December 13, 2019

Spencer Dinwiddie scores 32 points to lead the Brooklyn Nets over the Boston Celtics, 112-107; Irving and LeVert are still out

Again, no Kyrie Irving and no Caris LeVert and to recap, LeVert is out with a sprained thumb and Irving with a shoulder impingement. And, Brooklyn Nets “back up” guard Spencer Dinwiddie, says, no problem. With a game-high 32 points (10-of-19 FG, 6-of-8 3FG, 6-of-6 FT) and a season-high-tying 11 assists, five rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in 35 minutes, Dinwiddie led all scorers and with some help from his Nets teammates, defeated the Boston Celtics 112-107. The Nets have won three straight home games and five of its last six games at Barclays Center. The Nets improved to 10-9 this season with yesterday’s victory, while the Celtics fell to 13-5 with the loss.

Wire-to-wire, the Brooklyn Nets were locked in.

Coach Speak: Brad Stevens on How The Brooklyn Nets Defeated the Boston Celtics

“That start of the game really hurt us,” remarked Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “I thought Brooklyn was more ready probably than we were, and they really punched us in the mouth. They scored 22 points in the first six minutes. Any day that you let a team get going like that it’s probably going to be a long day. Brooklyn did a great job, played really well, played really hard, played with a lot of purpose, and deserved to win. Our guys stayed in it and tried to give the effort to get back, but we dug ourselves too big of a hole.”

Coach Speak: Kenny Atkinson on the Brooklyn Nets' Physicality

“I thought physically we were really, really good,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about his team matching Boston’s physicality. “I think that’s what kept us in the game or getting the lead, I think it was our physical presence. I thought from the tip, we were ready, and we sustained it too. They came on real strong at the end. Obviously, they went super small, but they’re still strong, fast, and have really good athletes. I felt like DeAndre (Jordan) really helped us. There was a stretch there where he was just grabbing every board and kind of clearing everybody out. I think that was huge too.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Speaking of DeAndre Jordan, on his first game back after missing two games with left ankle soreness, he came off the bench and posted his ninth game of double-digit rebounds this season with 11 boards to go along with eight points, an assist and a block in 23 minutes. Other Brooklyn Nets scoring leaders were Taurean Prince who posted 16 points, and four rebounds; Jarrett Allen registered 14 points and a game-high-tying 11 rebounds, in 25 minutes; both Joe Harris and Garrett Temple each recorded 12 points, Harris added six rebounds, four assists, and two steals to his total, while Temple chipped in seven assists, and five rebounds.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens had complimentary things to say about Nets center Jarrett Allen, “he’s a good player. He’s impacted the game in a lot of ways. He’s elevated himself into one of the better “bigs” in the east. He played like it today. I thought he was really good. I think we started three of the four halves we played in the last couple of days with a Jarrett Allen dunk. That’s not a good way to start from the Celtic’s side of view.”

Boston Celtics Scoring Leaders

The Celtics’ scoring leaders were Jayson Tatum, who scored 26 points, nine rebounds, and four rebounds; Kemba Walker recorded 17 points and six assists; Marcus Smart added 15 points; Brad Wanamaker registered 11 points, eight rebounds, and three assists, and; Enes Kanter chipped in 10 points and six rebounds.

What's Next for the Celtics and the Nets?

The Boston Celtics will stay in New York and travel across the East River to play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden tomorrow, Sunday, December 1, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Also, on Sunday, the Brooklyn Nets will remain at home and host the Miami Heat at the Barclays Center at 3:00 p.m. ET.

 

Spencer Dinwiddie led all scorers with 23 points, and Joe Harris and Dzanan Musa come alive

Last night, was a good night for the Brooklyn Nets; they defeated the Sacramento Kings 116-97 and held the lead wire-to-wire, the first time this season. This is also the second time this season the Nets have won consecutive games having beaten the Charlotte Hornets 101-91 on Wednesday and the Kings last night and both times holding their opponent to under 100 points. With the win against the Kings, the Nets are now just one game below .500 improving to 7-8, while the Kings fell to 6-8 with the loss.

How The Nets Beat The Kings By The Numbers:

Rebounding

Brooklyn outrebounded the Kings 48-33 (+15). And, if you think this was a fluke, the Nets also had a +15-rebounding differential earlier this season on November 1, against the Houston Rockets, when the Nets outrebounded the Rockets 55-40. The Nets also defeated the Houston Rockets 123-116.

Points Along The Way

Brooklyn led Sacramento 56-49 at halftime and then led the Kings 86-70 at the end of the third stanza. This 16-point lead marked Brooklyn's biggest through three quarters this season. The game that came close to this point differential at the end of the third was against the James Harden and Russell Westbrook-led Houston Rockets again on November 1, 2019, when the Nets led by 12 points.

Three-Pointers

Additionally, the Nets were 8-of-23 (.348) from 3-point range in the first half, while holding the Kings to 1-of-11 (.091) from distance.

Without Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert being available because of injury, the Brooklyn Nets appear to be developing a much-needed comradery and Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson has taken notice.

Coach Speak: Kenny Atkinson on the Game and his players

“I do see that,” Coach Atkinson said about his current rotation’s level of confidence, continuity, and chemistry. “I see (the) chemistry between Garrett Temple and Spencer (Dinwiddie). I can see them connecting. I thought Garrett was fantastic tonight on both sides. Limiting Buddy’s (Hield) points, which is always a huge task, touches in general. And then he obviously made shots. I thought he drove the ball, Garrett was excellent. Getting Joe (Harris) going again is huge. Obviously, making shots really, really helps our cause. But yes, I do see some real chemistry starting to form out there with that group.”

Speaking of Joe Harris, who has been scoring less than 10 points during the prior two games, last night matched his season-high with 22 points while shooting 8-of-11 from the field and 5-of-7 from 3-point range in 28 minutes. He also recorded four rebounds and a career-high-tying two blocks in 28 minutes.

Harris explained what it feels like when he is in the zone: “I think you get a lot of confidence when you see the first one go in – actually I missed my first one, but in terms of just guys looking for you, finding you, makes the game flow a lot easier. It’s sort of an effortless approach, but a lot of it is, you hit one, hit another, guys are starting to look for you, screen for you and you find your way to open shots.”

Brooklyn Nets Leading Scorers

Spencer Dinwiddie led all scorers posting a game-high 23 points (8-of-15 FG, 7-of-7 FT) with seven assists and two steals in 28 minutes. Dinwiddie is taking his career to new levels. He has now posted 20-plus points in four consecutive games, doing so for the first time in his career. In his last four games (all starts), Dinwiddie has averaged 23.8 points, 6.8 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and, 1.5 steals in 32.0 minutes. As mentioned, Joe Harris contributed 22 points; Garrett Temple registered a season-high 18 points, three rebounds, four assists, and two steals in 35 minutes; Jarrett Allen posted 11 points, and; Dzanan Musa chipped in 10 points. DeAndre Jordan didn’t score points in double digits, but he posted his eighth game of double-digit rebounds this season with a game-high 10 boards.

Coach Speak: Luke Walton on the game and his team

“Tough night for us,” said Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton. “If you’re a 3-point shooting team and you shoot 15 percent, you’re not going to win a lot of games. Where we have to be better at are things that we can control. We know that with 82 games you’re going to have games where you just don’t make shots. A big key and theme for us the last couple of games was defending without fouling. We gave up 31 free throws tonight, and Brooklyn beat us up on the glass. Rebounding we’ve actually done a much better job at and the free throws we have to continue to focus on that and do a better job.”

Sacramento Kings Leading Scorers

The Sacramento Kings scoring leaders were Harrison Barnes who scored 18 points and five rebounds; Buddy Hield registered 16 points and five assists; Justin James came off the bench and posted 14 points, three rebounds, and three assists; Nemanja Bjelica contributed 13 points and seven rebounds, and; Richaun Holmes chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds.

“They played small ball,” Kings guard Buddy Hield said about the Brooklyn Nets style of play. “But I think Jarrett Allen does a good job in rolling. I think Spencer Dinwiddie does a good job playing with him. It was tough to guard for us tonight. We should’ve done a better job with defensive schemes, trying to guard them. Joe Harris opened the game up too – he made like four or five in the first half and that killed us, and that’s when they opened…they game up. The lead was always back-and-forth from 10 (points), nine (points), and then after that, we couldn’t get ahead. That really opened the game up for sure – Joe opened it up.”

What’s Next for the Kings and the Nets?

The Sacramento Kings will travel to Washington to play the Wizards on Sunday, November 24, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will head across the East River to play the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, November 24, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. ET.

 
 

Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Taurean Prince each scored 20-plus points in defeating the Hornets 101-91

No Kyrie Irving. No Caris LeVert. No problem.

Finally, a home game without Irving and LeVert and the Brooklyn Nets were able to handle their business, defeating the Charlotte Hornets 101-91. With this win, the Nets improved to 6-8 overall this season, while the Hornets fell to 6-9 with tonight’s loss, and Brooklyn Nets fans celebrated as they left the Barclays Center.

The Hornets 101-91 loss to the Nets left their head coach James Borrego a little bewildered.

“We just couldn’t score tonight,” Borrego told the media postgame. “Those two (Nets players Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan), you have to give credit to. They impacted the game on the other end of the floor more than offensively.”

The season is still young, and so is Jarrett Allen. The 21-year-old is starting his third season in the NBA and recorded a season-high 22 points (9-of-12 FG) and a season-high 17 rebounds (including a career-high eight offensive boards) with two steals in 28 minutes last night against Charlotte. DeAndre Jordan led the Nets’ bench with 14 points (5-of-5 FG, 4-of-4 FT) and seven rebounds in 20 minutes of action.

“I just thought he was huge,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about Jarrett Allen’s performance last night. “They went small, they put Marvin (Williams) at the five, and he’s playing that game – do we match him with small? We said you know what, we’ll stick with JA (Jarrett Allen), and I thought he did two things great. He guarded when we switched, he guarded their smalls, their quick guys, and then he punished them on the other end with his offensive rebounding. Eight offensive rebounds – that’s the answer to when a team goes small. Stay big, punish them on the boards and have a big that’s fast enough to keep up with the guards.”

Great strategy because Marvin Williams only scored two points for Charlotte on 1-of-10 FG.

“I think we came out with the right mindset,” DeAndre Jordan added. “We came out with a defensive intensity, that’s something we can control. We can’t control if our shots go in or how well we play offensively. But, our effort defensively – we can control that. We went through a pretty lengthy film session yesterday and saw the things we can correct and try to get in to.”

Jordan added, “I think today it really showed that JA (Jarrett Allen) and I are very versatile players who can handle the basketball.”

Brooklyn outrebounded Charlotte 53-41 (+12) tonight, with the Nets’ +12 rebounding differential marking their third-highest of the season. The Nets edged the Hornets 46-36 in points in the paint and 19-9 in second-chance points this evening. Brooklyn led Charlotte 82-73 through three quarters, tonight, with Charlotte’s 73 points marking the fewest points Brooklyn has allowed through three quarters this season.

Other Brooklyn Nets scoring leaders included Spencer Dinwiddie, who has posted 20-plus points in each of his last three games (all starts), recording averages of 24.0 points, 6.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks in 33.5 minutes per contest. Taurean Prince also posted 20 points (4-of-9 3FG) with eight rebounds, four assists and a steal in 33 minutes, marking Prince’s third game of 20-plus points for Brooklyn this season. In fact, this game marked the first time this season that the Nets had three players tally 20-plus points in the same game.

The Charlotte Hornets’ scoring leaders included, Terry Rozier who scored 18 points and six rebounds, DeVonte’ Graham recorded 17 points, six assists, and three rebounds; Malik Monk tallied 13 points and three rebounds; Miles Bridges contributed 12 points and five rebounds, and; Bismack Biyombo chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well tonight,” Hornets Coach Borrego said. “Offensively we were stagnant. You have to give Brooklyn credit, but we have to get back to work on Friday night.”

The Charlotte Hornets get another opportunity to get a game in the win column when they travel to Washington to play the Wizards tomorrow, Friday, November 22, 2019, at 7 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will remain home to host the Sacramento Kings at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, also tomorrow, Friday, November 22, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

So, what will it take for the Brooklyn Nets to keep up its scoring and defense, starting with its game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday?

“Just keeping a good mindset, playing quarter by quarter, not getting too ahead of ourselves, not getting too down on ourselves when certain things go wrong or when we face adversity – just continue to do what we do and stick to our gameplay,” responded Taurean Prince.

 
 

Spencer Dinwiddie scores a game-high 28 points in loss; no Kyrie Irving and no Caris LeVert

Last night, the Brooklyn Nets lost to the Indiana Pacers 115-86, ouch! And, with this loss, a few things were exposed. The Nets need its scoring machine, Kyrie Irving, who at this point in the season is averaging 28.5 PPG. Unfortunately, Irving is out with a right shoulder impingement. They also needed Caris LeVert, who averages 16.8 PPG. LeVert is out after having surgery to repair ligaments in his right thumb. The Nets also could have used a more focused second unit, between them, they only netted 24 points. Perhaps, the second unit needs more practice time with the regular starters or more minutes in real games, whatever the scenario, they need to be ready to produce. Yesterday, they looked lost.

“We totally weren’t there tonight,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson responding to a question regarding what he saw from both teams during Indiana’s 32-6 run. “For whatever reason – defensively, offensively, rebounding, physicality – I just think it was total domination by Indiana. I always do this, in a game like this in the NBA you have to give them a lot of credit because they had a lot of guys out too. So, (a) fantastic job by Indiana, a lot of credit. Nets, we weren’t very good tonight. When that happens, much like Phoenix, it’s a 30-point difference.”

Thank God for Spencer Dinwiddie. If for some reason, Dinwiddie was not in the lineup, the referees would have had to call this game. Dinwiddie was one of only three Nets players to score in double digits. The other two players were Jarrett Allen and Garrett Temple. Dinwiddie posted a game-high 28 points (9-of-21 FG, 4-of-8 3FG, 6-of-7 FT) with a season-high-tying eight assists, five rebounds, a steal and a block in 33 minutes; Allen posted a double-double with 10 points and a team-high 12 rebounds in 24 minutes, while Temple recorded 10 points, six rebounds, three assists, and a team-high two blocks in 32 minutes. The only other player that came closest to scoring 10 points was Theo Pinson, who came off the bench and scored eight points; even Joe Harris aka “Joey Buckets,” who beat out Stephen Curry to win the 3-Point shooting contest at last season’s NBA All-Star weekend, only scored seven points.

So, what gives? The question of the Nets lacking physicality was a concern that came up during the postgame press conference to which Coach Atkinson addressed, “I think it’s a mindset, first of all. I think you have to come with a mindset and of course you have to come with your wears – your physicality and your toughness. Listen, it’s not like we don’t have those things. We’ve shown we have them, we’ve done it, but right now, below-average teams are inconsistent and that’s what we are right now. We’re kind of like this and until we get the group together and find some more consistency – what’s disappointing, I thought that we took two good efforts at Denver and Utah and then an excellent road win and then obviously to come here, in front of our fans, it just doesn’t feel good at all.”

And, it shouldn’t feel good. It shouldn’t feel good to the coaching staff and it shouldn’t feel good to the players and quite frankly, they all should feel downright disappointed. Even the fans were disappointed, as many headed for the exits when it was clear the Nets weren’t just losing this game, they were going down in flames.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen told the media postgame. “We dug ourselves in a hole. We started out strong and then the second quarter they started playing hard and got the lead.”

Allen is right. The Indiana Pacers didn’t just take over right out the gate. The first quarter ended with a tie, Nets 18, Pacers 18. But, the second quarter is where the Pacers outpaced the Nets 41-17 and ended the half with the score, 59-35. In the third stanza, the Nets went on a run and scored more points than the Pacers (33-25), but not enough to close the gap significantly, as the third quarter ended with a nod to the Pacers 84-68. The fourth was no better, as the Indiana Pacers bested the Brooklyn Nets 31-18 and ended the game with an overall score of 115-86.

“I thought our bench came in and gave us a lift,” Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said explaining how his team found a way to win after a slow start. “I thought Naz Mitrou-Long came in and did a good job of making some baskets. We couldn’t make anything in that first quarter and the bench came in and got us going. They got us a rhythm and the lead, and we went from there. Another team effort tonight. I thought both young guards, Aaron Holiday and Naz Mitrou-Long, did a good job tonight.”

Scoring leaders for the Indiana Pacers were Aaron Holiday who scored 24 points, 13 assists, and six rebounds; Justin Holiday contributed 20 points and four rebounds; TJ Warren contributed 19 points and six rebounds; Domantas Sabonis registered 16 points, a game-high 18 rebounds, and three assists, and; Naz Mitrou-Long came off the bench and chipped in 12 points, three rebounds, and three assists.

Indiana will now return home to get ready to host the Orlando Magic on Saturday, November 23, 2019, at 7 p.m. ET.

The Brooklyn Nets will get to redeem themselves on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, when they play host to the Charlotte Hornets at home at the Barclays Center on at 7:30 p.m. ET.

 
 
 

Kyrie Irving leads the Brooklyn Nets with a team-high 39 points to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 135-125

It was a close one, but the Brooklyn Nets eked out a 135-125 win against the New Orleans Pelicans sans Zion Williamson. The Nets are not at .500, yet, but improved to 3-4 overall this season with the win, while the Pelicans fell to 1-6.

How The Nets Did It By The Numbers:

The Nets scored 33 points in the first quarter, which marked the most points Brooklyn has tallied in any opening period this season. At the midway point, Brooklyn led New Orleans 67-50, with the 17-point advantage marking Brooklyn's biggest halftime lead this season, also the most points in any half this season.

Brooklyn also recorded a season-high 32 assists, while edging the Pelicans 32-18 in assists. The Nets also posted a season-high 13 steals, led by Taurean Prince (four steals) and Kyrie Irving (three steals).

However, the third quarter was not the Nets’ strong suit, as they allowed the Pelicans to edge them by 11 points (48-37) and therefore shortening the gap ending the third quarter, Brooklyn 104, New Orleans, 98. The fourth quarter was even tighter, with Brooklyn only outscoring New Orleans by four points 31-27, and ending the game ahead by 10 points, 135-125.

Kenny Atkinson on the close call 

“We just found a way,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said regarding how his team was able to hold on for the win. “Crazy game. A lot of back-and-forth. (Brandon) Ingram was phenomenal of course. He hit some tough shots. We took a combination, a haymaker, however, you want to call it – a couple of left hooks in the jaw in the third quarter. I thought in the fourth quarter we did a better job and slowed them down a little, but third quarter, they were unstoppable.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Kyrie Irving led Brooklyn with a team-high 39 points, a game-high nine assists, four rebounds, and three steals in 35 minutes. Caris LeVert posted 23 points with seven rebounds and five assists in 35 minutes; Joe Harris recorded a season-high 19 points with three rebounds, four assists and a steal in 33 minutes; Jarrett Allen came through and totaled a season-high 18 points and 10 rebounds against New Orleans, recording his second double-double of the season, and; Garrett Temple scored in double figures for the second time as a Net and chipped in 13 points, two rebounds, and four assists.

The Closeout

Kyrie Irving spoke on the closing run of the game: “That’s part of my responsibility – getting in the paint I draw so much attention. Being able to see that weak side, guys are putting the triangle on me when I’m driving left or driving right. That’s part of the evolution of my game, just being able to make those plays as often as I can. Whether I’m scoring or whether someone is getting a wide-open shot – just got to trust it. Continue to trust that the basketball gods will reward you for making the right play. I think they did that for us tonight.”

VIDEO: Kyrie Irving on defeating the Pelicans and the Nets' Upcoming 8-Game Road Trip

 

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry speaks on his team digging a deep hole

“We decided to play 20 minutes in a 48-minute game and that doesn’t work out,” responded New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry. “At least it hasn’t in the 31 years I’ve been in the NBA. We have to have the same effort throughout the game. You can’t spot a team 20 points on their home court. That being said, I did think that group that we had in there competed like crazy, got us back to within a field goal. When that happens though and you get yourself that close, it still has to be the perfect storm and it’s not going to happen. There’s no perfect storms in this game. Disappointed in the way we started the game. Really appreciate the effort that we gave to get the game back, but then you have to make every play down the stretch and that’s been something that we haven’t been able to do.”

New Orleans Pelicans' Leading Scorers 

For the Pelicans, Brandon Ingram led all scorers with a career-high 40 points, along with five rebounds and assists, respectively. Jrue Holiday and Lonzo Ball each scored 15 points and three assists, respectively, while Holiday added 7 rebounds to his total; Josh Hart contributed 14 points, 7 rebounds, and four steals, and; both JJ Redick and Frank Jackson each contributed 12 points off the bench.

Brandon Ingram spoke on his career-high scoring last night.

“Like I said, to God be the glory,” Ingram said about his career-high scoring night. “He gives me confidence just to come out here every day and do my job. And my teammates give me a lot of confidence when I come out here, just to keep pushing forward, creating for myself and creating for others, so I just felt like I was in (a) rhythm. I still missed some layups, still missed a couple shots, still missed some threes, so I could have done better.”

Ingram gets his next opportunity to do better this Friday, November 8, 2019, when the New Orleans Pelicans host the Toronto Raptors. Game time is at 7 p.m. CT.

The Nets on the other-hand, embark on their season-long five-game road trip, beginning in Portland this Friday, November 8, 2019, and ending in Chicago on November 16, 2019.

The Nets will return home to the Barclays Center on November 18, 2019, to meet up with the Indiana Pacers at 7:30 p.m.

 
 

Taurean Prince leads Nets with team-high 27 points in 123-116 win over the Houston Rockets

One always hopes for the Brooklyn Nets to win even when powerhouse teams like the Houston Rockets come to the Barclays Center. But if not, at least be competitive. Considering the way the Nets have been playing as of late, no one in their right mind would have bet the farm on a Nets victory against the Rockets, one of the elite teams in the NBA. However, last night, had you bet the farm, you would have come up big as the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Houston Rockets 123-116.

There is something about the Brooklyn Nets and the Houston Rockets because this isn’t the first time the Nets have beaten the James Harden-led Rockets. Last season, on January 16, 2019, the Nets bested the Rockets 145-142 in overtime. Last night, with the firepower of both James Harden and Russell Westbrook, the Nets’ once-again found the winning formula to get the W.

With the win on Friday night, the Nets improved to 2-3 overall this season, while the Rockets fell to 3-2 with the loss.

By The Numbers

Brooklyn shot 49.4 percent from the field (42-of-85 FG) and 59.4 percent from 3-point range (19-of-32 3FG), both season highs, while holding Houston to 41.4 percent shooting from the field (41-of-99 FG) and 25.0 percent shooting from distance (12-of-48 3FG).

The Nets also outrebounded the Rockets 55-40 and edged the Rockets 26-21 in assists on Friday. Brooklyn’s 55 rebounds marked a season-high and its 26 assists are a season-high in a regulation game.

This game was no walk in the park for the Nets, as the Rockets did present some obstacles. The Nets ended the first quarter down by nine points, 34-23, and at 8:21 in the second stanza, the Rockets led the Nets by 15 points 45-30. However, Brooklyn righted itself and outscored Houston 71-50 in the second and third quarters combined; ending the second quarter up two with a score of 61-59, and by 12 at the end of the third, 95-83. The Nets led by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter and the Rockets chipped away at that lead, but when it was all said and done, the Nets held the off to win by seven, 123-116.

Coach Speak: Kenny Atkinson on the Game and his players

“I thought our defense was really good third quarter,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson in explaining one of the keys to defeating Houston Rockets. I thought we came out really good, and overall the defense was against an explosive offensive team. I thought our defense kind of kept us alive.”

Kind of?

“A lot of guys played well,” Atkinson added commenting on the Nets’ scoring effort. “I thought that’s what we need going forward. We can’t rely on Kyrie (Irving) every night to be Superman. And he was good tonight, but we need other guys in a supporting role.”

Last night, Taurean Prince was one of those guys who let his presence be known. Prince led the Brooklyn Nets with a team-high 27 points, a career-high-tying 12 rebounds, of which 11 were defensive rebounds.

“He was big,” Atkinson said about Prince. “Just toughness, obviously he made shots – that always helps. I thought his defense was really good. He gave us some relief. He played (James) Harden a little bit. He played (Russell) Westbrook. He was big tonight.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

When asked about Atkinson’s praises of his effort against Houston, Prince responded: “That means a lot to me. I hold myself accountable for a lot of things besides scoring. That’s the type of player I want to be, and I’m glad he’s holding me to that expectation. I plan to uphold that for now and as long as I’m in the league.”

Other Brooklyn Nets scoring leaders included Caris LeVert, who tallied 25 points (8-of-15 FG, 8-of-9 FT) with four rebounds, four assists in 32 minutes against the Rockets. Kyrie Irving notched his first double-double as a Net with 22 points and a game-high 10 assists and four rebounds in 34 minutes; Garrett Temple had a huge night, recording 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots, Temple’s first time scoring in double digits this season, and; Joe Harris contributed 15 points, nine rebounds, and three steals in 34 minutes against the Rockets.

Coach Speak: Mike D’Antoni on the Brooklyn Nets

“Brooklyn played well,” said Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni. “They hit a bunch of threes the whole game. I thought we guarded them pretty well, they just knocked them down. We tried to get it close and eke one out, but we just weren’t sharp. We looked a little fatigued, we’ll get there. Maybe we got tired. I’ll have to go back and look at it harder. Maybe Brooklyn just played better and started hitting hard shots. Who knows? We just have a lot of things to tighten up. We have to get better production out of certain people defensively. It was a great game. We’ll move right along."

VIDEO: James Harden Gives Credit to Brooklyn Nets

When James Harden was asked what needs to change defensively, he responded, “Nothing, we did an unbelievable job. I think the two games that we lost we were up 15 and I think we just relaxed, we get comfortable, but again it’s still early. We’ve got to learn how to, when we go up double-digits and 15-point leads, sustain it and even try to take it to another level. Another learning experience, I think we fought hard all four quarters. They made some big-time shots, some of their role players made some big-time shots and you got to just give them credit."

VIDEO: Russell Westbrook Not Worried and Talks About What Really Matters

Russell Westbrook was a little more succinct in his response to what changed defensively for the Rockets in the fourth quarter and the game overall.

“We got stops,” Westbrook stated. “We started off getting stops. We had a lead ourselves, then we relaxed and didn’t lock in defensively for 48 minutes.”

Houston Rockets Scoring Leaders

For the Houston Rockets, James Harden led the all scorers with 36 points, 8 assists, and five rebounds; Russell Westbrook scored 27 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds; Danuel House, Jr. recorded 15 points and five rebounds, and Clint Capella chipped in 10 points and four rebounds.

What's Next?

Up next for Houston: The Rockets will travel to Miami to play the Heat on Sunday, November 3, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will travel to Detroit and play the Pistons later tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET and return home to play the New Orleans Pelicans minus Zion Williamson on Monday, November 4, 2019, at 7:30 p.m., at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

 
 
 

Kyrie Irving leads Nets with 28 points and Spencer Dinwiddie accumulates 20 points off the bench in the loss to the Indiana Pacers

Domantas Sabonis, Jeremy Lamb, Malcolm Brogdon, and T.J. Warren accounted for 95 of the Pacers’ 118 points; add in Myles Turner’s seven points and the Pacers’ starting five accounted for 102 of their 118-point winning total. Compare the Pacers’ starting five’s 102 points to the Nets’ 72 points from its starters, of which Irving contributed more than a third with 28 points. Caris LeVert totaled 15 points, six rebounds, and three assists in 33 minutes, and; Joe Harris added 13 points and two boards in 30 minutes. With just eight points, Nets center DeAndre Jordan didn’t break through the 10+ threshold to be a “point-scoring leader”, but he more than made up for his 23 minutes on the court, pulling down 17 rebounds.

The Nets needed its bench to step up, but only Spencer Dinwiddie scored in double-digits with 20 points and a team-high seven assists in 27 minutes of play. Except for Dinwiddie, the Nets’ bench was abysmal. How does Rodions Kurucs justify just two points in 20 minutes of play?

Nets Head Coach Kenny Atkinson on the Game

“We're not really running anything,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about his team’s offense. “In training camp, you're practicing a lot, you have (a) nice flow, you kind of know what you're doing. I think we've lost a little bit of our structure and organization, which is natural with a new team and new guys. Like, I said, I think we have to play with each other more, get to know each other more, get on the same page in all aspects."

The Nets were in the game through the first half, leading the Pacers 63-60. But the Pacers started “out-pacing” the Nets in the third ending the quarter 90-83 and continued their winning pace into fourth.

So, what changed in the third quarter?

“I think our turnovers hurt us,” Coach Atkinson told the media.

Brooklyn turned the ball over eight times compared to Indiana’s two.

“Just overall, they dominated us physically, tactically,” Coach Atkinson continued. “It could have been a lot worse; we've got a lot of things to figure out. It's just a turnover thing, I don't remember seeing a stat line like that since I've been here, so it's just finding that balance. We’ve really got to get to know each other better, I think that's part of it. I knew Indiana was coming in here 0-3 and they've kind of historically took it to us physically and they did again tonight. (A) good lesson for us."

Kyrie Irving concurred, “they just got some separation. (We) turned the ball over a few too many times throughout the game. They were just comfortable, played with a sense of desperation. (Domantas) Sabonis got it going in the paint and had a really good game. (Malcolm) Brogdon hit some really good shots, and they have (Jeremy) Lamb filling in right there and T.J. (Warren) getting some backdoor cuts. Four of the main guys scoring over 20 points; it’s going to be hard to sustain any lead that we have.”

Particularly when you can’t figure out a way to stop them and the team is missing shots.

As for the Pacers’ perspective after getting their first win?

“It feels great,” said Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan. “These guys stay(ed) with it. We talked about having to be patient with this group. I thought tonight we did a better job of organizing on the offensive end of the floor. The defense was connected out there and with the injuries, guys kept believing and staying with it and we got out first win.”

Up Next

The Indiana Pacers will return home to Indianapolis to play the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets better bring their A++ game on Friday, November 1, 2019, or it probably will be ugly. They play host to James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the rest of the Houston Rockets team at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The game time is at 7:00 p.m. ET.

 

Kyrie Irving’s 3-pointer and Spencer Dinwiddie’s two free throws in closing minutes seal Brooklyn Nets 113-109 win over the New York Knicks

The Brooklyn Nets' second game of the NBA season is now on the books, with a 113-109 win against their crosstown rival, the New York Knicks. From last season until now, this is the Nets’ third straight victory over the Knicks. The Nets are now, 1-1 overall this season, while the Knicks are 0-2.

For the second consecutive home game this season, the Nets had a lead in the closing minutes and lost it. However, this time, they pulled themselves from the jaws of another NBA game loss. At the start of the fourth quarter, Brooklyn was leading the New York Knicks 94-83. However, starting early in the fourth stanza, the Knicks and Nets would play a cat and mouse game. The Knicks would chip away at the Nets’ lead and the Nets would regain it back. At 7:02 before the horn, the Nets were leading by 10, and at 5:16, there were only three points separating the Nets and the Knicks. Then the pendulum shift occurred at 3:41 in the fourth quarter, the Nets were down by three points, 109-106 and Knicks fans were on their feet cheering loudly.

Just under three minutes later, Irving hit a pullup jump shot at 59.6 seconds, bringing the Nets to 109-108, closer, but no cigar. Twenty seconds later at 39.2 seconds, Knicks forward Marcus Morris misses a 24-foot step-back shot, Nets center Jarrett Allen gets the rebound, and at 22.4, Irving hits a 26 ft. 3-point step-back shot to bring the Nets a two-point lead at 111-109. Kevin Knox, who is starting his second year with the Knicks, fouls with 8.9 seconds on the clock and Spencer Dinwiddie goes to the line and hits 2 for 2 widening the Nets lead by four with the score now 113-109. Wayne Ellington loses the ball and Irving steals it with .3 seconds on the clock and that sealed the win for the Brooklyn Nets.

VIDEO: Kyrie Irving talks about the final moments leading up to Brooklyn Nets’ win, his relationship with RJ Barrett, and the 82-game NBA schedule

 

Kyrie Irving led all scorers Friday night with 26 points (8-of-19 FG, 8-of-8 FT) along with a game-high-tying five assists, two rebounds, and three steals in 31 minutes. Irving has now totaled 76 points in his first two games as a member of the Brooklyn Nets, marking the most points tallied through the first two games of a season by a Nets’ player all-time, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The previous high was 66 points held by Brooklynite, Stephon Marbury. And, in case you forgot or don’t know, Marbury accomplished that feat for the New Jersey Nets 20 years ago during the 1999-00 season. Now, here we are, it’s the 2019-20 NBA season and the script has been flipped. We have Irving, a Jersey guy, leading that same NBA team now residing in Brooklyn.

Irving seems to revel in clutch moments, as evidenced by opening night, Friday night, and during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ championship series. Irving truly is an elite point guard. Simultaneously, he clearly sees the floor, understands the pace of the game, and controls the pace to the best of his abilities. Tasks all point guards should do, but not all can.

“The game was slowed down probably in the third and fourth quarter a little bit with just the ways the fouls were going back and forth,” Irving said. “Fouls here and there and bonus, so we just wanted to play through it…it’s just opportunities for us to get better from those empty possessions that we had.”

Nets Head Coach Kenny Atkinson on the Game and his Players

Of course, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson was delighted that his team got the win.

“Sometimes you have got to find a way and I thought our defensive effort was good,” Coach Atkinson said he told his team after the game. “Take the third quarter out, I thought overall our defense was much, much better.”

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 20 points off the bench, shooting 5-of-12 from the field and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line, with a game-high-tying five assists and one block in 27 minutes. Joe Harris recorded 13 points (5-of-8 FG, 3-of-5 3FG) with four rebounds in 31 minutes. Caris LeVert added 12 points and Taurean Prince chipped in 11 points.

LeVert is arguably the Brooklyn Nets second-best shooter so there was some head-scratching as to why LeVert only played 24 minutes as opposed to 30 minutes or more and particularly, down the stretch.

“I just felt comfortable with Spencer (Dinwiddie), more from a defensive standpoint,” Coach Atkinson told the media. “I thought Spencer was one of our better defenders. Just felt it…we went with our gut.”

New York Knicks Scoring Leaders

The Knicks had six players to score in double digits. Allonzo Trier scored a team-high 22 points and three rebounds off the bench; RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox II each had 16 points, Knox as part of the 2nd Unit, and Barrett, a member of the starting five, added three rebounds to his tally; Julius Randle tallied 14 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists; Marcus Morris added 11 points, and; Elfrid Payton contributed 10 points and four rebounds.

Knicks Head Coach David Fizdale

In the loss, New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale lauded his team’s fight and ability to hang on to make it a close finish.

“We have grit," Fizdale said about his team’s competitive spirit. “We have grit. We just have to put it together with consistent play and trust.”

But what made it a really close call for the Nets towards the end, is when Fizdale decided to put Wayne Ellington in the game. Ellington used to play for the Nets before being traded to the Miami Heat. And, Ellington was a 3-point assassin when he played for the Nets, and he displayed his talents last night, scoring nine points in 11 minutes on 3-of-4 shooting. Ellington had two other opportunities to score, but prior to getting off a shot, he turned the ball over. Perhaps, had Fizdale brought Ellington into the game earlier, maybe there would have been a different outcome.

What's Next?

Like the Nets, there are 80 more games on the schedule for the New York Knicks. Perhaps, they will get a win against the Boston Celtics at their home opener tonight, Saturday, October 26, 2019, at Madison Square Garden, at 7:30 p.m.

The Brooklyn Nets’ next game is in Memphis against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, October 27, 2019, and then they will be back at home at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, to take on the Indiana Pacers at 7:30 p.m.

 

TIP-INS:

By the Numbers: How The Nets Defeated the New York Knicks

• The Nets led the Knicks 32-23 at the end of the first quarter
• Brooklyn led New York 94-83 through three quarters 
• The Nets outrebounded the Knicks 46-39
• Brooklyn edged New York 21-13 in fast-break points
• The Nets shot 10-of-12 from the FT line. Brooklyn attempted that many free throws in an opening period just once, all last season. When? On January 25, 2019, against the Knicks (also 10-of-12).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Kyrie Irving scores 50 points during opening night performance, but the Minnesota Timberwolves get the win over Brooklyn Nets 127-126 in overtime

Yes, opening night for the Brooklyn Nets was the Kyrie Irving Show! Irving posted 50 points (17-of-33 FG, 7-of-14 3FG, 9-of-10 FT) in his debut for Brooklyn last night with eight rebounds, a team-high seven assists, and one block in 38 minutes. Irving scored half of his points by halftime.

However, let’s not shortchange the contributions of the rest of the team. Caris LeVert, a member of the Nets young core, accumulated 20 points with five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Keep an eye out for LeVert. Last season, LeVert posted nine games with 20+ points. LeVert was averaging 19 points a game last season just before suffering a gruesome subtalar dislocation of the right foot in the 14th game of the season against the Minnesota Timberwolves. When LeVert returned in February from his injury, he averaged 13.7 points in 40 games played. And, in the postseason LeVert showed out, averaging 21 points per game in three of the team’s five playoff games against the Philadelphia 76ers. And during the 2018 off-season, he worked out Kyrie Irving. As they say, if you want to be the best, then you need to run with the best.

Taurean Prince, who just received a contract extension from the Nets, tallied a double-double in his Nets debut, totaling 15 points and a team-high 11 rebounds with two steals in a game-high 41 minutes against Minnesota. Joe Harris, aka “Joey Buckets,” and Spencer Dinwiddie each scored 14 points with Dinwiddie scoring his 14 points off the bench in just under 19 minutes.

Kyrie Irving scored 23 points before the 3-minute mark in the 2nd quarter.

“He was outstanding,” remarked Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson about Irving’s performance. “Obviously, a great debut for him. Just disappointing we made such a big hole for us. The first half we were completely out of sync.”

Definitely out of sync. At the end of the first quarter, the Nets were behind by 11 points, with the score being 33-22, and the first half ended with the Timberwolves up by 12 points, 68-56.

“The second half we did a little better, got in sync,” Atkinson added. “We definitely saw the effects of guys not playing together. We’ve got to figure out our rotations. Credit to the Timberwolves, obviously (Karl-Anthony) Towns was huge. His threes were huge. I thought a lot of them were contested. Just credit to them.”

Remember the days when the Nets would get lost in the third quarter, digging a hole too deep to resurface? Not last night. The Nets picked up some energy and wrote a different story, outscoring the Timberwolves 37-20 in the third stanza and started the fourth quarter with a five-point lead over the Timberwolves (93-88).

With several lead changes in the fourth quarter, including when at 9:51, the Nets were up by eight points, it seemed like the Timberwolves were running out of steam. But then started chipping away at the Nets’ lead and tied the game at 6:53. The T-Wolves chipped away some more and took the lead from the Nets (101-98) at 6:47. The Nets fought back, tying the game 110-110 at 1:41 on Irving’s first of three free throws. With all free throws made, the Nets are now ahead by two, 112-110, but Anthony Wiggins ties the game at 112-112 with a finger-roll layup. Irving then hits a three-pointer with 1:16 remaining pulling the Nets to 115-112. Minnesota calls a time out, Towns hits a 25-foot three and ties the score at 115-115 at 1:06.

The Nets had opportunities to pull ahead. Irving missed a fadeaway bank shot and a three-pointer and Jarrett Allen missed two free throws, which may have been done on purpose to set up an overtime scenario considering there were 5.7 seconds left in regulation.

During overtime, the Nets were down three points with 36.8 seconds remaining. Irving goes to the free-throw line and makes two shots bringing the Nets within one point. At 20.5 seconds, Karl-Anthony Towns misses a 3-point jump shot, Irving rebounds and calls a time out. With 14.5 seconds left, Irving dribbles, falls, gets up, shoots the ball at the buzzer, and misses. Minnesota survives and the Nets lose 127-126.

Irving’s mishap on the last play of the game in OT was on everyone’s mind; was the floor slippery, did he trip on something, etc.?

“I fell,” Irving told the media during a postgame briefing in the locker room. “I was in the process of making another move and just lost my footing, lost my balance. Somehow, I got it back and just got to get my elbow pointed at the rim. I had a better chance at making it. It was right a little bit, so, just gotta tuck the elbow in a little bit and I’ll have a better chance. But when you lose balance like that, you try to get your bearings really quickly and I give credit to them. Obviously just losing my balance made the big difference there.”

Regarding the Nets’ slow start out the gate?

“This is one game, Irving said. “One of 82. So, don’t need to get nervous. Just keep knocking them down.”

Game 1 is in the books, and Game 2 is tomorrow, Friday, October 25, 2019, against the New York Knicks, who is also 0-1. This game will be home game for the Nets at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m.

 

Nets still figuring out their system during their last preseason game, and; group protesting NBA yielding to China caps Nets game

Tonight, the Brooklyn Nets played their last game of the NBA preseason and, in many ways, the Nets cohesiveness was similar to their first opponent of the preseason, the SESI/Franca Brazil Basketball Club. Granted, the Nets were going up against the reigning NBA champions, the Toronto Raptors, but with the addition of Kyrie Irving, fans are expecting more.

Some are attributing the Nets’ lackluster appearance to “jet lag” from their China trip, and there is some truth in that reasoning. Anyone who has taken a trip where your destination is more than six hours ahead or behind knows that it takes some time to get your groove back. But Nets center Jarrett Allen threw cold water on blaming jet lag for the team’s defeat.

“We can’t fully blame it on the hangover from China because they (Toronto Raptors) were in Japan,” Jarrett explained. “So, you could say they would have a hangover too. At the same time, we’re still learning our defensive scheme, we’re still learning playing with each other and that’s exactly what preseason is for.”

And, he’s right.

Early on the Nets were very competitive ending the first quarter even at 28 points, but in the second quarter, the Raptors pulled away ending the half with a 21-point lead 74-53. During the third quarter, the Brooklyn Nets, still down, closed the gap slightly 101-84, but ultimately lost 123-107.

“I think the first part of it is that they’re (Toronto Raptors) really good,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson regarding whether the Nets loss was due to jet lag.

“I think they’re one of the top teams in the East and they’re going to compete for the top spots. So that’s the respect I have for them. Second of all, yes, I think that was a part of it. I think that’s the first time Kyrie (Irving) was with that group in a live game. First one, so I think there will be some adjustments there. You could say that the China – kind of hangover or whatever – but I think they were in Japan if I’m correct about that, so I’m not sure what the time difference is, that’s not my area of expertise, but I’m not sure how much that plays into it. I told the guys in the locker room I was a little disappointed. This happens in this league against good teams, but I felt like we lost sight of our principles, our habits, all the things we have been working on. They kind of – poof – they kind of disappeared. So that concerned me. That was everybody, starters, guys that came in off the bench, end of the bench guys. It was kind of a breakdown of all the good things I’ve been saying all camp.”

“Camp has been great,” Atkinson continued. “The two games against the Lakers were really intact with what we’re doing, so I think when we get back to practice, we’ll get back to our core principles. You have to rewind a little bit.”

Kyrie Irving co-signed on Atkinson’s sentiment to some degree.

“They did a great job, Toronto, just stretching us on the 3-point line and I think they hit over 20 threes,” Irving said about the Raptors’ prowess. “Any NBA team that’s hitting over 20 threes is going to be successful out there on the offensive end. We’ve just got to get back to maintaining our principles, our system. Still new on the fly for us, not expected to get it right, right away, and we’ve got time to build. Just take it as a preseason game. For me, personally, I was just happy to be out there. I enjoy the game so much and entertaining, so it was just good to be out there.”

However, Coach Atkinson took it a step further when he responded to a question about whether the Nets' lack of defense was a breakdown of Nets’ principles.

“Yes,” Atkinson responded. “Defense, transition defense, guarding the ball, individual defense. I think it was just a cakewalk to the rim for them. They were in our paint all night. Then we started sucking in and they started kicking out for threes. The offense wasn’t great either, but I think we gave up 47 threes tonight. That’s not how we play. It will be good feedback and information, good film to watch with the guys and kind of restructure what we’re doing.”

On the other hand, Toronto Raptors' head coach Nick Nurse seemed to like what he saw from his team end-to-end.

“It was good,” said Coach Nurse. “I thought I played the seven that I know we are going to play and tried to keep turning it around and that was easy enough to get them in a lot of different rotations and different positions and all that stuff. They were fine. They flowed, it looked like it didn’t bother them much and we’re just giving them some experience. So, on both ends they were good.”

Coach Nurse even liked what he saw at the bottom of his rotation.

Terence (Davis) played good, right,” Coach Nurse asked? “He looked great, looked like he should’ve been in that rotation in the first half and then I thought he, like a young player does, he comes in there and gets a little comfortable and throws it all over the place for two or three possessions. That’s a growing process for him. Right now, he’s a combo guard, probably combo’ing more towards the two. But we would like him to play someone and be our third point guard, maybe, but if not we will just keep him at the two and you’ve heard me talk about it, I think it’s easier to play at the two, not as much responsibility.”

Toronto had seven players scoring in double digits including three off the bench: Serge Ibaka (15 points, 11 rebounds); Norman Powell (11 points, 3 assists), and; Terence Davis (10 points). The Raptors’ starters who were scoring leaders were: OG Anunoby (18 points, six rebounds); Fred VanVleet (16 points, eight assists, and three rebounds); Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol each scored 11 points, and Gasol added nine rebounds and three assists to his total, while Siakam complemented his total points with six rebounds and four assists.

For the Nets, Irving led all scorers with 19 points, four assists, and three rebounds. Both Taurean Prince and Spencer Dinwiddie produced 13 points, with Dinwiddie adding his points off the bench along with four assists. Jarrett Allen added 12 points and seven rebounds; David Nwaba recorded 11 points and six rebounds off the bench, and; Caris LeVert chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.

The Brooklyn Nets start the NBA regular season at home at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, at 7:30 p.m.

TIP-IN: Although there was a group protesting the NBA’s yielding to China, the protestors didn’t catch this reporter’s attention until the game ended when people were filing out of the arena.

Protestors seeking help from Nets and NBA for freedom in China 20191018 214423 600x450

People protesting the NBA’s lack of involvement in helping Chinese and Tibetans gain more freedom from the Chinese government. Photo Credit: What's The 411 Networks, Inc.

 

 
 
 
 
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