The third time lucky. After two consecutive losses, both against the Cavaliers, the Nets gave themselves their first joy since they have available their three stars, that big three sidereal the quantum of talent, but that generates some uncertainty. Or what is the same, since the return of Kyrie Irving, who was returning to court after a seven-game absence, without giving explanations to anyone and without anyone knowing where he has been beyond his sister’s party, one that generated a lot of criticism but on which the base has not made any comment. Precisely it was his lack of understanding with Harden that caused Brooklyn to sink to the rising Cavs and that they have the great work of JB Bickerstaff on the bench. Against Miami, the guard has been contained and has left the task for his two companions, who have assumed the role and have flown before a rival who is in a situation that goes from being worrying to alarming.
This time, the Nets weren’t hitched, although a tremendous slump in defense left them with fear in their bodies during the final period. The first quarter was sent with solvency (36-25) and without showing off their stars, who gave the weight of the attack to Joe Harris and his four triples (in six attempts). From then on, the Nets began to gradually increase their advantage, without losing the offensive rhythm and with a Kevin Durant who was the lord of the third period, with 13 goals without a miss on the shot (5 of 5). Brooklyn caressed what was to be his first victory with the big three, a relief for a Steve Nash who will breathe deeply of relief every time he sees his team get out of complex situations and the days go by without anyone questioning you in the position. But they still had to sweat (and a lot) to carry out a game that the Heat put in danger until the last moments.
Bam Adebayo’s pylon hammer went to 41 points (14 of 20 shooting), 5 rebounds and 9 assists, but even so the Heat could not scratch anything from the Big Apple. Kendrick Nunn scored a triple with just under 3:30 to go (Adebayo only scored one point in that time), which put Miami at just one goal (111-110). Goran Dragic, against the table, continued to press the score (113-112). But it would be Irving, the most ambivalent man in the entire NBA, who would solve the game: in four consecutive plays he got a layup, a triple, an assist to transform Durant and another impossible penetration with which he gave his team an 8 advantage. with less than a minute to go. They still tried Dragic with a 3 + 1 (19 points at the end), and Duncan Robinson (18) with a triple, but Harden solved from the staff what he had not achieved in the rest of the match, in which a timid performance caught on, but which helped his teammates to take a step forward, especially at the end: 12 points with only 8 shots attempted (and 0 out of 5 on triples), 7 rebounds, 11 assists and 6 losses.
The Heat lost, again, without a Jimmy Butler who missed his seventh consecutive game and many difficulties to find the identity that led them to the Finals a few months ago, and they are placed with a record of 6-9, away from the playoffs, and waiting for Erik Spoelstra to work his magic and pull something to hold onto from his sleeve. And the Nets won with 31 points from Durant, but the hero was Kyrie, who finished with 28, but scored 18 in the fourth quarter., with 6 of 7 in field goals and without failure in the triple (3 of 3). The last quarter, by the way, put in evidence what this team is, right now: a very poor defense (they received 42 points in the last 12 minutes and allowed their rivals to shoot with 70% in field shots and 50% on triples), no zone protection when DeAndre Jordan sits on the bench (which was the entire period) and resolution by the three stars, who scored all 32 points for their team. 18 Kyrie, 7 Durant and 7 others Harden. What’s more, Joe Harris, who had a great duel and reached that quarter with 23 points under his belt, didn’t even smell the ball despite playing it whole (just one shot). These are the Nets. This is the big three. That, with its pluses, minuses and things, has been released.