National Basketball Association
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                   === Nets pick up another win over Heat ===
 Miami, FL ( - Paul Pierce keyed the Brooklyn Nets to another
 narrow triumph over the Miami Heat.
 Pierce netted 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter and the Nets topped the
 Heat, 96-95, on Wednesday night.
 The Heat had possession of the ball following a timeout with 3.5 seconds left,
 but Shaun Livingston knocked away a pass that was intended for LeBron James in
 the paint to seal the outcome.
 Brooklyn  is 3-0 against Miami this season. The Nets edged the Heat 101-100 on
 Nov.  1 as  part of  their  5-14 start  and  then prevailed  104-95 in  double
 overtime  on  Jan. 10. Dwyane Wade  did not suit  up in the second meeting for
 Pierce is averaging 23.7 points in those three wins.
 The  Nets have won  seven of their last eight and own the Eastern Conference's
 best record (23-9) in 2014.
 Pierce  was 9-of-12 from the field, 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and 6-of-7 from
 the  foul line for  Brooklyn, which hadn't beaten Miami during the "Big 3" era
 (0-9) prior to this season.
 "This is the class of the league. This is the two-time defending champions and
 we're coming down the stretch. These games are big," Pierce said.
 Mirza  Teletovic  netted 17  points off  the bench,  while Livingston added 13
 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals in the triumph.
 Chris Bosh had 24 points and seven rebounds, Wade provided 22 points and James
 supplied 19 points, seven assists and five boards for Miami, which has dropped
 four of its last five games.
 "We  still  feel confident about  our game. We just  need to put it together,"
 Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said.
 The  Heat trailed 87-81  right before the midway point of the final frame when
 Teletovic nailed a deep right wing triple. Five straight points from Miami cut
 the  gap to one,  but Pierce knocked down a big trey to extend the margin back
 to 90-86 with 3:44 left.
 Bosh  hit a three and  Wade split a pair of foul shots to cap a mini 6-2 swing
 and  tie the  game at 92-92 with 2:02  to play. Pierce drove in for a layup at
 the  other end and Deron Williams sank a left elbow jumper to make it 96-92 in
 favor of Brooklyn with 35.8 ticks to go.
 Bosh's  three-point  play again trimmed the  deficit to one, but the Heat were
 unable  to  execute a game-winning play  after Williams was off on a step-back
 Earlier,  the tilt  was knotted at 22-22  after a quarter of play and 42-42 at
 the break.
 Pierce knocked down all three of his 3-point attempts and was a perfect 5-of-5
 from  the field  in the third as the  Nets headed into the fourth with a 73-71
                                   Game Notes
 The  Nets scored  22 points  off  17 Miami  turnovers ...  Brooklyn shot  43.6
 percent  (34-of-78) from the floor and 41.4 percent (12-of-29) from beyond the
 arc ... James turned the ball over five times.
 03/12 22:54:10 ET