NEW YORK — Joe Johnson scored 19 points, Andray Blatche had career playoff highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds, and the Brooklyn Nets handed the Miami Heat their first loss this postseason, 104-90 on Saturday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Paul Pierce scored 14 points, Deron Williams and Kevin Garnett bounced back from awful offensive efforts, and the Nets withstood LeBron James’ 16-point first quarter, then held him to two baskets over the final three quarters.
Brooklyn, which swept Miami in the regular season, can tie the series with a victory here Monday night in Game 4.
James scored 28 points for the Heat, who hadn’t even faced a fourth-quarter deficit in these playoffs before having their eight-game winning streak in the postseason snapped. It was their first loss since Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
SPURS 118, TRAIL BLAZERS 103
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Tony Parker scored 29 points and San Antonio pulled into a commanding 3-0 lead in its Western Conference semifinal series against Portland.
The Spurs led by as many as 23 points in the first half, building a big early lead just as they had in the first two games of the series in San Antonio. The teams meet again on Monday at the Moda Center.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Portland, which pulled within eight points in the third quarter but couldn’t get any closer. The Blazers were hurt by 15 turnovers and only six points from their bench.