EditorsNote: Fixes in 5th, 6th, 7th grafs
Kelly Olynyk scored 25 points as the host Miami Heat dominated the third quarter and never trailed in a 117-88 victory over the slumping Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night.
Olynyk was questionable for the game with a sprained right ankle but scored at least 20 points for the third time in four games. The forward shot 9-of-13, hit three 3-pointers and contributed six rebounds and four assists.
Olynyk’s performance helped the Heat keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race on a night when Goran Dragic (strained left calf) and Hassan Whiteside (strained left hip) sat out. He scored nine points in the third quarter, when Miami shot 54.5 percent and outscored Brooklyn 30-20 to turn a 10-point halftime lead into an 84-64 advantage.
Miami won for the fourth time in its last 14 games and remained one game behind Orlando and Charlotte, which are tied for eighth. The Heat also moved within 2 1/2 games of Brooklyn.
Reserve Derrick Jones Jr. tied a career high with 18 points as Miami shot 48.9 percent and hit 14 of 34 3-pointers. Rodney McGruder added 17 while Justise Winslow contributed 13 and Josh Richardson chipped in 12.
Bam Adebayo started for Whiteside at center and grabbed 16 rebounds as Miami dominated the glass by a 57-36 margin. Miami also recorded its third wire-to-wire win this season and second over the Nets.
The Nets dropped their third straight game. Brooklyn also lost for the 10th time in its last 15 games and dropped under .500 for the first time since Jan. 14.
Joe Harris led the Nets with 15 points, but D’Angelo Russell was held to 10 points. Brooklyn’s other three starters -- Treveon Graham, Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert -- combined for 22 points.
The Nets shot 35.2 percent and misfired on 33 of 42 3-point attempts.
The Nets were within 45-41 on a short jumper by Harris with 4:31 left before halftime, but Miami extended the lead to 54-44 on a floater by Winslow with 1:16 left.
--Field Level Media