Heat try to rebound vs. Nets
(Sports Network) – The Miami Heat try to rebound from an embarrassing
season- opening loss tonight as the defending world champions host the New
Jersey Nets in an intriguing early-season showdown from AmericanAirlines
Miami received its championship rings prior to Tuesday’s lidlifter with the
Chicago Bulls, then endured the worst season-opening beating by a defending
champ in NBA history.
Kirk Hinrich, who signed a reported five-year contract extension on Tuesday,
poured in 26 points and his backup, Chris Duhon, added 20 as the Bulls ruined
the Heat’s title celebration with a 108-66 pounding at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Luol Deng added 12 points while former Detroit star Ben Wallace had five
points, 11 rebounds and one block in his Chicago debut.
Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 25 points, but was the only Miami player in
double figures. Shaquille O’Neal had just seven points on 3-of-10 shooting,
and the Heat finished with a 38.5 field goal percentage.
Miami looks to regroup against the team it vanquished in five games during
last May’s Eastern Conference semifinals. However, the Nets looked a lot
sharper than the Heat in their season-opener, a 102-92 decision over Toronto
Wednesday at Continental Airlines Arena.
Jason Kidd finished with 14 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his 76th
career triple-double and 36th as a Net. The All-Star point guard is now two
shy of Wilt Chamberlain for third-most in that category in NBA history.
Vince Carter added 25 points, 11 rebounds and six assists while Richard
Jefferson added 16 points for the Nets, who won their season debut for the
first time since the 2002-03 campaign.
The Nets shot a strong 51.8 percent from the field and owned a 52-38
rebounding advantage over the Raptors on the night.
New Jersey did take three of the four regular-season meetings between the
teams in 2005-06 but is just 1-5 in its last six visits to Miami, not counting
last year’s playoffs. The home team has emerged victorious in 11 of the last
14 regular-season games during this series.