By Jason Schott - @JESchott19
The Nets lost to the Heat 102-96 in Game 4 on Monday night at Barclays Center, and now trail Miami 3-1 in the series. LeBron James led Miami with 49 points and Chris Bosh hit a game-winning three-pointer in the final minute. Game 5 is Wednesday night in Miami.
Joe Johnson, who had 18 points to lead Brooklyn, said of the loss, "It's very disappointing. We let one get away on our home floor. Not only let but I thought the points in the paint were the biggest difference. We didn't allow that in Game Three. In Game Four, we gave up too many points; too many easy baskets. LeBron shot 19 free throws; put him at the line too many times but we still had a chance to win. We just didn't get it done."
On James' performance, Johnson said, "Well I thought we did a good job of limiting the other guys. He got it going pretty early. It seems that the first quarter is when he kind of starts it out but defensively, like I said, we gave them too many layups, too many points in the paint. We had guys in foul trouble early so it was hard for guys to take fouls early in the game. It was a tough one."
On whether, after the game, the team discussed heading down to Miami for Game 5 down 3-1 in the series, "Not really. One thing we did talk about was taking it one game, one possession at a time. Obviously the series is not over but we really have to have urgency going to Miami and we got to come out early to roll."
Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd said of how the Nets closed out the game, "I think both teams were trying to find a way to make a basket. B0th teams were playing really good defense. Bosh knocks down that three in the corner but before that both teams were struggling. Both teams, defensively, were holding pat. They made the shot and we didn't."
Kidd said of LeBron James, "He was going; a lot of his shots were in the paint and we tried to keep him out of the paint. It's a little bit harder when you talk about it because he's not gonna settle. Tonight he didn't settle. He put pressure on our defense. That being said, 49 points, we still had a chance to win."
On going to Joe Johnson in the last few possessions, Kidd said, "One, he's a very talented player and we want him to touch the ball. We're not trying to foul Lebron out, we're just trying to play the game, see what presence itself because when you start to try and foul someone out that doesn't tend to work. So we got the ball to our best player and he got some good looks but they just didn't go down."
Andray Blatche, who had 8 points and 8 rebounds off the bench, said, "It wasn't so much the final few minutes, it was the whole game. We didn't do what we did in Game 3. All the things that we talked about, all the things we did in Game 3, we didn't do tonight. We let them score so many points in the paint, and that's what really hurt us."
Andrei Kirilenko, who had 6 points, 2 assists, and a rebound, said of the game, "I think we played a pretty good game, we were aggressive, especially in the second half. That kind of put a lot of pressure on Miami. But at the end, I think they executed a little bit better."
On the task of guarding LeBron James, Kirilenko said, "I mean, it is always tough to play against players like him, but it's a team effort. I think we did a pretty good job. A lot of shots were layups. They made a lot of layups in the paint, and LeBron was one of those guys who got those, so we need to be very focused to protect the paint, and force the ball out, otherwise we're going to lose. We need to concentrate. The third game was a great example of how we concentrated. We didn't allow them to get those inside shots."
On the challenge of heading to Miami facing elimination, Kirilenko said, "To win the whole series, you need to win on the road anyway. It's going to be a huge challenge for us, but the series is not over yet, so we are going to fight."
Blatche said of what it will take to win in Miami, "It's going to take a lot of energy and effort, and communication like we did in Game 3; keep them out of the paint, and talk to one another. That's pretty much what it boils down to."