Nets ride their recent high-flying wave over Heat
LeBron James fouls out in first overtime, and Miami loses in second OT
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Shaun Livingston was flying all over the court. LeBron James could only sit and watch.
Joe Johnson scored 32 points, Livingston helped Brooklyn dominate the second overtime after James fouled out, and the Nets beat the Miami Heat 104-95 Friday for their fifth consecutive victory.
Livingston had two baskets and two blocked shots in the second overtime, finishing with 19 points, a career-high 11 rebounds and five assists over 51 minutes in a sensational effort while starting for injured Deron Williams.
“Gutsy. Gutsy,” Kevin Garnett said. “I thought we fought for 48-plus minutes.”
Paul Pierce scored 23 points but missed jumpers that could have won it at the end of regulation and the first overtime. Still, the Nets remained unbeaten in 2014, adding a victory over the two-time defending NBA champions to their recent wins over Oklahoma City and Golden State.
“It was huge,” Livingston said. “We’ve obviously been playing better as of late. I think our momentum that we were carrying into this game, we’re trying to ride that wave.”
James had 36 points, seven rebounds and five assists, but fouled out on an offensive foul with 36 seconds left in the first OT.
Miami pushed it to a second overtime without him, but it was all Nets from there against a Heat team that was already missing Dwyane Wade and two other starters.
“We’re a no-excuse team, but right now we have three starters that didn’t play,” James said. “Even though we’ve got a lot of depth, it is hard to make up for three starters being out.”
Norris Cole scored 18 points, but Ray Allen was 2 of 14 for nine points in place of Wade, who rested his sore knees after playing 39 minutes in a defeat at New York on Thursday. Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers also sat out.
• Kyle Korver scored 20 points, including four free throws in the final 16 seconds, and host Atlanta fought off Houston’s late comeback to win 83-80. Paul Millsap also had 20 points for Atlanta. James Harden led the Rockets with 25 points.
• David Wes t scored 20 points and C.J. Watson had 16, leading host Indiana over Washington, 93-66. The Wizards stumbled at the line, going 9 of 23.
• Blake Griffin had 33 points and 12 rebounds, and the Clippers shot 71 percent in the first quarter on the way to their largest-ever victory over the Lakers, 123-87. The Lakers are targeting Jan. 28 for the return of Steve Nash (back) and they’re hopeful Kobe Bryant (knee) will be back then too.
• Gordon Hayward (hip), coming off the best game of his career when he scored 37 Tuesday against Oklahoma City, didn’t play for Utah on Friday.
• Rajon Rondo (knee) says he hopes to make his season debut before the All-Star break, but Celtics coach Brad Stevens says he has never spoken to Rondo or anybody in the organization about a specific return date.
• New Orleans point guard Jrue Holiday (leg) is sidelined indefinitely. The 6-foot-4 Holiday is averaging 14.3 points, 7.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds.
• The Bulls signed Cartier Marti n to a 10-day contract three days after the forward was waived by the Hawks. Martin, at 6-7, is averaging 6.6 points.
• Suns guard Eric Bledsoe has undergone surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. No timetable was given for his return. Bledsoe is averaging 18 points and 5.8 assists per game.