BROOKLYN (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Miami Heat breathed a big sigh of relief on Monday night.
The struggling Heat ended their losing skid and look to post consecutive victories for the first time in more than three weeks when they visit the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.
Miami overcame an eight-point, fourth-quarter deficit to record an 89-84 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday to halt a four-game skid and register just its second win in the last nine outings.
The Heat have been sliding in the wrong direction because of a plethora of injuries, and the 89 points against the Bulls was actually the club’s highest output in a five-game span.
“We had to gut it out,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said afterward. “There were several times where it could go either way, and it just shows you how competitive and tough it is to win on the road.”
Brooklyn ended a five-game losing skid with an impressive 116-106 home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.
“Guys played aggressive and they played with that confidence,” Nets center Brook Lopez told reporters. “That’s what we need to do every day.”
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ABOUT THE HEAT (24-21): The victory over Chicago occurred with both center Hassan Whiteside (oblique) and point guard Goran Dragic (calf) sidelined and marked the return of forward Luol Deng (eye) and point guard Beno Udrih (neck).
Shooting guard Dwyane Wade had 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists while playing through shoulder pain and was interested in passing around the credit afterward.
“The big guys did a great job of setting screens, allowing me to get downhill and be able to get into the paint,” Wade told reporters. “That’s the biggest thing for our team. If we’re getting in the paint, that allows us to be aggressive scoring the ball.”
ABOUT THE NETS (12-33): Lopez was exceptional against Oklahoma City with a season-best 31 points to go with 10 rebounds as Brooklyn won for just the second time in 12 games.
“I thought Brook was outstanding,” Nets interim coach Tony Brown told reporters. “He had a big presence in the paint. We posted him. He had a lot of shots at the rim, got to the foul line. That’s the kind of showing that I’d like to see from him going forward. Be a threat in the post and dominate.”
The outing was timely for Lopez after he scored 10 or fewer points in two of the previous four games.
- The Nets rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to record a 111-105 victory Dec. 28 to snap a five-game losing streak against the Heat.
- Brooklyn backup SG Wayne Ellington scored a season-high 26 points and matched a career best with seven 3-pointers in the win over Miami.
- Heat SF Gerald Green is 10-of-51 shooting during the past six games.
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