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Nets hand slumping Heat fourth straight loss

Sportsnaut
Mar 26, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) knocks the ball away from Miami Heat guard Victor Oladipo (4) during the first half at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant scored 23 points in just 31 minutes as the visiting Brooklyn Nets blasted the slumping Miami Heat 110-95 on Saturday night.

The Nets led by as many as 37 points before cruising in the fourth quarter.

Brooklyn (39-35), which has won seven of its past nine games, also got a double-double from Andre Drummond (13 points, 11 rebounds).

Seth Curry added 17 points for the Nets, and Kyrie Irving had 11 points and a team-high six assists. Curry returned after missing the previous game due to a sore left ankle.

The Heat (47-28), who have lost a season-high four straight games, have fallen percentage points behind the idle Philadelphia 76ers in the battle for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Bam Adebayo led Miami with 14 points, and Tyler Herro returned from a two-game knee-injury absence and had 13 points. Max Strus also had 13 points, and Kyle Lowry added 12.

However, Herro made just 5 of 14 shots, and Miami’s leading scorer, Jimmy Butler, was held to seven points on 2-for-9 shooting. Herro and Butler entered the game averaging a combined 42.3 points.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra missed the game to be with one of his two sons who was undergoing a medical procedure. Assistant Chris Quinn stepped in as Miami’s coach

In the first quarter, Irving went scoreless — missing both his shots — but the Nets still led 27-25 after closing the quarter on a 12-4 run.

Brooklyn shot 66.7 percent in the second quarter, taking a 67-46 halftime lead. Durant and Irving each had 10 points in the period. Miami shot just 37.5 percent in the quarter.

In the third quarter, Curry scored 14 points on 4-for-5 3-point shooting as Brooklyn stretched its lead to 96-68 and the Nets cruised from there.

Four players were issued technical fouls in the game: Durant and Adebayo — both arguing with officials — and Brooklyn’s James Johnson and Miami’s Dewayne Dedmon for getting into a altercation with one another.

–Field Level Media