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Heat 81

Nets 80

MIAMI - Somewhere on the planet, pigs prepped to go airborne. And in the Netherworld, they braced for Arctic temperatures. The Nets were that close to beating the Heat last night.

But instead of joy over an unforeseen triumph, the undermanned Nets found yet another painful hole in their guts. Every loss hurts. But some, like this one, simply are unbearable.

"I've played a lot of games, and the situation we're in and the outcome of this game is probably the worst feeling I've had playing Basketball from little league to now," Chris Douglas-Roberts said in a stunned Nets locker room.

For 47 minutes, 59.9 seconds, the Nets battled and seemed on the verge of their first victory of the season. Forgotten man Sean Williams had sparked a rally and Brook Lopez tapped in a miss at with 4.1 seconds left to give the Nets a two-point lead. But 4.1 seconds can be a lifetime, especially when the opponents have Dwyane Wade.

Wade, without a field goal since late in the second quarter, lost his dribble, regained and hit a contested 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds remaining, lifting the Heat to an 81-80 victory that simply crushed the Nets , now winless in all 10 games.

"I just feel horrible for our guys," said coach Lawrence Frank, whose Nets again had just eight available men.

But those eight, including Williams (12 points, eight in the fourth), who was virtually growing mold on the bench from lack of use, had nothing left to give at game's end. Williams was inserted in the third quarter and blocked shots, altered others, rebounded and infused energy. It wasn't enough.

"They're going to beat somebody and we just lucked out that it wasn't us," said Wade (22 points, eight rebounds, six assists, six steals).

"Zero through 10, they all hurt," Williams said. "We're doing all we can with all we got."

"I feel like I've been saying the same thing over and over," said Lopez (17 points, nine rebounds). "We were right there again with limited players. . . . We played great D and they hit a couple of tough ones."

The toughest was Wade's. But there was a banked trifecta by ex-Knick Quentin Richardson, beating the shot clock with 25.4 seconds left, that was equally damaging as it provided the seventh tie of the fourth quarter. It came with Douglas-Roberts' hand in Richardson's face. And it came after Williams had come from nowhere to reject a Michael Beasley 3-pointer.

"I thought it had no shot of going in. He didn't shoot it. It was towards the rim and banked in," Douglas-Roberts said. "Ridiculous."

On the Nets' next possession, Rafer Alston drove left and missed. Lopez swooped in and tapped in the rebound for an 80-78 lead. Coming out of a timeout, Wade lost the ball in front of Trenton Hassell, who didn't reach in for fearing of drawing a foul. He played tough, tight defense. But this was Wade, who rose up from 26 feet.

"He made a great shot, a tough shot. There was nothing I could do," said Hassell (17 points). "We played a great game tonight, offensively and defensively. We did what we were supposed to do, they made two great shots."

And controlled the glass. The Heat had 15 offensive rebounds, including five in the fourth. That allowed them to continually nullify Nets' scores as Udonis Haslem (career-high-tying 28 points, 12 rebounds) helped keep the Nets at bay until Wade buried them.

"I feel bad for them. They rolled it all out there," Frank said. "Q, a bank three. Wade, we tried not for him to get the ball. It was a broken play."

That broke the Nets' hearts.

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Added: November 17, 2009


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