NEW YORK -- For the game's first 36 minutes, it appeared this was the perfect night for a gimmick, with both teams adorned in nickname jerseys.
Because through three quarters this hardly was a perfect night to take measure of the two-time defending NBA champions.
In fact, when Erik Spoelstra's team fell behind by 14 in the third period, this might have been a good night to replace the name of the team on the front of the jersey, as well, because this hardly resembled the Miami Heat.
But even with Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier out, with Chris Bosh nearly as passive as he was a night earlier in a 10-point loss to the New York Knicks, the Heat found a way to turn an apparent blowout into something far more scintillating.
Ultimately, even with LeBron James, who fouled out late in the first overtime, stepping up late in a 36-point performance, there wasn't enough, as the Heat fell, 104-95, in double-overtime Friday night to the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
James has now scored 20 or more in 22 consecutive games against the Nets, the second-longest streak by a Nets opponent, with the record 39 consecutive such performances by Michael Jordan.
In what had been promoted as a showcase of the NBA's "Name Collection" jerseys, there was no "D.Wade" for the Heat, no "Battle" (Battier), no "Rio."
But there was "King James," and he again played like royalty, shooting 12 of 21, with seven rebounds and five assists.
There wasn't, however, much in the way of defense through the first three periods for the Heat, with replacement starters Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis and Norris Cole hardly up to challenge of a resurgent Nets team that entered having won four in a row.
Still, down 76-64 entering the fourth quarter, the Heat fought all the way back to force overtime, with regulation ending tied 89-89.
The Heat got key scores from Cole, James, Michael Beasley as well as three foul shots from Roger Mason when he was fouled on a 3-point attempt, to help force the first extra period. Regulation ended when Nets forward Paul Pierce was off with a jumper set up by an offensive rebound.
The Nets then pushed to a 93-89 lead in the first extra period with 1:39 to play, when a Joe Johnson runner was goal-tended by Chris Andersen. Andersen responded with a reverse layup on the other end to draw the Heat within 93-91.
But that's when James, playing with five fouls, was called for a charge with 36 seconds left in the first overtime, turning the ball over to the Nets and ending his night.
The Heat then forced a Johnson miss, with an 18-foot pull-up jumper by Cole tying it at 93-93 with 3.3 seconds left in the extra period.
And again, just as was the case at the end of regulation, Pierce was off at the buzzer, this time sending it to a second overtime that would not feature James.
But an 11-0 Nets blitz to start the second extra period, sparked by a Pierce 3-pointer, was too much for the Heat to overcome.
The next stop for the Heat should present the opportunity to rekindle some of their championship mojo, with a Tuesday visit with President Obama at the White House.
Battier sat with his strained quadriceps, with Chalmers again sidelined by Achilles tendinitis. Wade again was out due to his ongoing knee maintenance program.
The Nets also were shorthanded, with center Brook Lopez out for the season with a surgical foot issue and point guard Deron Williams again sidelined by his ongoing ankle issues.
James tried to pick up as much of the slack as possible early, with 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the opening period.
The problem was Johnson came out even hotter, making his first eight shots and closing the first quarter with 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting, to help fuel the Nets to a 33-32 lead at the end of the opening period.
While Johnson was limited to four points in the second period, that was a factor of getting only two shots in the quarter, making both. James, by contrast, was 0 for 3 from the field in the second period, scoreless in what turned into a 13-point second period for the Heat.
With Johnson with 26 points to that stage, and with little support for James beyond 10 first-half points from Lewis, the Heat went into the intermission down 53-45, with Brooklyn closing the second period on an 8-0 run.
This was the second game of the four-game season series and the Heat's final appearance of the regular season at Barclays. The Heat's 13-game winning streak against the Nets was snapped when they lost the season's first meeting between the teams 101-100 Nov. 1, despite 26 points from James.
It was the first game coaching against the Heat during the regular season for Jason Kidd, who was not at the teams' first meeting due to an NBA-imposed suspension for a DUI incident. Kidd did coach twice against the Heat during the preseason.
The Heat entered 5-1 on the second nights of back-to-back sets, with this completing their seventh set of the season.
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