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NBA -- Miami hold off Nets rally, 88-84, halts four-game losing skid


PhilBoxing.com


MIAMI- Chris Bosh called it a must-win game. With the Indiana Pacers slowly creeping behind the 8th seeded Heat, Bosh's statement sure looked accurate and the team showed up in front of a season-high 20,181 fans at American Airlines Arena and played like it was.

Bosh and fellow All-star Dwayne Wade combined for 51 of Miami's 88 points to overcome a late rally by the Brooklyn Nets, 88-84.

"A must-win," said Bosh, whose team lost to Houston the night before. "It didn't matter who we played."

Despite being outscored 40-28 inside the paint, Miami was never behind throughout the ballgame and even led as much as 11 points with 10:07 left in third quarter.

After shooting just 37.1 percent through 36 minutes, the Nets mounted a spirited rally in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to three with 2:10 left to play on a Brook Lopez hook shot.

Both teams then traded misses, until Bosh and Wade sealed the deal for Miami with 5 crucial free throws made in the end.

Third year center Hassan Whiteside came off the bench and delivered 11 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high 5 blocks for Miami who just notched its third win in 10 games.

?It?s hard to win in this league,? Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spoke to reporters after the game. ?This league is tough, and we?ve had our fair share of tough losses in the last two weeks. You can cut it and slice it however you want, but we felt that objectively we would have had an opportunity to win probably four or five of those that we could have or should have."

Joe Johnson led five Nets who scored double figures with 19 points while Lopez tallied 16 points all in the second half.

"We couldn't stop Bosh. We couldn't stop Wade," Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. "That was the reason we couldn't get any closer."

Miami will travel west to play Portland on Thursday while Brooklyn will host Dallas in its next game.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Roman David Garay.


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