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Nets turn up defense to best Heat in Game 3

Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Brooklyn Nets' veteran cast responded brilliantly in a virtual must-win situation to put the Miami Heat on the ropes for the first time in this year's playoffs.

Joe Johnson led a balanced offensive attack with 19 points, but it was the Nets' defense that sparked a third-quarter run which fueled a 104-90 victory over the two-time defending champion Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Brooklyn held Miami to a 5-of-19 shooting rate while outscoring the Heat 26-14 in the third quarter, turning a two-point game at the half into a commanding 77-63 lead entering the fourth.

The Nets also got a strong effort from the bench in cutting their series deficit to 2-1 and ending the Heat's eight-game win streak in postseason play. Andray Blatche racked up 15 points and 10 rebounds in just 20 minutes, while Mirza Teletovic added 12 points and sunk a trio of 3-pointers during the pivotal third quarter.

LeBron James scored 28 points for Miami, but only 12 came after the opening period. Dwyane Wade, the only Heat player to consistently hit shots in the third quarter, ended with 20.

Brooklyn will attempt to even this best-of-seven set when it hosts Game 4 at the Barclays Center on Monday.

05/10 22:57:18 ET

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