BROOKLYN (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – Don’t look now but the Miami Heat have become one of the hottest teams in the NBA after stringing together several impressive victories.
The Heat picked up a signature win and found a third star to compliment Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside in a 105-102 triumph over the NBA-best Golden State Warriors on Monday.
The Heat will try to push their season-best winning streak to five straight when they visit the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.
Dion Waiters became the first player in franchise history to score 30 or more points and hit five or more 3-pointers in back-to-back games when he exploded for 33 points and went 6-of-8 from beyond the arc against the Warriors, including nailing the go-ahead 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds left.
“Those are the moments you live for,” Waiters told reporters after hitting the game-winner over Golden State star Klay Thompson. “I was thinking that was the moment I practiced as a kid. I am not going to shy away from those shots.”
The Nets were the only team keeping Miami off the Eastern Conference floor until the Heat’s recent surge, and Brooklyn is still struggling to find its own spark.
Brooklyn remains the only team in the NBA without double digits in the win column and dropped 18 of its last 20 after opening the two-game homestand with a 112-86 loss to a San Antonio squad that was missing star forward Kawhi Leonard.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Miami), YES (Brooklyn)
ABOUT THE HEAT (15-30): Miami fell to 11-30 after dropping 10 of 11 games but looked like a different team over the last week while sweeping a four-game homestand that included wins over two of the top three teams in the Western Conference (Golden State and Houston).
“The close games are starting to become our comfort zone,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. “You can see our guys are gaining more confidence in these games.”
Waiters missed over a month with a groin injury and struggled to find his shooting form before combining to go 25-of-39 from the floor and 11-of-16 from beyond the arc in the last two games.
ABOUT THE NETS (9-35): Brooklyn looked better on the road over the weekend, picking up a thrilling 143-114 win at New Orleans on Friday and battling to a 112-105 setback in Charlotte the next night, before coming home and falling badly on Monday.
“I’m disappointed for the fans,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters. “I think our fans are unbelievable the way they support us.
I’m looking up in the stands at the end of the game … I just ask for patience, and we’ll keep working at it and try to get better.”
The Nets took another hit on Monday, when the team announced that point guard Jeremy Lin would miss another three to five weeks after aggravating his hamstring injury during rehab.
- Heat SG Tyler Johnson (shoulder) sat out the last two games and is day-to-day.
- Brooklyn rookie PG Isaiah Whitehead scored a season-high 19 points on Monday after scoring in single digits in each of his last seven games.
- Miami took seven of the last eight in the series.
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