NBA: Heat scorch Nets 103 to 73

Miami Heat forward LeBron James goes up for a shot against Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson
Miami Heat forward LeBron James goes up for a shot against Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson

The defending NBA champion Miami Heat blew away their second successive opponent in a 103-73 rout over Brooklyn on Wednesday to raise its record to 4-1, including 4-0 at home. The Nets are 1-2.

The top payroll in the league belongs to the Lakers, followed by Brooklyn with its All-Star backcourt of  Deron Williams and Joe Johnson and its highly compensated center, Brook Lopez.

However, instead of a high-powered shootout between two star-powered teams, the Heat dominated Wednesday’s game by playing tough defense and getting out on the fast break.

Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 22 points. LeBron James posted 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in just 30 minutes.

The Heat lead the league in scoring and have totaled at least 100 points in four of their five games. Limiting the Nets to 73 points was the Heat’s best defensive effort of the season.

Miami held Brooklyn to 37.5 percent shooting and forced 19 turnovers from the Nets.

Brooklyn, which was coming off a Monday game in which it blew a 22-point third-quarter lead at home, was virtually done after three quarters Wednesday, trailing 79-56.

Williams led the Nets with 14 points, but he was forced into seven turnovers. Johnson had nine points but made just four of 14 shots. Lopez scored eight points. Kris Humphries had 11 points and 11 rebounds, but almost all of that production came in the first half.

James and Wade took turns dominating to give the Heat a 50-41 halftime lead.

James scored 11 first-quarter points on a 3-pointer, two free throws, two layups and one dunk. His only basket in the second period was a 13-foot fade-away jumper with 0.4 seconds left.

Wade, who was held scoreless in the first quarter, had 12 points in the second quarter. He had two jumpers, two free throws, one layup and two dunks.

The Nets, who trailed 26-22 after the first quarter, got their best performance of the season — by far — from starting forward Kris Humphries. He had 11 points and 10 rebounds in the first half, including nine and seven in the opening quarter.

Brooklyn point guard Deron Williams had a team-high 12 points, victimizing young Heat point guard Mario Chalmers (two points in 16 first-half minutes).

The Nets used their size to lead the Heat in rebounds, 24-19, and on second-chance points, 26-16, at the break. However, Brooklyn failed to take full advantage because it shot just 41.9 percent from the field and had 10 turnovers.

The Heat had just six first-half turnovers and used their speed to lead 10-2 in fast-break points at halftime.