MIAMI – Something about facing the Miami Heat still brings out the best in Paul Pierce.
Jason Kidd isn’t half-bad against them, either.
Pierce scored 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter and delivered two crucial scores late, Shaun Livingston created a turnover on the game’s final play, and the Brooklyn Nets topped the Heat 96-95 on Wednesday night — moving to 3-0 this season against the two-time defending NBA champions, two of those wins coming by a single point and the other in overtime.
“We haven’t had any success,” Kidd said of Brooklyn’s perfect mark against the Heat. “We’ve just been lucky to win some games.”
Maybe, maybe not. In Kidd’s past 24 games against the Heat as a coach or player, his teams are 19-5. And this was just the latest entry in Brooklyn’s surge, with the Nets now an Eastern Conference-best 23-9 since Jan. 1.
Mirza Teletovic scored 17 off the bench. Livingston finished with 13 points and Andray Blatche scored 11 for the Nets.
Chris Bosh scored 24 points for Miami, giving him 15,003 for his career. Dwyane Wade scored 22, LeBron James finished with 19 and Mario Chalmers scored 14 for the Heat, who gave up 22 points off turnovers and were hit with two technicals (on Wade and Chalmers) for arguing calls within a 92-second span of the third quarter.
“It’s competition,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team has dropped four of its past five games. “It’s survival of the strongest right now. . . . We still feel confident about our game. We just need to put it together.”
Clippers 111, Warriors 98
In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin had 30 points and 15 rebounds, Danny Granger added 18 points off the bench, and the Clippers surged past Golden State for their ninth straight victory.
Kings 115, 76ers 98
In Philadelphia, Rudy Gay scored 27 points and Isaiah Thomas added 20 as Sacramento extended the Sixers’ losing streak to 18 games.
Knicks 116, Celtics 92
In Boston, Carmelo Anthony scored 19 of his 34 points in the first half as New York coasted past the Celtics.
Raptors 101, Pistons 87
In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points and Amir Johnson had 20 against his former team.
Grizzlies 90, Pelicans 88
In New Orleans, Mike Conley hit a driving layup against Austin Rivers with 1.5 seconds left.
Bobcats 98, Wizards 85
In Washington, Al Jefferson had 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Nuggets 120, Magic 112
In Orlando, Kenneth Faried scored 26 points and Wilson Chandler added 21.
Spurs 103, Trail Blazers 90
In San Antonio, Patty Mills scored 15 points, and Tim Duncan had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Cavaliers 110, Suns 101
In Phoenix, Kyrie Irving scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter.
Mavericks 108, Jazz 101
In Salt Lake City, Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points and moved into sole possession of the No. 12 spot on the NBA’s career scoring list in Dallas’ win.