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otes: Rondo became the sixth playe
(SportsNetwork. Custom New England Patriots Jerseys .com) - The Miami Heat completed another exemplary regular season, but there was one team they werent able to conquer, not even in four tries. That team was the Brooklyn Nets. The two squads begin their Eastern Conference semifinals matchup Tuesday night in South Beach and the prevailing theme at the outset is can Miami, the two- time defending champs, beat the Nets? You can catch all of the action on TSN2 at 7pm et/4pm pt. "We know we can beat them, but theres a difference between regular season and the playoffs. Its going to take a collective effort," Brooklyn All-Star guard Joe Johnson said. The Nets won this seasons four regular-season matchups by a combined 12 points and three of the games were decided by a single point. Brooklyns four victories this season snapped a 13-game losing streak to the Heat. Miami swept an injured Charlotte Bobcats team in the first round. The Heat played decently, but theyve been out of action since Monday night. The long wait can work as a positive in that players can get fully healthy, but also a negative if the team loses it sharpness. "Weve been waiting around for a while," said LeBron James. "We dont have a choice, The schedule, it is what it is. Guys are definitely getting their bodies right." The Nets played Sunday afternoon and barely hung on to beat the Toronto Raptors in a Game 7 at the Air Canada Centre. They flew right to South Beach to get started on preparation for this second round. Paul Pierce blocked a Kyle Lowry attempt for the win just before the horn to preserve their season. Pierce and Kevin Garnett, two future Hall of Famers, were brought in at a steep price to give this Nets team championship credibility. With first-year head coach Jason Kidd on the sideline, the team needed leadership. The move didnt bring the kind of expected regular-season success, but the Nets are one of eight teams that can still wear the crown. "This was a very difficult series," Garnett said. "It tested everybodys will here. If anything, I think we grew up a bit during this series." Theyll need growth when they face the Heat. During the Bobcats series, James averaged 30.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.3 steals. Chris Bosh was decent versus Charlotte with 14.5 ppg, but he shot a ridiculous 69 percent from 3-point range. Dwyane Wade, who missed a lot of time in the regular season, averaged 17.5 ppg during the Charlotte sweep, which was down a touch from the campaign. The Nets backcourt of Deron Williams and Johnson has All-Star pedigree, but appeared to slip a little during the campaign. That was until the postseason hit. Johnson averaged 21.6 points against the Raptors and dominated the post against the smaller guards trying to cover him. Williams improved his play tremendously, averaging 17.1 ppg and staying aggressive throughout, at least in Brooklyns victories. Williams tweaked his chronically bad ankle in the Toronto series, but played through it. This is the third time the two franchises will meet in the postseason and the results have been one-sided. Miami swept the Nets in the first round in 2005, then dispatched them in the second round one year later, 4-1. The Heat have won nine consecutive postseason series, which is tied for the eighth-longest in NBA history. Game 2 will be in Miami on Thursday night. Wholesale Patriots Jerseys . The 33-year-old Spaniard, who held the lead since the second round, turned in a solid final round that featured six birdies and two bogeys to finish on 22-under 266. The victory is Garcias first this year with his last win coming at the Johor Open, an Asian Tour event in Malaysia last December. Stitched Patriots Jerseys . According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, the deal will pay Schenn $2.25 million in the first year and $2.75 million in the second year. In 82 games with the Flyers in 2013-14, Schenn scored 20 goals and added 21 assists.BOSTON -- With both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook sitting out for the first time since the franchise set up shop in Oklahoma City, the Thunder needed about a half to figure things out. And then the Western Conference leaders put the lottery-bound Boston Celtics away. "We take pride in playing hard no matter whos on the floor," coach Scott Brooks said after his team went on a 17-2 third-quarter run to beat Boston 101-83 on Friday night. "Obviously, were a better team with Kevin and Russell. But it doesnt make us not a team." Durant, the NBA scoring leader, missed his first game of the season, joining fellow All-Star Westbrook on the bench. That was only a minor setback, with Serge Ibaka scoring nine of his 21 points and adding five rebounds in the pivotal third quarter to lead Oklahoma City to its sixth straight victory. Jeremy Lamb came off the bench to score 19 points, and Reggie Jackson had 14 points and eight assists. "Everybodys just got to do their job a little bit better and a little bit harder," said Thunder centre Kendrick Perkins, a former Celtic, who had nine rebounds. "Its our first time playing without both of them, so it was good." Durant was the franchises first pick in 2007, its final year as the Seattle SuperSonics, and Westbrook was their first-round pick after the team moved to Oklahoma City for the following season. Together, they led the Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals and were poised for another deep run last year before Westbrook was injured in the first round series against Houston. Oklahoma City has managed to stay atop the West with Westbrook out since Christmas to recover from right knee surgery. And Durant has been the reason, going on a scoring tear with at least 30 points in nine consecutive games before sitting out Friday night. But Durrant watched this one from the bench in warmups, then was icing his right shoulder in the locker room after the game, joking around with Westbrook. Fake Patriots Jerseys. "Theyre a good team without him -- as you can see," Celtics guard Phil Pressey said. Brooks said he did not know if his star would return on Saturday night against Philadelphia. "Well see how he wakes up," the coach said. Jeff Green scored 16 points and Gerald Wallace scored 12 of his 13 points in the first half, before the Thunder pulled away with a 17-2 run in the third quarter. Rajon Rondo had eight assists and five points in his fifth game since returning from reconstructive knee surgery. The Celtics have lost 13 of 15 games. "Theyre down Kevin Durant, and I think their team is thinking OK, this is an opportunity for a lot of guys that dont play as much when hes playing minutes," Celtics centre Kris Humphries said. "Something happened. You guys all saw the game. It wasnt great. Thanks for staying for the whole game." The Thunder allowed the Celtics to open a five-point lead early in the second quarter but then scored 18 of the next 22 points to take a nine-point lead. It was a two-point game after Boston scored the first basket of the second half, but Oklahoma City opened a 60-53 lead and then scored 17 of the next 19 points. In all, Oklahoma City outscored the Celtics 27-13 in the third. Notes: Rondo became the sixth player in Celtics history to reach the 4,000-assist plateau. Bill Russell is next, with 4,100. ... The Thunder have the best record in Western Conference and are 6-0 on the road against Eastern Conference teams. They will try to remain perfect Saturday at Philadelphia... Celtics F Jared Sullinger dislocated his right index finger in the first half but returned to the game. ' ' '

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