Why did the Brooklyn Nets succumb to the Miami Heat despite a healthy lead and a 34 point performance from Joe Johnson? Easy because Johnson has yet to learn that he has to generate fouls on opposing defenders when scoring.
LeBron James scored 29 pts but had 17 attempts from the free throw line with 15 makes.
Dwyane Wade lit up the Nets for 28 points with 8 pts from a perfect 8-8 shooting from the charity stripe.
Wade and James forced the action to the starting defenders Shaun Livingston and Paul Pierce. Livingston and Pierce had 4 and 5 fouls which factored into their aggressiveness. Johnson on the other hand made only ONE trip to the free throw line and no Heat player amassed more than 3 fouls.
The Heat scored 29 points with the clock stopped. James attempted 10 of his 17 free throws in the crucial 4th quarter. The only other Heat player to go to the free throw line in the final period was 'Mr. Career 89.4% FTM' Ray Allen.
Simply put, Brooklyn failed to generate points down the stretch. Despite hoisting more shots than Miami 22 vs 13, the Nets were unable to turn misses into free throw attempts. Aside from Joe Johnson only Pierce and Livingston (5 pts and 2 pts) contributed to the scoring in the 4th. Five different players scored for the Heat in the quarter including Allen's game winning 3-point dagger with 32 seconds remaining on the clock. Leaving Allen open from behind the arc is an absolute NBA no-no. Think a shorter multi-championship-ringed Robert Horry with lead acting credits on his resume.
If Nets GM Billy King is intent on building a squad to contend with the Heat and Pacers in the East, he's going to need a scorer that can get defenders in foul trouble and get free buckets in crunch time.
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