Nets vs. Heat: 3 things we learned from James Harden’s clutch night

Nick Friar
·2 min read

Miami’s 85 points on Monday are the fewest an opponent has scored at Barclays Center since the Nets held the Detroit Pistons to 75 back on March 11, 2019. Just like that 103-75 finish, Brooklyn won Monday’s 98-85 finish, securing a two-game sweep of the Heat.

But it was far from an easy win for the Nets, even though the Heat were still without Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Avery Bradley. Despite Brooklyn having its big three at full strength, the Nets failed to eclipse the century mark for the first time all season (including their two preseason games).

Here are three things we learned from the Nets’ win:

James Harden can still take over

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Harden scored 20 points in the win. Not a high point total for him by any stretch. However, 16 of those points came in the fourth quarter, when the Nets needed him to step up most.

"He's one of the greatest offensive players to ever play this game," Steve Nash said on a Zoom call with reporters after the win. "I trust in him figuring out where he's at with his game and how he can affect the game."

The fourth quarter conveyed two points. One, Harden can still take over. Two, Harden is navigating his integration carefully -- because Nets fans have not seen much of the guy they saw in the fourth quarter.

Nets can survive a rough shooting night

Credit: Andy Marlin - USA TODAY Sports

Miami may have been down a few key players, but this team still filled it up against the Nets on Saturday. Brooklyn made adjustments on the defensive end and found a way to win without their most important team attribute -- the ability to put the ball in the basket.

"There will be nights where we don't shoot well," Harden said on a Zoom call with reporters after Monday's win. "There's going to be minimal nights where we all don't shoot the ball well."

Teams can always learn from losses, but the same can not always be said of wins. Monday's game is an exception for Brooklyn.

Nets are going to have rough shooting nights

Credit: Andy Marlin - USA TODAY Sports

The Nets shot 40% from the floor and 28.9% from deep. Coming into Monday's game, they were shooting 49.3% from the floor and 40.2% from beyond the arc on the season. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant accounted for most of the offensive struggles, going 6-for-17 (1-for-4 from three) and 6-for-21 (3-for-12 from three) from the floor, respectively. As much as these two are superstars, they're going to have down nights. It's just wild to see the pair scuffle on the same night.