Heat 101-89 Nets: Three quick observations

Miami takes advantage of Brooklyn's fatigue in the NBA Mexico Games finale

The Nets appeared to be unaffected by Mexico City’s 7,382 feet altitude in their NBA Mexico Games opener on Thursday. Reality hit them hard on Saturday night.

Brooklyn got off to a solid start and led 53-50 at halftime, but the wheels came off in the second half where the team clearly looked gassed. That had an impact on the team’s offense, as it had its second-lowest scoring output of the season. It also had an effect on defense as the team was unable to stop Goran Dragic or Tyler Johnson in the perimeter.

The result ends the Nets’ dominance in the Global Games as they previously won their last four games (a streak that dates back to 2011). The team will look to regroup and will likely be boosted by new arrivals Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas ahead of its matchup against the Wizards on Tuesday at Barclays Center.

Here’s the Three Biggest Points From Saturday’s Game:

Nets fail to take advantage of Whiteside-less Heat

Everything was lined up for the Nets to end losing streak against the Heat (which now sits at six games).

Hassan Whiteside was ruled out with an injury, a boost considering Brooklyn’s issues with defending skilled big men. The Nets have also been in Mexico City since Tuesday, which in theory should have given the team an edge against the Heat in dealing with the altitude. Yet, Kenny Atkinson’s side failed to capitalize, missing out on the chance to win a third-consecutive game for the first time since last April.

Whiteside’s injury had a positive byproduct for the Heat, the team was able to open the floor and force the Nets to expend energy. As a result, Dragic, Johnson and James Johnson (16 points and 6 rebounds) all had strong games. That should especially frustrate Atkinson, as the Nets have capable perimeter defenders in Spencer Dinwiddie, DeMarre Carroll and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Altitude definitely took a toll

Hollis-Jefferson is the Nets’ energizer bunny, he plays relentlessly and it showed with a strong night – 18 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks on 60 percent shooting. Unfortunately, Mexico City’s thin air literally weighed down the rest of the team.

The Nets rely heavily on the three in their offense, but they hit just 26 percent of their 27 attempts. They weren’t much better inside the arc either. The team had a 1-for-9 stretch in the third quarter, which allowed Miami to build an advantage. Brooklyn scored just 36 points in the second half after putting 53 in the first.

Atkinson likely can’t wait to incorporate Okafor into the offense as he gives the coach something he hasn’t had all season – a consistent low post scorer. It’s something Brooklyn could have used in the loss on Saturday.

Jarrett Allen shows toughness

In a game with few positives, Allen’s resilience stands out. The former Texas star got into several tussles with Bam Adebayo, who was trying to send a message to the rookie. Allen refused to back down.

The 19-year-old got physical with Adebayo – which resulted in a double technical for both players. Allen didn’t have an impressive stat line tonight, just two points and seven rebounds, but he proved to his teammates that he’s willing to grind for results.

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    L 97-110

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