(Reuters) - The Miami Heat delivered another strong performance on defense to beat Brooklyn 94-82 on Thursday and take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven National Basketball Association Eastern Conference semi-final series.
Miami, who are now 6-0 in the postseason, broke clear of the Nets in the final quarter. Brooklyn shot only 42 percent from the field.
In Game One on Tuesday the Heat held Nets center Kevin Garnett scoreless for the first time in his career.
On Thursday it was Nets point guard Deron Williams who suffered the same fate, held without a point after missing all nine of his shots from the floor.
“We’re just doing what we can to keep him in front of us as much as we can,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of the defense on Williams.
The Heat were led by LeBron James, who had a game-high 22 points on nine-of-18 shooting from the field, but this was not the sort of high-powered offensive show fans are used to seeing from Miami.
The Heat got just five points on the fast break after getting four in the opener.
“It’s the playoffs,” Heat guard Ray Allen said. “We’ve been a great fast-break team and scored a lot in transition. But teams are loading up and making sure they get back on transition defense. So we have to score in other ways.”
The Nets will try to get on the board in Game Three in Brooklyn on Saturday. If not, the series could be over very quickly.
Garnett, though, said the Nets had not pressed the panic button.
“We have a lot of confidence in ourselves,” he said. “We just have to go home and defend our home court.”
The Heat are now a perfect 6-0 in the 2014 playoffs, including a 4-0 opening-round sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats.
Brooklyn enjoyed four straight regular-season wins over the Heat but Miami are now 10-1 against the Nets in the postseason.
Editing by Peter Rutherford