James Harden’s dejected reaction after Brooklyn Nets fall to Miami Heat

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Less than a calendar year ago, the Brooklyn Nets traded for James Harden and formed perhaps the most feared and talented Big 3 in NBA history.

But now they’re 2-3 after a 106-93 loss to the Miami Heat, and Harden spoke out after the contest.

The Southern California native was hampered by a hamstring injury in last season’s NBA playoffs, which led to the Nets barely dropping a Game 7 to the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks.

With Kyrie Irving out due to his refusal to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, everyone, including Harden, will need to step it up for Brooklyn.

The Heat, meanwhile, are staking their claim as legitimate contenders for the NBA championship.

They held Kevin Durant in check on Wednesday, thanks in large part to the physicality of Bam Adebayo and P.J. Tucker.

Miami came into Wednesday’s contest as the top team in the league in defensive rating, and the addition of Kyle Lowry has made its offense more potent.

Make no mistake: The Heat will have a major say in how the 2021-22 season plays out this spring and summer.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif. and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s, and during that time he has lived through the Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James era of Heat basketball. He feels strongly that the NBA and sports aren't just entertainment, but also a means for learning life lessons.