Nets cool off Heat, hand Miami first postseason loss with 104-90 Game 3 victory

The Associated Press

Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce (34) fouls Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) as he drives through the lane to score in the first period during Game 3 of an Eastern Conference semifinal NBA playoff basketball game on Saturday, May 10, 2014, in New York. Pierce was called for a flagrant foul and James scored on the play. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

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By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Joe Johnson scored 19 points, Andray Blatche had career playoff highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds, and the Brooklyn Nets handed the Miami Heat their first loss this postseason, 104-90 on Saturday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Paul Pierce scored 14 points, Deron Williams and Kevin Garnett bounced back from awful offensive efforts, and the Nets withstood LeBron James' 16-point first quarter, then held him to two baskets over the final three quarters.

Brooklyn, which swept Miami in the regular season, can tie the series with a victory here Monday night in Game 4.

James scored 28 points for the Heat, who hadn't even faced a fourth-quarter deficit in these playoffs before having their eight-game winning streak in the postseason snapped. It was their first loss since Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

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