Then James went out in the second half and reminded Reggie Evans that talk is cheap.
And that he’s probably the best basketball player on the planet.
The superstar small forward went just 4-for-11 from the field in the opening half but scored 15 of his 24 points in the final 24 minutes, and the Miami Heat steamrolled over the Brooklyn Nets 105-85 on Wednesday night at Barclays Center. James added nine rebounds and seven assists while extending his winning streak against the Nets to 17.
He has scored at least 20 points in 20 consecutive games against the Nets, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Michael Jordan holds the record (39).
The Nets (27-19) lost all three of their games against the Heat (29-13) this season by a combined 63 points and have dropped 13 in a row to Miami. Their eight-game home winning streak came to an end, and they finished January 11-4. The Nets are 10-19 against .500-or-better teams, 13-5 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
A “New York Knicks!” chant could be heard from the rafters with the Heat in command.
HEY NOW, YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Brook Lopez was named to his first All-Star team prior to Wednesday’s game, replacing Rajon Rondo. Then he went out and dominated, scoring 21 points while grabbing seven rebounds, blocking two shots and making two steals. Lopez’s backup, Blatche, chipped in 10 points and two rebounds off the bench. Blatche hit all five of his shots in the first half.
D-FLU: Deron Williams (flu-like symptoms) gutted it out but wasn’t himself, finishing with just nine points and five assists in 34 minutes.
THIRD IS NOT THE WORD: The Nets took a 53-51 lead early in the third quarter. It was all Heat from there. Miami went on an 18-2 run to take a commanding 16-point lead. The Heat outscored the Nets 36-14 in the third.
CLOSING TIME: The Nets closed the second quarter on a 20-8 run to get themselves out of a 12-point hole. Brooklyn outscored Miami 32-16 in the paint in the first half. James went just 4-for-11 and scored nine points (none in the second). Lopez and Blatche combined for 23 points.
3-BRIGADE: The Heat hit all five of their 3-pointers in the first quarter to take a 30-20 lead. Brooklyn’s highlight was Joe Johnson's busting Chris Bosh on the baseline before draining a jumper.
WHO’S IN THE HOUSE? Mikhail Prokhorov, Michael Strahan, Miss America.
UP NEXT: Nets vs. Bulls on Friday at 7:30 p.m.