Something about facing the Miami Heat still brings out the best in Paul Pierce.
Jason Kidd isn’t half-bad against them, either.
Pierce scored 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter and delivered two crucial scores late, Shaun Livingston created a turnover on the game’s final play, and the Brooklyn Nets topped the Heat, 96-95, Wednesday night in Miami — moving to 3-0 this season against the two-time defending NBA champions, two of those wins coming by a single point and the other in overtime.
‘‘We haven’t had any success,’’ Kidd said of Brooklyn’s perfect mark against the Heat. ‘‘We've just been lucky to win some games.’’
Maybe, maybe not. In Kidd’s past 24 games against the Heat as a coach or player, his teams are 19-5. And this was just the latest entry in Brooklyn’s surge, with the Nets now an Eastern Conference-best 23-9 since Jan. 1.
Mirza Teletovic scored 17 off the bench. Livingston finished with 13 points and Andray Blatche scored 11 for the Nets.
Chris Bosh scored 24 points for Miami. Dwyane Wade scored 22, LeBron James finished with 19, and Mario Chalmers scored 14 for the Heat, who gave up 22 points off turnovers and were hit with two technicals (on Wade and Chalmers) for arguing calls within a 92-second span of the third quarter.
‘‘It’s competition,’’ said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team has dropped four of its past five games. ‘‘It’s survival of the strongest right now . . . We still feel confident about our game. We just need to put it together.’’
Miami had a chance at the end. Deron Williams missed a jumper with about eight seconds left, and Wade grabbed the rebound. He took a couple steps downcourt, then called time out with 3.5 seconds remaining, and Miami had to burn another one in order to advance the ball into the frontcourt for the final play.
Whatever Spoelstra drew up never got off the ground. Bosh tried to get the ball to James in the lane, but Livingston knocked it away and time expired.
Pierce was 5 for 5 from the field, 3 for 3 from 3-point range and got fouled on another try from beyond the arc in the third quarter.
Chalmers made a 3-pointer to get Miami within 84-81 with 6:57 left, but Teletovic — who hadn’t had a double-digit scoring game in exactly a month — answered from several feet beyond the arc on the next Brooklyn possession to restore a 6-point lead.
Miami never got the lead back.
Pierce had a 3 to make it 90-86, then a drive to snap a 92-all tie with 1:45 remaining.
The Nets were without Kevin Garnett (back) and Andrei Kirilenko (ankle). Garnett is expected to miss at least one more game, while Kirilenko tested his ankle in a morning shootaround practice before the Nets figured he wasn’t ready to play.
Mavericks 108, Jazz 101 — Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points to pass John Havlicek and move into sole possession of the No. 12 spot on the all-time NBA scoring list as Dallas held off Utah in Salt Lake City.
Grizzlies 90, Pelicans 88 — Mike Conley hit a driving layup against Austin Rivers with 1.5 seconds remaining to complete Memphis’s comeback victory over host New Orleans.
Spurs 103, Trail Blazers 90 — Patty Mills scored 15 points, Tim Duncan had 10 points and 11 rebounds in limited minutes, and San Antonio rolled to its eighth straight win with a victory over visiting Portland.
Clippers 111, Warriors 98 — Blake Griffin had 30 points and 15 rebounds and Danny Granger added 18 points off the bench to help host Los Angeles earned its ninth straight victory by overpowering Golden State.
Bobcats 98, Wizards 85 — Al Jefferson had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Gerald Henderson went 6 for 9 in his return from a calf injury to lead visiting Charlotte over Washington.
Kings 115, 76ers 98 — Rudy Gay scored 27 points, Isaiah Thomas added 20 and visiting Sacramento was 40 for 50 from the free throw line in sending Philadelphia to its 18th straight loss.
Raptors 101, Pistons 87 — DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points, Amir Johnson had 20 against his former team and Toronto handed Detroit its 10th straight road defeat.
Nuggets 120, Magic 112 — Kenneth Faried scored 26 points and Wilson Chandler added 21 points and 10 rebounds to rally visiting Denver past Orlando.
Cavaliers 110, Suns 101 — Kyrie Irving scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and visiting Cleveland spoiled Eric Bledsoe’s return for Phoenix.