – flashing the peace signal of pursuing Tyler Herro – and threw a breakaway dunk.

“I don’t know what made me do that. … It simply occurred,” Drummond stated with a shrug.

“It was actually hilarious within the second,” Durant added.

That cushion grew to 94-57, Miami’s greatest deficit of the season, on a 3-point Curry late within the third.

“We went down 15-7 early, however we weathered the storm,” Durant stated. “We took their punch and had been capable of proceed.”

  • Goran Dragic has returned from a knee harm. He acquired a video tribute after taking part in in Miami from 2014-21.
  • Nash stated LaMarcus Aldridge (hip) ought to return this week, presumably Sunday.
  • Ben Simmons hasn’t been cleared for one-on-zero but, however YES reported that after experiencing ache not solely in his again but additionally in his legs, the leg ache has now dissipated.
  • Miami coach Erik Spoelstra missed the sport because of a medical process for one among his sons.

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