Nets Fall to Heat 104-96

Goran Dragic scored 20 points, Dion Waiters added 19 and the Miami Heat pushed the NBA's longest current winning streak to eight games with a 104-96 victory over the Nets on Monday night.

James Johnson had 17, Rodney McGruder scored 13 and Hassan Whiteside added 12 for Miami. Waiters and Dragic combined to hand out 17 assists for the Heat, who took the lead for good with a 17-0 run late in the first half.

Miami outscored Brooklyn 33-12 from 3-point range.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 16 points for Brooklyn (9-39), which has lost six straight and 17 of its last 18. The Nets blew an 18-point lead at home against Miami last week, and had an 11-point lead late in the first half of this one.

Brook Lopez scored 14, while Trevor Booker and Isaiah Whitehead each had 13 for the Nets.

Miami (19-30) is tied for 12th in the Eastern Conference, 4 1/2 games from the eighth and final playoff spot. But out of the last 80 teams that had winning streaks of at least eight games, 77 went on to make the playoffs - with New York in 2013-14, Portland in 2007-08 and Orlando in 2005-06 being the exceptions.

"Just embracing the consistent work and approach every day to get better," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We're not looking at standings right now. We're concentrating on us and see if we can put together more consistent basketball for 48 minutes. Most of this month it's been better."

It's been a lot better.

Miami went on a 17-0 run in a span of 2:50 before halftime, the key sequence coming when Whiteside blocked shots on consecutive Brooklyn possessions and Waiters connected on 3-pointers after both.

The Nets got within four with 2 minutes left, but Miami scored the next six points to put away the game.


Nets: Brooklyn has allowed 100 points in 45 of its 48 games, including the last 24. ... This was the Nets' only trip to Miami this season. ... The Nets now have 532 3-pointers this season, already topping their total of 531 from a year ago. ... Villanova ties: Nets guard Randy Foye chatted with Rollie Massimino, who was in attendance.

Heat: After losing records in October (1-2), November (5-10) and December (4-12), the Heat had a winning January (9-6). ... Tyler Johnson (shoulder) returned and scored three points in 20 minutes. ... Dragic was the only Heat player to shoot a free throw in the game's first 33 minutes. ... The game was the 700th regular-season contest at AmericanAirlines Arena, where the Heat have played since Jan. 2, 2000.


Waiters was announced earlier Monday as the Eastern Conference's player of the week, after averaging 23.3 points as Miami went 4-0. He becomes the 12th player to win the award as a member of the Heat, and the first since Dwyane Wade - exactly 52 weeks ago.


Brooklyn went 1-15 in January. That's the most losses ever for the Nets franchise in a month, breaking the mark of 14 set on four other occasions - most recently November 2009.


Nets: Host New York on Wednesday. The city-sharers last met Nov. 9, when the Knicks won 110-96.

Heat: Host Atlanta on Wednesday. The Hawks are 2-0 against Miami this season, winning by a combined 11 points.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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