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Nets edge Heat on Royce O’Neale’s score in final seconds

Jan 8, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA;  Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) loses the ball in front of Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton (13) during the first quarter of their game at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Michael Laughlin-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Michael Laughlin-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving scored 29 points and dished six assists as the Brooklyn Nets overcame a second-half injury to Kevin Durant to beat the host Miami Heat 102-101 on Sunday night.

Brooklyn’s Royce O’Neale scored the go-ahead basket on a putback with 3.2 seconds left. He rebounded an Irving 3-point miss.

Miami’s Jimmy Butler missed a contested drive in the lane off the backboard as time expired. The Heat wanted a foul on an O’Neale bump at the end of the play.

Durant left in the third quarter due to a bruised right knee. He appeared to get hurt when Butler accidentally rolled onto his leg. Durant finished with 17 points, four rebounds and two assists. He entered the game averaging 30.0 points.

The Nets, who have won 14 of their past 15 games, also got 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks from Nic Claxton.

Butler led Miami with 26 points along with eight rebounds. Tyler Herro, who returned after missing one game due to back spasms, added 24 points.

Miami’s Bam Adebayo was limited to 28 minutes due to a thigh injury. Adebayo finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. He entered the game averaging 21.8 points.

Brooklyn led by as many as nine points early on, but the Nets held just a 31-30 advantage at the end of a wild first quarter. Brooklyn’s T.J. Warren made a 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left, and Miami’s Gabe Vincent answered with his own trey at the buzzer as he was falling out of bounds.

Miami’s Haywood Highsmith made a fortuitous 3-pointer earlier in the quarter, banking his bucket in off the side of the backboard with the shot clock near zero.

Irving led all first-quarter scorers with 11 points as Brooklyn shot 57.1 percent from the floor, including 5-of-8 on 3-pointers.

The Nets extended their halftime lead to 66-64. Irving led all second-quarter scorers with 13 points, and Brooklyn shot 61.1 percent from the floor, including 4-of-8 on 3-pointers.

The Heat ended the third quarter on a 12-3 run, taking an 82-79 lead into the fourth. Both teams cooled off in the third quarter as Miami shot just 25 percent, and Brooklyn made 27.8 percent.

Brooklyn held on in the fourth and finished the game shooting 51.3 percent from the floor, including 12-of-33 on 3-pointers.

Miami shot 41.3 percent, including 13-for-35 on 3-pointers.

–Field Level Media