LeBron James scored 22 points and Ray Allen added 19 off the bench as the Heat took Game 1 against the Nets 107-86 Tuesday night. This was the first win for the Heat in five meetings against the Nets this season.
Chris Bosh also scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Dwyane Wade finished with 14 points as the Heat look forward to Game 2 on Thursday night.
This was a tight game through the first half, but the Heat pulled away from the Nets in the third quarter. The Heat went on a 24-9 run during the third quarter and the Nets could never recover. Just like the regular season, I thought this game was going to come down to the closing seconds in the fourth quarter. However, the Heat had something else in mind.
The Nets got nothing from Kevin Garnett who went scoreless and only grabbed four rebounds. While the bench for the Nets didn’t give the starters any help as well. On the other hand, the Heat got much needed scoring from their “others.” Like I mentioned earlier, Allen had 19 points, Chalmers had 12, and Shane Battier chipped in with 8. Battier also was great on the defensive side of the ball too. If the Nets are going to have a chance at winning this series their “others” are going to need to step up.
As I was watching the game, I could tell the Heat were the fresher team. I know the Nets are a considerably older team and they just finished a seven game series against the Toronto Raptors, but I didn’t see the same Nets team that played the Heat in the regular season. The Nets had careless turnovers, which is unacceptable for a veteran team in the playoffs, and I didn’t see the passion to win the game from the Nets. It was only Game 1, but I think the Nets may be overmatched in this series.
Looking ahead to Game 2, the Nets will make some adjustments to get easier looks on offense and they need to better execute their defensive strategy as well. Everything in Game 1 was easy for the Heat. James got all the shots he wanted and he was able to setup his teammates for open shots too. With that being said, I fully expect the Heat to win Game 2. It will be a closer game, but Ray Allen will provide much needed scoring off the bench and the Heat win: 103-95.
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