Nets 86, Heat 74
MIAMI (AP) _ Kendall Gill scored 24 points and New Jersey shut down Miami in the fourth quarter en route to an 86-74 victory Friday night, the Heat’s third loss in four games.
The Nets also got 21 points and nine assists from Jim Jackson and 20 points from Kerry Kittles.
Miami, seeded second in the Eastern Conference, got a fracnhise-record 60th victory by beating the Chicago Bulls, its only victory in the last four games. The Heat finish the regular season Saturday at Orlando in a preview of a first-round playoff series opening Thursday at Miami.
New Jersey, out of the playoffs,
snapped an eight-game losing streak against Miami dating to last season. The Nets finish on Sunday at home against Atlanta.
Voshon Lenard led Miami with 16 points and P.J. Brown had 15.
New Jersey opened a 45-34 lead late in the second quarter behind nine points from Jackson. Two 3-pointers by Lenard and one by Dan Majerle cut it to 45-43 at halftime.
New Jersey led 64-61 after three periods, then pushed the lead to 83-71 with 2:10 to play after consecutive jumpers by Xavier McDaniel.
Notes: The Nets were shorthanded in the backcourt with the absence of point guard Sam Cassell (hamstring) and Kevin Edwards (stomach flu). ... The Nets have had 25 players on their roster this season. ... Miami’s Pat Riley tops the list of coaches with 60-win seasons with seven. ... The Heat’s league-leading 31 road victories are the most ever by a Riley-coached team. ... Keeping with recent tradition, the Heat paid tribute to the fans for the final home game. Players’ practice jerseys and sneakers were given to selected fans.