But the Heat also got a vintage performance by Dwyane Wade, more dominance by Hassan Whiteside and the continued emergence of rookie Josh Richardson.
Wade, who had 30 points and nine assists, led Miami to a 110-99 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at AmericanAirlines Arena.
“He made a lot of tough baskets,” Nets center Brook Lopez said of Wade, who converted on 14-of-19 from the floor. “He controlled the game, controlled the tempo. It was vintage D-Wade stuff.”
Wade had 17 of his points in the first half, when he nearly suffered a serious injury to his right thumb.
“I was diving for a loose ball,” Wade said. “I almost got caught the wrong way, but I’m good.”
In addition to Wade, the Heat got a career-high 27 points and eight rebounds from Whiteside.
“I’d like to be his agent right now,” Nets coach Tony Brown joked. “He’s giving them force with his rolls to the rim.”
Miami also received valuable contributions from its rookies — 16 points from Richardson and 13 points from Justise Winslow.
However, Winslow took a fall after a fourth-quarter drive to the hoop and immediately limped to the trainers’ room.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he doesn’t believe that either of Miami’s injury scares — Wade or Winslow — is serious.
“He landed awkwardly, which I think scared everybody,” Spoelstra said of Winslow. “It flared up his tendinitis a bit. But he’s already icing it — he’s fine right now.”
Joe Johnson, playing his first game against Brooklyn since the Nets released him on Feb. 27, had two points, four rebounds and seven assists as Miami (43-30) won for the 11th time in the past 15 games.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve played against him,” said Lopez, who was Johnson’s teammate for most of the past four years. “It was surreal, very weird.
“I’m happy for him, happy for his situation. He’s seems to be enjoying (Miami).”
Brooklyn (21-52) fell to 7-28 on the road this season. The Nets were led by Lopez, who had 26 points. Thaddeus Young added 20 points and nine rebounds. He made his first 10 shots and finished 10-of-12 from the floor.
Johnson, who got off to a hot start, had five first-quarter assists as the teams played to a 27-27 stalemate.
There were nine lead changes in the first half before the Heat went into the break with a 57-52 lead. Both teams shot 61 percent in the first half, but Miami gained a 40-28 advantage in terms of points in the paint.
Miami went on a 16-4 run in the third quarter and went in the fourth with an 82-75 lead.
“The beginning of the fourth quarter has been tough for us all year,” Young said.
Brown said Miami feasted on Brooklyn’s 20 turnovers and was effective with a formula that had given the Nets a modest two-game win streak entering Monday.
“They attacked us all night,” Brown said. “They had 72 points in the pain, an area where we had success the past couple of games.”
Wade had nine points in the third quarter, and Richardson had seven, including two 3-pointers.
“(Brooklyn) gave us everything offensively we could handle,” Wade said. “We locked in (defensively) in the second half to get the win.”
NOTES: Heat PG Goran Dragic (fever) missed the game and was replaced in the starting lineup by rookie second-round pick Josh Richardson. It was Richardson’s second start of the season and his first since Nov. 12. … Nets third-year PG Shane Larkin, a former Miami Hurricanes star, started his third straight game. “His speed and quickness in the open court have been a good lift for us,” Nets coach Tony Brown said. … Nets third-year SG Sergey Karasev started for the fourth time in five games. He played off the bench in his first 32 games this season. … If the Heat makes the playoffs this season, it would be 17 times since 1996. During that span, only the San Antonio Spurs have done it more.