Nets capture Game 1 on road against Heat

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

MIAMI -- By any standard, the Miami Heat made a huge closing run. It still wasn't nearly enough to overcome three quarters of miscues and missteps against the New Jersey Nets.

Vince Carter scored 27 points, Jason Kidd added 22 and Richard Jefferson had 20 before leaving the game with an ankle injury as the Nets saw most of a 28-point third-quarter lead vanish before hanging on to beat the Heat 100-88 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday night.

Dwyane Wade scored 25 points for Miami, which got 20 points and 10 rebounds for Shaquille O'Neal -- who was not effective until late, sitting most of the first half with foul trouble. Jason Williams added 12 points for the Heat, who were doomed by 17 turnovers that led to 24 New Jersey points.

Game 2 is Wednesday in Miami.

"Our goal was to come down here and get one," Kidd said. "Now that we've done that, we have to look at this as being 0-0, and now let's go get the next one."

Cliff Robinson's 3-pointer with 9:53 left gave New Jersey an 89-65 lead, and many fans who booed the Heat on at least three occasions continued a steady stream up the stairs and into the Miami night.

They missed a valiant comeback, one that ended in vain.

Miami rallied with an 18-3 run over the next 5 1/2 minutes. O'Neal had 11 points in the burst, including a putback to close the run with 4:21 left that drew Miami within 92-83.

But Carter answered with five straight New Jersey points, and Kidd delivered a backbreaking jumper with 1:56 left to restore a 13-point lead and slam the door on Miami.

"We were lucky, obviously, to build that lead, because obviously, Miami made one heck of a run which you have to give them a lot of credit for," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said.

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