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After 'rain delay,' Nets rally, but can't dig out of hole against undermanned Heat

Joe Johnson #7 of the Brooklyn Nets walks

Joe Johnson #7 of the Brooklyn Nets walks to the bench in the first half against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

The absurdity of it all had the makings of a Snickers commercial, given the unlikeliest of scenarios that was unfolding before everyone's eyes.

A billion-dollar arena that's barely three years old sprung a leak late in the first quarter, causing droplets of water to fall onto the herringbone court near the sideline opposite the Nets bench. Unable to quickly detect the problem, which was attributable to the construction and installation of a "green roof" that's supposed to muffle some of the noise emanating from the building, two garbage buckets were placed on the floor to collect the water, leading to a 30-minute delay.

Maybe it would've been wise for someone accidentally to overturn one of the buckets, turning the court into a makeshift slip-and-slide. At least then they would have had a valid reason to suspend the game and spared the Nets the embarrassment of dropping one to the undermanned Heat.

Unable to get their offense in gear on a night Dwyane Wade had the touch, the Nets fell behind in the first quarter, playing catch-up all game. They couldn't climb out of a cavernous 15-point hole, falling to the Heat, 95-91, at the Barclays Center Tuesday night.

Mason Plumlee scored a season-high 21 points and had nine rebounds to lead the Nets (10-13). Deron Williams had 15 points and 11 assists, but had a pair of critical turnovers in the waning minutes. Wade had 28 points for Miami, which didn't have the services of Chris Bosh (strained calf), Danny Granger (illness) or Josh McRoberts (torn meniscus).

The Nets trailed for the game's final 38:44, but scrambled to claw within 93-91 behind an 8-0 run punctuated by Bojan Bogdanovic's three-pointer with 35.1 seconds left. Wade missed a long jumper with the shot clock about to expire on the Heat's ensuing possession, but referee Scott Twardoski called Bogdanovic for hooking Luol Deng. Deng nailed both free throws to hand Miami (12-13) a four-point edge.

Jarrett Jack blew a wide open layup seconds later that would've whittled the Nets' deficit to two points, virtually sealing the Heat's win. Considering how things started, it was the perfect wacky ending to a crazy night.

Things got weird with 1:47 left in the first quarter and the Nets trailing 24-21. Noticing a buildup of water on the floor just a few feet from the south sideline, officials halted play to get it wiped up, only to find out the issue was far more difficult to resolve than simply putting a few towels on the job.

Heat players weren't about to hang around, opting to head to the locker room while the Nets hoisted a few warm-up shots. But the Nets eventually made a beeline for their spacious digs while general manager Billy King, arena officials and others stood around in a makeshift huddle, waiting to see if the faux dripping faucet was going to be shut off.

Luckily, they didn't need an expensive plumber. The arena released a statement explaining it had "taken all necessary steps to rectify" the situation.

As it turns out, something else still needed to be fixed, though: the Nets' inability to consistently make shots on a night their offense betrayed them.


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