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Game 3 - Heat at Nets

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Miami (60-28) at Brooklyn (48-43)

Eastern Conference Semifinals
Game 3 - Miami leads series 2-0
Tip-off: Saturday, 8:05 p.m. ET Line and Total: Miami -1.5, Total: 189

The Heat look to remain unbeaten in the 2014 playoffs on Saturday when they visit the Nets in Game 3.

After losing to Brooklyn in all four games played between the teams during the regular season, Miami has dominated this Eastern Conference Semifinals series with wins by 21 points in Game 1 and 12 points in Thursday's Game 2 where it prevailed 94-82. The Nets have had little chance of winning either contest, scoring a mere 84.0 PPG on 44.6% FG, while the Heat have pumped in 100.5 PPG on 53.1% FG.

Miami is now 8-4 SU and 7-5 ATS when playing Brooklyn over the past three seasons, going 3-2 SU (2-3 ATS) at Barclays Center. For the season, the Heat are a mediocre 21-20-2 ATS on the road, but are 8-0 ATS when playing five or fewer games over the previous 14 days, and 10-2 ATS after limiting an opponent to 85 points or less.

Brooklyn has been an excellent home team this season at 30-14 SU and 25-19 ATS (57%), but is only 4-5 (SU and ATS) as a home underdog. But over the past three seasons, the Nets are 12-3 ATS after two straight double-digit losses, and 25-11 ATS after scoring 85 points or less.

There are no significant injuries for either team.

The Heat are off to an ideal start to these NBA playoffs so far, going 6-0 SU (5-1 ATS) and outscoring opponents by 12.0 PPG (101.3 to 89.3) and outshooting them by nearly five percent (49.4% FG to 44.8% FG). The series now shifts to Brooklyn, where Miami can expect a much more competitive opponent.

SF LeBron James (27.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 5.0 APG in playoffs) has not needed to take matters into his own hands in this series, attempting just 33 shots (19-of-33 FG, 58%) and averaging 22.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.0 APG and combined +16 rating.

One Heat player who has really stepped up is SG Ray Allen (7.5 PPG, 3.8 RPG in playoffs). Allen didn’t play too well against the Bobcats but the sharpshooter has logged 27.0 MPG in this series and is averaging 16.0 PPG and 6.0 RPG. PF Chris Bosh (15.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.2 BPG in playoffs) has also flourished in this series, averaging 16.5 PPG and 8.5 RPG in the first two games.

SG Dwyane Wade (16.3 PPG, 4.5 APG, 4.0 RPG in playoffs) is averaging 14.0 PPG, 6.0 APG and 5.5 RPG in just 34.0 MPG this series, and continues to look refreshed after a season in which he battled injuries and missed games in order to rest. The Heat have not needed to rely on Wade’s scoring just yet, and until they do, the superstar will continue to have fresh legs.

The Nets have been an excellent offensive team at home this season (100.0 PPG on 47.6% FG) and right now they will desperately need to pick up the pace on offense. Trailing 2-0 in the series, Brooklyn cannot afford to give up one of these next two games. But this club has virtually no chance of winning as long as PG Deron Williams (15.0 PPG, 5.3 APG in playoffs) is struggling. Williams was miserable in Game 2, failing to score a single point (0-for-9 FG) with a minus-18 rating in 37 minutes of play. The Nets will need their point guard to get back on track and start scoring, or things will only get worse.

SF Paul Pierce (12.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG in playoffs) scored 13 points in 34 minutes in Game 2, which was actually an increase from his eight points in Game 1. Brooklyn will need their veteran forward to continue being aggressive, as he is one of their only experienced shot makers on the team.

SG Joe Johnson (20.3 PPG in playoffs) also had 13 points (6-of-14 FG, 0-for-4 threes) on Thursday, but he had 17 points in Game 1 on less attempts (7-of-11 FG, 3-of-6 threes). Johnson has been the Nets’ go-to scorer all season and in the first round, he was outstanding. If Johnson can't establish himself as a presence on Saturday, the Nets will likely be heading into Game 4 on the brink of elimination.

PF Mirza Teletovic (8.6 PPG in playoffs) got hot in Game 2, finishing with 20 points (7-of-12 FG, 6-of-9 threes) in 26 minutes. The Nets may need to go to Teletovic sooner if they find themselves struggling to score early in Game 3.

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