August 06, 2020

Spencer Dinwiddie led the Brooklyn Nets in scoring with 26 points; Rodions Kurucs led the charge early and ended the game with 19 points for Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Nets’ downward slide has ended, at least for the moment. The Nets can now add a check in the win column with its 117-113 win over the Miami Heat last night. With the win over Miami, the Nets have snapped its seven-game losing streak and improved to 17-20, while the Heat fell to 27-11 on the season with its loss against the Nets.

How The Brooklyn Nets beat the Miami Heat by the numbers:

Sometimes the higher percentage doesn’t always tell the story. As in this case, in field goal percentage, the Miami Heat bested the Brooklyn Nets 51.8 percent (44-of-85) versus 48.4 percent (45-of-93). Behind the arc, Brooklyn secured 15 three-point shots compared to Miami’s seven. The Heat cruised by the Nets at the free-throw line 18-12.
The Brooklyn Nets also dished out 31 assists in comparison to the Miami Heat’s 26, and on the boards, the Nets outrebounded the Heat 51-40, including a 14-4 (+10) edge on the offensive glass.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Miami, at the end of the first quarter, the Miami Heat led the Brooklyn Nets 42-32, and at the half, the Heat led the Nets 69-57. But, in the third stanza, the Nets evened the score, ending the third 89-89.

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson on his team’s attitude being down headed into the fourth quarter:

“I thought the whole game we had great energy, great effort,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson told the media postgame. “It just comes back to, the game will reward you when you play with that kind of grit and passion and energy. I thought that it was maybe one of the highest intensity games we’ve played all year. I think our backs were to the wall a little bit against an excellent team – real credit to the guys. I thought our defense was outstanding in that second half. Twenty points in the third and then 24 in the fourth and a lot of guys contributed. A lot of really good signs from our young players and guys off the bench.”

Speaking of young players coming off the bench, Caris LeVert exudes confidence in himself. When asked what hitting those two shots in the fourth quarter did for his confidence, LeVert responded: “My confidence never wavers, to be honest with you. Miss shots, make shots, it happens. I think I was like 1-for-7, so in my mind, next seven are going in, you know what I’m saying? So, it was good to see them go in, good to get the win. But like I said, it doesn’t really waver for me.”

Speaking of not wavering LeVert also shined a spotlight on the performance of another young Nets player who didn’t waver last night, Rodions Kurucs.

“Huge. He was huge for us. He started off the game huge – I think that gave us a big boost – and it forced them to wake up faster because Rodi hit three quick ones. We’ve been on him about shooting open three’s and I think he’s having great carryover from practice.”

The Brooklyn Nets’ Leading Scorers

Spencer Dinwiddie recorded his fifth double-double of the season tonight with 26 points and a career-high 14 assists to go along with four rebounds, two steals and a block in 35 minutes. Rodions Kurucs has found his way with his third start of the season, scoring a season-high 19 points with three rebounds in 23 minutes; Taurean Prince tallied 17 points with four rebounds, and four assists in 32 minutes; Jarrett Allen posted 11 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes, recording his team-high 17th double-double of the season; Caris LeVert, still working his way back from a thumb injury, registered 11 points, four assists, and three rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench, and; Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot added 10 points and three boards off the bench.

DeAndre Jordan, not a point-scoring leader in this game, pulled down 10 rebounds with eight points in 20 minutes off the bench.

Miami Heat Scoring Leaders

Jimmy Butler led the way in scoring for the Miami Heat, leading all scorers with 33 points, nine rebounds, and two assists in 36 minutes. Bam Adebayo registered 22 points, seven assists, and six rebounds in 33 minutes; Goran Dragic posted 17 points and five assists in 29 minutes, and; Kendrick Nunn chipped in 10 points in 23 minutes.

Coach Speak: Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra’s perspective on his team’s inability to get a win on the road against the Brooklyn Nets

“I’m going to keep it really short,” Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said to the media postgame. “Not a whole lot to say. The Brooklyn Nets deserved to win this game.
We got what we deserved. They came out and outcompeted us. Even when we were ahead and we were scoring the basketball, they were winning the physicality battles, clearly the rebounding, the loose balls and things of that nature. You just have to credit Brooklyn. We’re still searching for maturity on the road as a basketball team, and we didn’t take a step forward in that department tonight. We’re much better than that. It’s not an indictment on who we are as a basketball team. We’re a good basketball team. Our group knows that. This group has a great deal of confidence. I love that quality about our team because on the road it’s tough. It is tough leaguewide and we’re still developing this necessary maturity to be consistent on the road and we didn’t have that tonight.”

What’s Next for the Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets?

The Miami Heat will stay in town and head across the East River to play the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, January 12, 2020, at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will stay at home and host the Atlanta Hawks at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn also on Sunday, January 12, 2020, but at 6:00 p.m. ET.

TIP-INS:

Spencer Dinwiddie became the first Net to reach 26 points, 14 assists, four boards, and just two turnovers in the same game since Sam Cassell on March 12, 1998, at Houston. Dinwiddie has scored 20+ points in 20 of his last 26 games and has scored 20+ points a single-season career-high 24 times (in 37 games).

DeAndre Jordan has posted 20 games of 10+ rebounds this season and has grabbed 10+ boards off the bench a league-leading 16 times this season.

 

Spencer Dinwiddie leads all players with 29 points in a loss against the Miami Heat

The Brooklyn Nets put up a great fight against the Miami Heat last night; starting the final quarter down by two points at 83-81 and then building a seven-point lead twice at 4:07 and then again 1:45, only to fall to the Heat 109-106. The Nets fell to 10-10 the loss, while the Heat improved to 14-5 with the victory.

The Brooklyn Nets By the Numbers

Brooklyn shot 44.0 percent (40-of-91 FG) from the field while limiting Miami to 38.9 percent shooting (37-of-95 FG). The Nets have now held opponents under 40.0 percent shooting in three games this season.

The Nets edged the Heat 24-16 in assists yesterday, led by Garrett Temple (five assists), Taurean Prince (five assists), and Spencer Dinwiddie (four assists).

Brooklyn led Miami 65-58 at halftime before being outscored 51-41 by the Heat in the second half. The Nets have done well with holding the lead at halftime this season. They have held a lead at halftime in 15 of their 20 games this season, including eight of 10 home contests.

The Closing Seconds

With just under 30 seconds in regulation, the Nets were leading by one, 106-105. Dinwiddie fouls Jimmy Butler and then Butler hits both free throws giving the Heat a one-point lead, 107-106. Dinwiddie gets possession of the ball misses a driving layup; Miami’s forward Justise Winslow gets the ball, Dinwiddie fouls him, Winslow knocks down his free throws and now Miami is up 109-106 with 11.3 seconds on the clock. With two seconds left on the clock, Dinwiddie goes for a 28-foot three-pointer and misses, and the Heat leaves the Barclays Center with a 109-106 win.

Coach Speak: Kenny Atkinson on how the Brooklyn Nets Lost

Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson believes his team missed several opportunities down the stretch to defeat the Miami Heat yesterday.

“We had opportunities, tons of opportunities, Coach Atkinson told the media postgame. They made plays, we didn’t. Just one of those see-saw games. Like I said, we had our opportunities.”

Coach Atkinson also didn’t like his team’s final possession.

“No, and they did a good job,” Atkinson responded to a reporter’s question about if he liked the final possession.

The answer was evident considering the Nets didn’t win, but in the rush of asking questions, many times the question gets asked in a way that the reporter didn't intend.

“We were obviously trying to get a switch and a weakness defender,” Atkinson continued. “I thought they had (a) good strategy to kind of deter that. It always comes down to do you want to search the mismatch, or do you want to keep the ball moving and stay within your offense. I thought we were seeking a mismatch – got it sometimes, sometimes we didn’t. I thought they did a good job trying to stay out of that mismatch. It was obvious who we were going at, and then when we did get Bam (Adebayo) out there at the 3-point line guarding Spencer (Dinwiddie), Spencer got downhill, we missed. Kind of that simple.”

Coach Speak: Erik Spoelstra on how critical the last two stops were for the Miami Heat

“We’ve been talking about it for 48 hours that we need to take a stand, particularly on the road,” said Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. “We find a game where we have to grind, even if it’s ugly, to show the mental toughness. Brooklyn is a tough team. They’re playing well. They had some momentum in the fourth quarter when Joe Harris hit those three’s and some triggers that forced us to overreact. That’s who Brooklyn is, they move you. We really had to step up and make two big-time stops and then Jimmy Butler was able to draw some fouls and that extended the game and gave us more life.”

“I think we played pretty well,” responded Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris. “It was obviously a competitive game from the start. Just, (at) the end of the game, a few possessions kind of got away from us. We just didn’t do as good as a job as they did to execute down the stretch.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with a game-high 29 points (10-of-21 FG, 4-of-9 3FG, 5-of-5 FT) with six rebounds, four assists and a steal in 34 minutes. Joe Harris scored a season-high 25 points (eclipsing his previous season-high of 22 points, done twice previously) while shooting 9-of-16 from the field and 5-of-9 from distance; DeAndre Jordan tallied 15 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and a steal in 24 minutes off the bench, and; David Nwaba chipped in a season-high-tying 10 points in 18 minutes off the bench.

Although Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince did not score more than 10 points, they both made some noise on the boards for the Brooklyn Nets. Allen pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds, while Prince tallied seven rebounds.

Miami Heat Scoring Leaders

Goran Dragic lifted the Miami Heat with a team-high 24 points, while adding six assists; Jimmy Butler scored 20 points and seven rebounds; Bam Adebayo registered 17 points and 16 rebounds; Kendrick Nunn recorded 11 points and three assists; Duncan Robinson added 10 points and 10 rebounds, and; Justise Winslow also chipped in 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists off the bench.

What's Next for the Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets?

The Miami Heat will travel to Toronto to face the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Brooklyn Nets will be on the road for the next two games, traveling to Atlanta to play the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. ET, then on to Charlotte to play the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, December 6, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. ET. The Brooklyn Nets will then travel home to play the Denver Nuggets at the Barclays Center on Sunday, December 8, 2019, at 3:00 p.m.

 
 
 

Dwyane Wade scores a triple-double for the Miami Heat in the last NBA game of his career, which was at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY 

Wow, what an NBA season it has been for the Brooklyn Nets. During the 2018-19 NBA season, the Brooklyn Nets have seen their share of adversities, but managed to push through and earned an NBA playoff spot. This will be the Brooklyn Nets first appearance in the NBA playoffs since 2015. Few observers at the beginning of the season predicted this team would be in the playoffs, as this season alone has been a rough ride getting here. Nevertheless, on Sunday, after defeating the Indiana Pacers, 108-96, the Nets improved its overall record to 41-40 and clinched a playoff spot.

With the Detroit Pistons’ losses and Orlando Magic’s wins against their respective opponents between Sunday and Wednesday night, the Nets earned a sixth-seeded playoff spot in the NBA Eastern Conference last night after defeating the Miami Heat 113-94.

D’Angelo Russell led the Nets with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 20 minutes. Shabazz Napier posted 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in 30 minutes off the bench; Rodions Kurucs totaled 15 points, nine rebounds and two steals in 28 minutes; Treveon Graham added 11 points, and; Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert each chipped in 10 points respectively. Hollis-Jefferson, who came off the bench, added 12 rebounds, three assists, and three steals to his points total, while LeVert added three rebounds and four assists.

Miami Heat’s guard Dwyane Wade, who played his last NBA game last night, scored a triple-double: a game-high 25 points, a team-high-tying 11 rebounds, and a game-high 10 assists in 36 minutes. Also, for Miami, Duncan Robinson accumulated 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists; Derrick Jones Jr. registered 13 points and four rebounds; Udonis Haslem scored 12 points and 11 rebounds, and; Bam Adebayo chipped in 10 points and six rebounds.

It was fitting that Dwyane Wade, who was playing the last game of his NBA career, scored a triple-double on his way out the door, but it almost didn’t happen.

“Yeah, probably literally an hour before the game he and I were talking,” Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra told the assembled media postgame. “He had been on the table. The entire time he was here he did a bunch of treatment – at the hotel this morning. This morning he texted me saying he didn’t know if he would be able to go. He asked me what I thought, how he could make it worthwhile for everybody. He felt such a responsibility. We just said okay, we’ll see how you feel after treatment and get a little more rest until we get to the arena. I talked to him an hour before tip and he still didn’t feel great. His knee, his leg, wasn’t moving great. Just in typical Dwyane fashion he just figured he had to be there.”

“Since so many Dwyane Wade and Miami fans showed up, he felt such a responsibility,” Spoelstra continued. “That’s so awesome. I said this before – his next book has got to be called Moments. He knows how to capture moments as well as anybody that’s ever played this game. To play this game when he didn’t feel great and get a triple-double and get his last assist to Udonis Haslem the definition of capturing these moments and really giving everybody what they wanted.”

Asked whether he could have scripted it any better with a triple-double in his last game, Dwyane Wade responded: “No, I couldn’t have. Coming into a game like tonight, a bit out of the playoffs, for myself, these are tough games to play when you’re not playing for anything. I’m not the kind of player that will come out and just shoot the ball every time. Coming into the game, I wanted to see what I could do. To be able to help my teammates, definitely helped me out a lot to hear everyone cheering for me, to be able to go out that way was pretty cool. I don’t think about the Kansas game, but it was the same way in college. I got a triple-double towards the end then so that was pretty cool.”

With all the love heaped on Dwyane Wade last night, it was a challenge for the Brooklyn Nets to stay focus on the goal of getting a win despite having clinched a playoff spot, but with some work, they managed.

“You have to stay locked in,” Nets guard D’Angelo Russell said. “But all the love and support that he has brought to this game and the love and support that he is getting on his way out is well deserved. You have to figure out a way to stay locked in but participate in the festivities as well. That dude is a legend. Just to see him on his way out like that, for me, it’s special. I got to be a part of Kobe’s (Bryant) and his, so I take that in a lot. It’s great to be on the floor.”

You can watch the first game featuring the Brooklyn Nets against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs on Saturday, April 13, 2019, in Philadelphia at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The second game is scheduled for Monday, April 15, 2019, at 8:00 p.m., and can be seen on TNT. Next, the Nets return home to the Barclays Center to play Game 3 on Thursday, April 18, 2019, at 8:00 p.m., and Game 4 on Saturday at 3:00 p.m., also on TNT.

 

Allen Crabbe’s “match made in heaven” could become the roadblock in the Brooklyn Nets' rebuilding plan, if he doesn't find his Brooklyn Grit

Last night was a sad night at the Barclays Center. The Brooklyn Nets rising star, guard Caris LeVert, was not in the lineup as he is recuperating from a subtalar dislocation of his right foot, an injury he sustained on Monday while playing the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The good news is that at this point, he does not need surgery and hopefully, he will return before the season ends. Another Nets rising star, Jarrett Allen, was also out because of an illness. So with two of the Nets best players out, the Nets lost to the 5-8 Miami Heat, 120-107 and dropped to 6-9 overall and 3-3 at the Barclays Center, while Heat’s record improves to 6-8.

Not sure why Brooklyn Nets head coach, Kenny Atkinson, gave guard Allen Crabbe his first start of the season in LeVert’s place instead of guard Spencer Dinwiddie. Comparing the two players prior to the game, Dinwiddie was averaging 13.9 points per game compared to Crabbe’s 6.5 ppg. There’s not much difference between Dinwiddie and Crabbe’s rebounds per game 2.4 vs. 3.3, but Dinwiddie leads Crabbe in the assist column, 4.1 vs. 1.2, as well as in the grit column.

At game’s end, Dinwiddie, who came off the bench, led all Nets scorers with 18 points (6-of-12 FG), three rebounds and five assists in 29 minutes. Looking at Dinwiddie’s numbers for the season, he has scored in double figures in 14 games, which marks the most games scored in double figures for a Nets reserve in the team's first 15 games of a season in franchise history (previously: 12 games for Armen Gilliam in the 1993-94 season). Dinwiddie also leads the NBA in double-digit scoring games off the bench this season (ahead of JJ Redick, Lou Williams, and Jordan Clarkson, who have all come off the bench in 13 games in the 2018-19 campaign).

Against the Miami Heat last night, Crabbe scored a measly six points and one rebound in 26 minutes of play. He also had six fouls, so you know what that means.

So, why did Coach Atkinson shuffle the deck to insert Crabbe in the starting lineup, which may have affected the team’s rhythm particularly when Crabbe doesn’t have the best track record?

“It’s just part of the NBA, it’s part of the deal,” Atkinson told the media postgame. “You are going to have injuries. We have to have guys that step up. I think that a lot of those units that we threw out there tonight hadn’t played a lot together, but that shouldn’t be an excuse. We know each other, we’ve been to training camp, but again I thought Miami was simply the better team. Sure it was the first quarter, but throughout the game, they were the better team.”

The fact that the Nets players and the coaching staff know each other and have watched players over the last 14 games of the season is enough reason to know that Crabbe should not have started to disrupt the team’s rhythm.

Nets forward Joe Harris in responding to reporters’ questions about whether there’s an issue finding a rhythm with the different lineups being thrown out there, particularly with LeVert unable to play, in effect makes the point.

“Yeah, I think it is definitely an issue, but that’s not an excuse for not playing good defense or making the effort plays, the hustle plays,” Harris responded. “A lot of that first quarter was just mental mistakes, lack of effort, and you can’t have that. We should still be able to have some continuity on the defensive end. Everyone’s familiar with what the philosophy is, what Kenny (Atkinson) expects out of us, what the coaching staff expects out of us. Obviously, we missed Caris (LeVert) a lot, and I think that’s reflective in the way that we played offensively tonight. But the defense has got to stay constant and that’s kind of where we lost our way.”

Missing Caris LeVert is natural, but in these situations, it needs to be not just the next man up, but the best next man up.

And, Jared Dudley, a veteran player the Nets acquired over the summer for a veteran voice in the locker room, makes my point on who needs to step up to the starting position after the loss of LeVert.

“I think Spencer (Dinwiddie) has to step up in a bigger role,” Dudley said. “I think you got to be more mentally locked in when it comes to attacking the basket when it comes to not settling, to getting guys involved. I think that’s where we need to take it from here. I think Allen Crabbe is someone who’s very more capable of coming in and boosting up his point scoring, so I think it’s by committee. Definitely, Spencer (Dinwiddie) should take up that role and that challenge of someone who is easily capable of upping his scoring five to six points and getting more shot attempts.

Nets scorers in double digits behind Dinwiddie were Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who posted 14 points, nine rebounds, and two steals in 23 minutes off the bench. Hollis-Jefferson’s nine rebounds marked a season high for him. Shabazz Napier totaled 13 points (his third-most points in a game this season) with two rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 26 minutes off the bench. Starters D’Angelo Russell added 12 points; Harris registered 11 points, five rebounds, and three assists in 25 minutes, and; Dudley chipped in 10 points, five rebounds, one steal, and one blocked shot.

The Miami Heat’s leading scorers were Tyler Johnson, who came off the bench to score 24 points and five rebounds. Goran Dragic put up 21 points, four assists, and three rebounds; Josh Richardson registered 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists; Hassan Whiteside tallied 14 points, 10 rebounds, and two steals; Bam Adebayo, part of Miami’s second unit, accumulated 12 points and three rebounds, and; Rodney McGruder chipped in 10 points, four rebounds, and three assists.

Next up for the Miami Heat are the Indiana Pacers on Friday, November 16, 2018.

The Brooklyn Nets will play the first of a back-to-back against the Washington Wizards in the nation’s capital also on Friday, November 16, 2018. They will return home to play the Los Angeles Clippers at the Barclays Center on Saturday, November 17, 2018, at 6:00 p.m.

Hopefully, Allen Crabbe will find his heart in Washington, DC.

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