Bestinau got that-
MIAMI – Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant recently tempered short-term expectations, both claiming their regular season was too disjointed to expect a championship.
But if Saturday’s laughter was any indication, the stars are selling themselves short.
Not only did the Nets beat the Heat on the road Saturday night, 110-95, they embarrassed and taunted the alleged Eastern Conference contender. With the blowout already fixed, Andre Drummond, the hulking Nets center, flashed the peace sign at a trailing Tyler Herro on a fastbreak before ducking.
It put the Nets ahead by 27 about the middle of the third quarter.
“It goes without saying,” Drummond laughed. “I don’t know what brought me to it. Maybe because Tyreek Hill comes here? [to Miami]† It just happens, I don’t know.’
“It was absolutely hilarious at the time,” Durant added.
A minute later, Seth Curry nailed a 3-pointer off a turnover to push the lead to a game-high 37 points, giving on-field spectators Floyd Mayweather and Antonio Brown a celebration. Much later, in the fourth quarter, Blake Griffin flashed his own two-fingered peace sign after burying a shot.
It was a Brooklyn show (39-35) on Biscayne Blvd., with Irving (11 points, six assists) and Durant (23 points, five assists) allowed to sit the entire fourth quarter. It should provide enough rest for Irving’s home debut on Sunday.
“It is of course a luxury. It’s better than playing 40 minutes and going to the extreme, but I have to do it again [Sunday]Nets coach Steve Nash said. “We arrive at three in the morning and have to get ready to play. There are no excuses. We’re taking the few extra minutes we could rest, but we need to get up tomorrow night and get our bodies going.”
Miami (47-28) went into the night at the top of the East, but on a downward spiral. Pat Riley’s pack has not only lost four straight, but blown up a 17-point lead over the lottery-bound Knicks in the fourth quarter on Friday night. Two nights earlier, star Jimmy Butler got into an argument with Spoelstra and teammate Udonis Haslem during a time-out. The foundation of that vaunted #Heatculture is cracking.
The Heat was briefly on the sidelines, where head coach Erik Spoelstra was absent because his son underwent a medical procedure. Assistant Chris Quinn was the replacement and the Nets made it easy with owner Joe Tsai watching from the track.
It was a possible prelude to a first-round matchup, a circumstance brought on by the Nets plummeting in February due to Durant’s sprained knee. Among the other possible first-round matchups against the Sixers, Bucks and Celtics, the Heat is probably the most favorable opponent. Especially this iteration of the Heat.
Anyway, as Nash acknowledged on Saturday, the Nets will probably have to play a play-in game first.
“We are where we are, so we have to play what lies ahead,” said Nash. “And for us, that’s probably the play-in game, and all that matters is that we’re prepared as best we can and as far forward as we can in the short amount of time to play well in the play-in.” -game.”
They certainly seemed willing to say ‘peace out’ to the struggling Heat on Saturday.