Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Joe Johnson's late free throws proved to be the difference as the Brooklyn Nets handed Miami its second straight defeat with a 101-100 win over the Heat from Barclays Center.
The Nets led comfortably for most of the final period, but consecutive triples from Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers in the final minute capped a 10-0 Miami surge to pull back within two at 96-94.
The Nets shot 5-of-6 from the line in the final 17 seconds, including a pair by Paul Pierce with seven seconds left that spotted Brooklyn a four-point edge. LeBron James hit a corner three on the ensuing Heat possession to make it a one-point game, but Johnson calmly sank two at the other end with 3.7 on the clock.
Leading by three, Kevin Garnett fouled Chris Bosh on the inbounds pass. Bosh made the first and put a lot of arc on the second, hoping to miss and give Miami an opportunity for an offensive rebound. But the ball fell through the hoop, and Brooklyn quickly inbounded and ran out the clock.
Johnson and Pierce netted 19 points apiece to lead the new-look Nets and Brook Lopez had 13 points. Williams added eight points and eight assists while Brooklyn's reserves outscored their counterparts, 36-22.
"It was good that we got a taste of this type of atmosphere this early in the season to try to see where we're at," Pierce said. "Miami, whenever they come into town, they're a measuring stick for everybody, so it was good for us to come out and get the win."
James paced Miami with 26 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Wade hit 10- of-11 from the charity stripe en route to 21 points. Chris Bosh chipped in 17 points. The Heat will look to break out of their mini-slump against Washington on Sunday.
"We've dealt with this before. This story line continues," Wade said of the team's struggles. "At the end of the day, we want to play better. We would love to play better, obviously the start, the first and the third, but we had a chance to win the game. We have to find a way to pull it out."
The Nets jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the opening minutes, prompting a quick Miami timeout. Bosh settled the Heat with a corner three out of the break and the Nets' lead hovered between one and three until late in the period, when Jason Terry came off the bench and hit two triples.
The two-time defending champs responded with a strong second quarter and tied the score heading into the locker rooms. Chalmers' 3-pointer with 1:15 left gave Miami its biggest lead of the contest at 45-42. Alan Anderson answered with a long ball for Brooklyn and the half came to an end with a 47-47 score.
Pierce scored 11 points and handed out three assists in the third quarter to help Brooklyn regain the lead. A set of Pierce free throws with 4:16 in the period pushed the lead to 71-55.
The Nets maintained a double-digit advantage until Chalmers free throws with under five minutes left in the contest brought Miami to within eight. Two timely threes from Johnson provided the Nets a cushion before Miami went on a run to make it interesting.
New head coach Jason Kidd will return to the Nets' bench for their clash with Orlando on Sunday. Kidd missed the first two games of the season while serving a suspension for a DUI incident ... Brooklyn edged the Heat in rebounds, 40-30 ... Chalmers and Ray Allen scored 12 points apiece.