August 11, 2020

Spencer Dinwiddie leads all scorers and cements Nets’ lead over the Bulls with two late free-throws, Caris LeVert and Joe Harris each score more than 20 points

The Brooklyn Nets have entered a new era.

In case you missed it, Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson and Brooklyn Nets general manager, Sean Marks, mutually agreed that Atkinson would move on. Assistant Coach, Jacque Vaughn, has been elevated to interim head coach. Under Coach Vaughn’s leadership, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Chicago Bulls 110-107, and now Vaughn’s record is 1-0. With the win, the Nets’ win-loss record improved to 29-34, while the Bulls fell to 21-43 on the season with the loss to the Nets.

By The Numbers

Brooklyn shot .500 (32-of-64) from the field on Sunday and improved to 8-1 this season when shooting .500 or better from the field in a game. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls shot 42.4 percent (39-of-42)

From behind-the-arc, the Chicago Bulls edged the Brooklyn Nets on three-pointers; the Bulls made 12-of-34 vs. Brooklyn’s 11-of-30.

In the land of the free, Brooklyn shot .854 (35-of-41), which was a season-high number of free-throws for the Nets. They have now shot .850 or better from the free-throw line in 10 games this season. Chicago’s free-throw production of 17-of-25 (68 percent), was less than half of Brooklyn’s free-throw production (35-of-41).

Brooklyn outrebounded Chicago 50-31 (+19) on Sunday. Entering yesterday’s game, the Nets’ 48.5 rebounds per game ranked second in the league.

Considering the 28 turnovers made by the Brooklyn Nets versus the seven (7) made by the Chicago Bulls, luck was on the side of the Nets.

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets interim head coach Jacque Vaughn

Coach Vaughn was probably sweating a bit on the bench when in the closing seconds the Bulls’ Otto Porter Jr. made it a one-point game particularly with the 28 turnovers made by the Nets.

And, the number of turnovers made by the Nets was a question put before its new coach.

“Not completely sure – we even ended up changing the basketball throughout the course of the game, which doesn’t happen too often,” responded Nets interim head coach, Jacque Vaughn. “We complained that it was a little bit too slippery, and Chicago did too, and they (the referees) changed the ball. I think that was the first seven (turnovers). The other 21, we’ll have to look at tomorrow. But overall, they’re an aggressive team and they’ve always forced you to not be casual – and I think we were casual at times with the basketball. (A) good test for us, especially going out West.”

Despite the number of turnovers, the Nets won the first game under their new coach.

So, what was Coach Vaughn’s message to his team about the last 24 hours and pulling off a win against Chicago?

“Just glad for the guys that were able to get back on the floor, get back to what they enjoy doing, love doing – compete and playing the game of basketball,” said Coach Vaughn. “At the end of the day, that was the best part of getting together and competing today.”

“We have a road trip coming up,” Coach Vaughn continued. “Chicago gave us a little dose of aggressive teams and our ability to take care of the basketball on the road, take care of each other put us in a position to get some wins on the road.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

The Brooklyn Nets had five scoring leaders yesterday, players with scores of more than 10 points. Spencer Dinwiddie led all players with 24 points and six assists (both team highs), while shooting 4-of-9 from the field, 2-of-5 from 3-point range, and 14-of-15 from the free-throw line in 37 minutes. Dinwiddie’s 14 made free-throws matched a season-high, which was also done against Chicago on November 16, 2019. Caris LeVert scored 23 points and added six rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes; Joe Harris also scored 23 points (8-of-12 FG, 3-of-7 3FG, 4-of-4 FT) in 31 minutes versus the Bulls; DeAndre Jordan, with his fifth start of the season, tallied 11 points, a game-high 15 rebounds, four assists, and a game-high three blocks in 29 minutes, and; Jarrett Allen added 11 points and six rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench for Brooklyn.

This was the first time three Brooklyn Nets players scored more than 20 points in the same game since January 29, 2020, which was against the Detroit Pistons. They were: Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyrie Irving, and Taurean Prince.

Chicago Bulls Scoring Leaders

The Chicago Bulls had four scoring leaders and three of the four came off the bench: Otto Porter, Jr., Coby White, and Thaddeus Young.

Otto Porter, Jr. led all Bulls scorers with 23 points, four steals, and three rebounds in 25 minutes; Coby White recorded 23 points, eight assists, and three rebounds in 35 minutes; Thaddeus Young (a former Brooklyn Nets player) registered 17 points and five rebounds, and; Lauri Markkanen, a member of the starting five, chipped in 16 points and four assists in 26 minutes.

Coach Speak: Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen

“I thought we battled the whole game,” said Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen. “We were fighting uphill, but I thought our spirit was really good. I thought we had opportunities that were really good opportunities. I thought we left some money on the table in transition, but we kept playing, kept competing. Coby White, I thought, was terrific – 21 points, eight assists, and I think six rebounds. He was good. I thought Lauri Markkanen was active and moving around. Thaddeus Young kind of held it together for us there in the third quarter. A lot of good things. We made some big shots down the stretch too, to make it a one-possession game. We gave ourselves a chance but didn’t make enough plays at the end of the day.”

Up Next for the Chicago Bulls and the Brooklyn Nets

So, what’s next for the Chicago Bulls?

The Chicago Bulls will return home to Chicago to host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, March 10, at 7 p.m. CT.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets have a four-game West Coast road trip:

• Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at 10:30 p.m. ET
• Golden State Warriors on Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 10:30 p.m. ET
• Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, March 13, 2020, at 10:30 p.m. ET
• Sacramento Kings on Sunday, March 15, 2020, at 9:00 p.m. ET

The Brooklyn Nets will then return home to play the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Hopefully, the spread of the COVID-19 virus will have abated by then.

TIP-INS:

Spencer Dinwiddie has now scored 20-plus points in a single-season career-high 37 games this season in 63 games played for the Brooklyn Nets. He scored 20-plus points 18 times last season (in 68 games).

Since re-entering the Brooklyn Nets starting lineup on February 3, 2020, vs. Phoenix, Caris LeVert has averaged 24.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 32.8 minutes per contest for the Brooklyn Nets.

DeAndre Jordan recorded his 13th double-double of the season on Sunday and pulled down his eighth game of 15-plus rebounds this season.

 

Caris LeVert leads all scorers with 27 points and scores his first triple-double

Last night, the San Antonio Spurs lost their spurs and therefore, their direction and were never able to steer themselves to be competitive and thus, lost to the Brooklyn Nets 139-120. The Nets’ 139 points were a season-high. With the win, the Brooklyn Nets improved to 28-34 with their wire-to-wire victory, while the Spurs fell to 26-35 on the season.

By The Numbers:

Brooklyn had eight players score in double figures matching a season-high for Nets in double figures and this wasn’t the first time. The most recent was achieved at the Charlotte Hornets on February 22, 2020.

• Field Goals: Nets – 53.1 percent (51-of-96) versus Spurs - 46.7 percent (43-of-92)
• Behind the Arc: Nets 41.7 (15-of-36) versus Spurs 29.4 percent (10-of-34)
• Free Throws: 71 percent (22-of-31) versus 88.9 (24-of-27)

Additionally, the Nets outrebounded the Spurs 52-38 (+14) and edged San Antonio 32-25 (+7) in assists.

The Nets led the Spurs 41-22 at the end of the first quarter

Brooklyn led San Antonio 75-54 at halftime and 75 points marked the most points the Nets have scored in a half in Barclays Center history (since 2012-13).

During the third quarter, the Nets scored 45 points setting a new franchise record for points scored in the third quarter, and 120-95 through three quarters, marking a franchise record through three quarters.

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson

How did Coach Kenny Atkinson compare the Brooklyn Nets’ performance last night against the Spurs versus the Grizzlies on Wednesday night?

“Energy was great,” Coach Atkinson said. “Compete level was great. Togetherness was great. You know how it is, there’s no easy games in this league. Especially the Spurs, Pop (Gregg Popovich), all that, so I give real credit to our guys. It was our energy level, our compete level. Obviously, we rebounded better than our last game. Our spirit was better. It was like the opposite of the other night. I wish I could give you an explanation why that happens.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Caris LeVert, what can you say, he is playing like an NBA all-star! LeVert recorded his first career triple-double against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night with a game-high 27 points, a season-high 11 rebounds, and a season-high 10 assists in 31 minutes. Joe Harris scored 20 points (9-of-14 FG, 2-of-4 3FG) with four rebounds in 26 minutes against the Spurs; Spencer Dinwiddie added 19 points and nine assists in 26 minutes; Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot also scored 19 points, his second-most points scored in a game this season, shooting 5-of-7 from the field, 3-of-5 from distance and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line; DeAndre Jordan recorded his 10th double-double off the bench this season with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes; Chris Chiozza added 13 points (5-of-9 FG, 3-of-5 3FG) with six rebounds, and three assists in 22 minutes; Taurean Prince posted 13 points and five rebounds off the bench, and; Jarrett Allen chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds.

San Antonio Spurs Scoring Leaders

DeMar DeRozan scored a team-high 24 points, nine assists, and five rebounds in 31 minutes for the San Antonio Spurs; both Trey Lyles and Derrick White each scored 19 points for the Spurs in 23 and 27 minutes respectively; Rudy Gay posted 15 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes, and; Keldon Johnson dropped 13 points and five rebounds.

What happened to San Antonio’s defense?

Coach Speak: Gregg Popovich, Head Coach, San Antonio Spurs

“It was embarrassing defense, soft,” said Gregg Popovich, head coach of the San Antonio Spurs. “I thought the guys we put in in the fourth quarter played with more physicality and more attitude than anybody else did all night long. Brooklyn took their starters out with five minutes to go and we actually outscored them and kept them to 10 or 12 points. Our starting group was really soft defensively. That’s pretty much been tough most of the year. So, if another team starts and helps us by not making shots then the defense doesn’t look as bad. If they’re scoring like the Nets did tonight – then you see the hole we get into and we get into that hole quite often. But I thought those kids in the fourth quarter did a great job of guarding, keeping people in front of them and playing with some physicality.”

Up Next for the San Antonio Spurs and the Brooklyn Nets

So, what’s next for the San Antonio Spurs?

The Spurs will travel to Cleveland to play the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, March 8, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will host the Chicago Bulls at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on also Sunday, March 8, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. ET.

TIP-INS:

o Caris LeVert is the 27th player in Brooklyn Nets history to register a triple-double and the third player to do so as a Brooklyn Net, joining Kyrie Irving and D'Angelo Russell. He also registered his fourth-career double-double and his second-career points/rebounds double-double on Friday, March 6, 2020.

Caris LeVert reached the 20-point mark for the 13th time this season on Friday, March 6, 2020, and the ninth time in his last 15 games (since the beginning of February). He totaled 20+ points five times in his first 22 games this season.

Bittersweet: Chris Chiozza scored in double figures for the first time in his NBA career last night in the Brooklyn Nets’ loss to the Memphis Grizzlies

What a difference a day makes.

On Tuesday night, the Brooklyn Nets pulled off an upset against the 41-18 Boston Celtics. The Nets, a 7th-seed Eastern Conference team, defeated the Celtics, a 3rd seed Eastern Conference team, 129-120 in overtime behind Caris LeVert’s 51 points, rendering the Celtics’ win-loss record to 41-19.

And, what a difference a day makes. No need to cry for the Celtics, like the Nets, they played a back-to-back last night and defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 112-106. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets were blown out by the Memphis Grizzlies 118-79. This is the difference between elite NBA teams and the not-so-elite teams, among many things, their ability to bounce back. With the loss to the Grizzlies last night, the Nets fell to 27-34 and the Grizzlies improved to 31-31.

By The Numbers:

Let’s just say, the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Brooklyn Nets on every metric that matters:

Field Goals: Grizzlies - 43 percent (43-of-100) versus Nets - 33.3 percent (30-of-90)
Behind the Arc: Grizzlies 45.5 (20-of-44) versus Nets 16.7 percent (7-of-42)
Free Throws: 85.7 (12-of-14) versus 70.6 (12-of-17)

The Memphis Grizzlies even outrebounded the Brooklyn Nets 59-42, as well as, on assists 21-15; steals 8-6, and blocked shots 5-4.

So, what does a head coach say when a team is blown out in this fashion?

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson

“These are the type of games where, you know – 40-point losses, believe it or not, happen in this league,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “But I think collectively we didn’t like our compete level and our spirit wasn’t where it needed to be. And we talked about it in the locker room. Coaches and players having a good old-fashioned great communication. Like I always say, these are the moments where you really have to embrace the adversity. We’re obviously disappointed and frustrated that we couldn’t build off of a great win. We’re definitely frustrated with that.”

And, what was the most disappointing aspect of Coach Atkinson’s team’s performance?

“That our energy wasn’t there,” Coach Atkinson continued. “I don’t know if it was mental spirit, whatever that, you know, we’re playing for something. Like I said, we came off of a really good win last night. We didn’t build on that. I didn’t feel that we had our, I keep saying the word, but our spirit in the right place and that’s disappointing. The crowd let us know about it and I think they are 100 percent right. I think that you feel it when it’s not there. So, we have a great group of guys, I think fatigue plays something in a back-to-back. Guys were a little frustrated we got down, we were missing shots, but we didn’t have that fighting spirit that we normally do.”

 

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Brooklyn Nets forward Taurean Prince led Brooklyn with 15 points and added five rebounds in 25 minutes last night against the Memphis Grizzlies, scoring in double figures in six of his last seven games. Caris LeVert, after scoring 51 points the night before, totaled 14 points, four rebounds, and a game-high-tying six assists in 27 minutes; Chris Chiozza scored a career-high 14 points (5-of-8 FG, 2-of-4 3FG, 2-of-2 FT) and three rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench, and; Joe Harris tallied 13 points and eight rebounds in 29 minutes against the Grizzlies.

Some reporters were a little concerned that Spencer Dinwiddie hasn’t had a high offensive output as of late, including only scoring four points against the Memphis Grizzlies last night.

“That’s the thing,” said Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie. “I’ve seen people kind of talk about my offensive output in Boston, I mean I had 14 and four in like 20 minutes. Not bad guys, that’s not bad. Granted – don’t get me wrong – Boston should be all about Caris (LeVert), he had 51 and the crazy comeback win. But the stigma of like ‘Spencer (Dinwiddie) played bad in Boston’ is not quite accurate. Tonight is a totally different story. But you know, played all 61 games we had. I’m sorry. Deeply Nets fans, I’m sorry.”

Memphis Grizzlies Scoring Leaders

For the Memphis Grizzlies, its top two scorers were from its second unit, Josh Jackson and Tyus Jones.

Jackson came off the bench and scored 19 points and two steals in 17 minutes, and Jones recorded 18 points, six assists, and five rebounds in 21 minutes. Among the Grizzlies’ starters, Ja Morant recorded 15 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in 29 minutes; Kyle Matthews tallied 12 points and five rebounds in 22 minutes, and Dillion Brooks chipped in 12 points in 22 minutes.

While Jonas Valanciunas may have missed being a scoring leader with only nine points, he more than made up for it with a game-high 16 rebounds.

Coach Speak: Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins

“Another great win for our guys back-to-back,” said Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins. “Just really proud of the defensive activity. Didn’t have like we did against Atlanta in that first half, but our guys just turned it on in that third and fourth quarter. We just really clamped down, our ability to get out and scramble. Obviously, the Nets still end up shooting a lot of threes. They were highly contested. Our guys were flying around. Much better job in the second half keeping Brooklyn off of the boards, which allowed us to get out and run. Just great contributions throughout the entire rotation – the starters, but obviously the bench has been huge for us. Two nights in a row, the 3-point shooting, the defensive activity, the rebounding, the steals, the blocks, just the general unselfishness. So very proud of the guys. Great win for us tonight. Just have to keep focus of the daily task at hand – one day at a time.”

Up Next for the Memphis Grizzlies and the Brooklyn Nets

The Memphis Grizzlies will travel to Dallas to play the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, March 6, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. CT.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will remain at home at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, to take on the San Antonio Spurs also on Friday, March 6, 2020, at 7:30 p.m.

TIP-INS:

Brooklyn Nets two-way guard, Chris Chiozza, scored in double figures for the first time in his NBA career last night after totaling a then-career-high-tying eight points on Tuesday night in Boston. In his last two contests, Chiozza has averaged 11.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 steals in 22.5 minutes per game while shooting .615 (8-of-13) from the field, .571 (4-of-7) from 3-point range and 1.000 (2-of-2) from the free-throw line.

Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris made three 3-pointers last night against the Memphis Grizzlies. Harris has now made at least one three in 51 straight games dating back to November 12, 2019, at Utah. Harris’ three-point shooting streak marks the second-longest streak in Nets history behind D’Angelo Russell’s 61-game streak last season.

Harris has also made at least one three in all 30 of Brooklyn’s home games this season.

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.

 

Spencer Dinwiddie leads all scorers with 28 points

The Cleveland Cavaliers put up a good fight last night but ultimately lost to the Brooklyn Nets 113-107. A good win for the Nets, as the team is now back over .500, improving their record to 34-33 overall, while the Cavaliers fell to 16-49 overall and 6-25 on the road with the loss. The Nets also improved its wins against Eastern Conference teams, which could be needed to sort out placement and ties if the Nets are still in the running for a playoff position at the end of the regular season.

After the NBA All-Star break and into the month of March, the playoffs are on everyone’s mind, especially, as with the Nets, if your team hasn’t been there in a few years. As much as Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson would like not to have the NBA playoffs front and center, at this point there is no escaping it, particularly when a reporter asks, what tonight’s win means for a playoff push.

“Yeah, I think there was a moment in the fourth quarter where we were desperate,” Coach Atkinson responded. “And even in the third, they had an eight-point lead, I think. I’m glad we kept our cool though because you know, maybe last year or two years ago we would lose that lead, or the lead would go to 16 or 18. The fact that we kept our cool, weathered the storm and came back was important. We won that game without playing great.”

Atkinson didn’t respond directly to the playoffs. But reading between the lines, if a team doesn’t know how to come back from a deficit, it probably won’t be in NBA playoff conversation at least from a positive perspective. In years past, the Nets would get into trouble in the third quarter even after leading in the first half. However, players have bought into Atkinson’s system and have learned to take back control when they are not leading coming out of the third quarter, as in this case, Cleveland led 85-80.

“I thought our defense was good all night,” Atkinson said starting to explain how the Nets were able to take control of the fourth quarter. “I think we did a pretty good job – they hit a few too many three’s – but for the most part, we defended. I think Caris (LeVert) had an important stretch there when we were struggling and couldn’t really score. He made some big plays, started to get downhill, and obviously, Spencer (Dinwiddie) too. Those two guys, I thought they turned it up. Our offense, we’re struggling. And we really needed those two guys tonight. I think they did a good job.”

“We needed stops,” Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell proffered. “Teams get going like that. Any team in the league can get going. It’s hard to stop the bleeding without getting stops so we knew we had to get stops.”

And, the Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Larry Drew pretty much co-signed on how the Brooklyn Nets were able to take down his team.

“First of all, come out ready to play at the start of the game,” Drew said. “I believe we had eight turnovers in the first quarter, but we were able to overcome that. Playing on the road you just can’t play like that. Going down the stretch we just didn’t make the plays on either end. Brooklyn’s been playing well. You have to give credit where credit is due. They’ve really been getting after people. We allowed them to speed us up a little bit. When it came down to it down the stretch, we just didn’t make the plays. We had some bad shots. We had a couple of turnovers and we let it get away from us.”

At the end of the day, it was the Nets’ defense and keeping their composure under pressure.

Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie came off the bench and led all scorers with 28 points, four rebounds, and five assists. D'Angelo Russell registered 25 points, four rebounds, and five assists, and three steals; Jarrett Allen had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, and he added three assists to his total; Caris LeVert accumulated 14 points and four rebounds off the bench; Rodions Kurucs chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds, and; Ed Davis crashed the boards with 12 rebounds.

The Nets’ bench outscored the Cavs’ bench 50-45 points. Brooklyn also edged the Cavs 7-3 (+4) in blocks, 58-38 (+20) in points in the paint and 22-14 (+8) in second-chance points.

Leading scorers for the Cavaliers were Kevin Love with 24 points, 16 rebounds, and four assists; David Nwaba added 22 points off the bench; Larry Nance Jr. registered 17 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and four steals; Jordan Clarkson came off the bench and accumulated 14 points and seven rebounds, and; Colin Sexton chipped in 12 points and five assists.

The Cavaliers will travel to Miami to take on the Heat on Friday, March 8, 2019, at 8:00 p.m. ET., and the Brooklyn Nets won’t see its next opponent, the Atlanta Hawks until Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Atlanta. The Nets will then travel back to Brooklyn and take on the Detroit Pistons on Monday, March 11, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. at the Barclays Center.

Nets forward DeMarre Carroll leads all scorers with 22 points; Dirk Nowitzki on “retirement tour”, receives a warm welcome from NBA fans at Barclays Center

Oh, what a night! The Brooklyn Nets took advantage of the Dallas Mavericks vulnerabilities at the Barclays Center on Monday night and came up with a 127-88 win for the home crowd. The Nets improved to 33-33 overall and 19-16 at Barclays Center with tonight’s win, while the Mavericks fell to 27-36 overall and 6-25 on the road with the loss.

So, what did it take to get the Brooklyn Nets back on track?

“It was really about the two things we emphasized before the game, defense and rebounding,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson responded. “I thought we defended much better tonight and we secured rebounds. We held them to one possession, and on the other side, we made shots. We were struggling to make shots before tonight, and it was nice to see the ball go through the basket. This helped our spirit. Good team win.”

“We drove the ball more tonight than in previous games, but I still think we can take it to another level,” Coach Atkinson continued. “We are still a little timid getting to the rim. I would love to see more rim attacks and free throw attempts. It was better tonight.”

The Nets snatched a win from the Mavericks right on time to stop a three-game losing streak in preparation for one more home game tomorrow against the Cleveland Cavaliers before hitting the road to play the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday. Hopefully, Brooklyn can get two more wins under its belt before the team plays the Detroit Pistons on Monday at the Barclays Center and before hits the road to play six Western Conference teams and the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Nets need these wins against the Cavaliers and the Hawks because they need the wins and a win against these two non-playoff bound teams will help with the Nets standing in the Eastern Conference as things get tight in the coming weeks. They also need to have a recent memory of what it feels like to win and because the upcoming stretch starting with the Detroit Pistons on Monday is going to be a dogfight. After Detroit, the Brooklyn Nets face OKC Thunder, Jazz, Clippers, Kings, Lakers, Trail Blazers, and the 76ers.

Right now, the Nets are neck and neck in the Eastern Conference standings with the Pistons. The win against the Mavericks was good because a win is a win. But let’s face it, the game looked like a pro team playing against amateurs save a few players. And, Dirk Nowitzki really looked old. He was struggling to keep up and his numbers prove it, four points, four rebounds, and two assists. The conversation all season has been this may be Nowitzki's last season and no disrespect to Dirk, but by his performance last night, it should be. Dirk really looked old and the Nets took advantage, as they should.

“It was ugly from start to finish,” Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle bemoaned. “When you lose every quarter of an NBA game, you certainly haven’t done what you needed to do. It’s a very disappointing night.”

“I thought Brooklyn’s effort was phenomenally great and I know ours wasn’t up to it,” Carlisle continued. “The effort can’t be good if you lose by this number of points. We just simply have to do better.”

Doing better might start with limiting Nowitzki’s minutes. And, this is not to beat up on Nowitzki, as he has nobly put in 20 years in the NBA. He was a force to reckon with. However, this season, Nowitzki is averaging 5.5 points per game, while over the course of his career, Nowitzki averaged 20 PPG.

“…I was just fighting out there,” Nowitzki said. “I was just trying to get one down and get one in. In the first half, I had some great looks there – the trailing three and another one, a wide-open three from the corner. Frustrating night for me, but I kept on playing.”

In last night’s game, the Mavericks only had three scoring leaders. Dwight Powell led the Mavericks with 20 points, 6 rebounds, and six assists; Luka Doncic scored 16 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots, and; Jalen Brown chipped in 10 points and three rebounds.

For the Nets, DeMarre Carroll came off the bench to lead all scorers with 22 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Rodions Kurucs registered 19 points and six rebounds; Caris LeVert accumulated 18 points, five rebounds, and five assists off the bench; Spencer Dinwiddie, also came off the bench and scored 16 points and five assists; D’Angelo Russell posted 13 points and 11 assists; Joe Harris chipped in 11 points, and; Ed Davis, who is not a prolific scorer, brought the heat around the rim with 10 rebounds.

And, with this win, D’Angelo Russell agrees that the Nets may have stumbled upon a winning formula.

“…With that second unit, you’ve got five starters coming off the bench. That team could start and be their own team and compete in this league, so I think that’s where we can get advantages. A lot of teams don’t have the personnel to do that so, it was a great move by coach,” Russell opined.

Caris LeVert’s return to the Brooklyn Nets lineup spoiled with 125-106 loss to the 12-42 Chicago Bulls

On the heels of a 135-130 win on Wednesday night over the Denver Nuggets, the team that happens to be the No.2 seed in the NBA’s Western Conference, the Brooklyn Nets managed to get shut down at home last night by the 12-42 Chicago Bulls, 125-106.

Brooklyn allowed Chicago to shoot .541 from the field, .500 (14-of-28) from three-point land and was out-rebounded 50-33. The only metric that the Nets overpowered the Bulls on last night was bench points, 43-24.

So, what was the big difference between last night and 10 days ago when the Nets played the Bulls?

The Bulls traded Jabari Parker to the Washington Wizards for Otto Porter Jr. and in so doing, its starters have greater size over the Brooklyn Nets starting five. Both Lauri Markkanen and Robin Lopez are seven feet tall, the only Nets player close to seven feet tall is Jarrett Allen, who is in his second year in the NBA. Also, according to the NBA, Parker’s average points per game this season is seven and Porter’s PPG this season is 18. Averages for Chicago’s starting five with Jabari Parker was 66.2 and with Otto Porter Jr. is 77.2, which potentially is a big difference between Chicago on January 29, 2019, and last night. From an eyeball test, it was also Chicago’s aggressiveness and Brooklyn seemed to be missing a beat allowing the Chicago Bulls to shoot .541 from the field, .500 (14-of-28) from 3-point land and was out-rebounded 50-33. And, it’s obvious, if you can’t beat those numbers, you’re not going to win.

“I’ve said this before, but I thought we got a lot from a lot from a lot of guys,” Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen told the media. “Obviously, the addition of Otto Porter Jr. changes the way we look, how we play sliding Lauri Markkanen to the five. It’s obviously a difficult matchup for people. I thought we played hard. This team beat us three times and we defensively needed to do a better job. I thought defensively for most of the game we were really good, so I’m proud of us for that. We kind of ham and egged it a little bit. Kris Dunn had a great third quarter. Zach LaVine had his moments in the fourth. And we just kind of played together and I felt like we looked like a team out there and played like a team. I’m happy for them. I’m happy for our guys. I’m proud of our guys.”

“We just weren’t really locked in defensively tonight,” said Allen Crabbe. “They basically got whatever they wanted, did whatever they wanted to do. I don’t think we gave them any resistance on the defensive side. Guys were comfortable out there. They’ve got guys who are capable. It’s the NBA, regardless of their record, every team has players who can play, and we just weren’t ready to play tonight, and they took advantage of that.”

“Poor rating overall,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about his team’s performance last night. “Our defense was just non-existent. Couldn’t keep them in front of us. Couldn’t guard them. There wasn’t, one or two guys, I thought collectively we couldn’t guard them. Give them (Bulls) a lot of credit. I thought they played great. They obviously made shots. They added shooting with Otto (Porter Jr.) in there. It was really poor.”

And, Coach Atkinson said he tried everything.

“I think we tried one through 25 tonight,” Atkinson added. “If we had 25, we probably would have tried them. Yeah, we played some guys, but I don’t think that was an excuse tonight. They outplayed us 1 through 12. It’s just that simple. I don’t think tonight was a lineup thing.”

Truth.

Unfortunately, the Nets’ overall performance spoiled Caris LeVert’s return to the lineup. LeVert missed the previous 42 games with a subtalar dislocation of his right foot, which he sustained playing the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 12, 2018. Coming off the bench, LeVert gave the Nets an instant boost, which is what he always does. LeVert registered a career-high-tying (and Nets season-high) five steals, to go along with his 11 points, four assists, and two rebounds in 15 minutes.

“It felt good to get back out there with the team,” LeVert said about his return to the lineup. “Obviously, we didn’t get the win out there, but it felt good to be back out there for sure. I was kind of tired the first little stint I played, the first six minutes, but after that I kind of settled into the game and got more comfortable.”

Of course, when an athlete gets injured everyone is concerned about the return on a physical level.

“I prepared for it,” LeVert explained. “We put a lot of time in over the last couple of months, so it was kind of expected for me. I don’t want to make it about me because I wish we would have won the game for sure, but that’s expected. We didn’t come back to just be there. We wanted to be better than before.”

As for Coach Atkinson, LeVert’s return was the silver lining about last night’s game against the Bulls.

“If I had to take one positive from tonight that was a positive, I thought he looked good, looked athletic, he was athletic, came downhill like he does, make some passes,” Atkinson said. “Obviously there were a few bumps here and there, but for the most part I think he was a plus-five on the sheet, so he had some positives tonight and played well.”

D’Angelo Russell led the Nets’ with 23 points, six assists, and two steals; Joe Harris and Allen Crabbe each scored 19 points, and Harris added five assists to his total, and; Jarrett Allen chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds.

For the Bulls, Lauri Markkanen led all scorers with 31 points, 18 rebounds, and two blocked shots; Zach LaVine added 26 points, five assists, three rebounds, and two steals; Otto Porter Jr. accumulated 18 points and four rebounds; Kris Dunn tallied 14 points, nine assists, and five rebounds; Robin Lopez registered 12 points and five rebounds, and; Wayne Selden chipped in 11 points.

The Bulls will play the Washington Wizards today, February 9, 2019, in the nation’s capital. Meanwhile, the Nets have two road games before the NBA All-Star break. The Nets will travel to Toronto to play the Toronto Raptors on Monday, February 11, 2019, and then the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, February 13, 2019. The next time the Brooklyn Nets will be at home is on Thursday, February 21, 2019, to play the Portland Trail Blazers at the Barclays Center at 7:30 p.m.

Nets continue to struggle to close out games; D’Angelo Russell scores 30 points in Nets loss

Seven is often looked upon as a lucky number in many quarters but when it comes to the Brooklyn Nets, the team isn’t wearing that number very well. Seven is the number of consecutive losses the Nets have racked up with its loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers last night. Yes, the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers. The Nets lost to the Cavaliers 99-97.

With the loss, the Nets fell to 8-17 overall and 3-9 at Barclays Center, meanwhile, the Cavaliers improved to 5-18 overall and 2-10 on the road with the win. Of the last seven losses, only the 102-88 loss to the Washington Wizards was more than 10 points. The other six games were winnable. The Wizards game was the second of a back-to-back to which the team had to travel to Washington to play. Now, back-to-back games are not unique to the Nets; every team has back-to-back games on their schedule but watching the Nets play the Wizards on Saturday, you could see a certain kind of exhaustion. The Nets looked downright tired.

Fast-forward to Monday, team standouts D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie are still showing up even though Dinwiddie, who took and missed the last shot with three seconds left on the clock that could have given the Nets a win. Russell scored a game-high 30 points, his third-most points in a game this season. He also tallied eight rebounds, a game-high six assists, and two steals in 33 minutes.

When Russell was asked, where he was able to expose the Cavs and get hot, his response was very telling.

“I feel like I get what I want but it’s not really about the offense, Russell answered. “I would say for us it's defensively. We’ve got a few guys over here who can really get it going but, it’s defensive. At the end of the game, we need that stop. We always need that rebound and unfortunately, we don’t get it, so, the results are like this.”

Dinwiddie registered 18 points, four assists, and three rebounds in 32 minutes. Nets rookie, Rodions Kurucs, recorded a season-high-tying 12 points with four rebounds and one steal in 14 minutes off the bench. Kurucs shot 6-of-10 from the field last night, with his six field goals made and 10 field goals attempted both marking season highs.

Kurucs’ effort did not go unnoticed by Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson.

“He just plays hard,” Atkinson commented about Kurucs' energy off the bench. “He’s got extreme energy, but he turned the game for us and got us back in it. His energy was contagious. He gets in there, so it’s good news for the Nets. Disappointing loss, but, to have a young player like that contribute at this level this early is good news.”

Kurucs, who is mainly hanging out with the Nets G-League team, has now scored in double figures in three games with the Nets this season. He previously scored in double figures in the second and third games of the season.

Could Kurucs be playing himself into the rotation?

“He’s in the conversation, you can’t deny it,” Atkinson responded. We’ll have to look at it. We’ll have to consider getting him minutes. I think he’s shown that he can do it. Now, it’s a competitive environment in the NBA. Minutes are out there, and guys have to compete for minutes, but he’s definitely earning some playing time.”

Shabazz Napier also scored in double figures for Brooklyn, posting 10 points, four rebounds, and two assists in 18 minutes off the bench. Napier has scored in double figures in four of his last six games, recording averages of 10.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game in those six contests.

Ed Davis, not a prolific scorer, made his expected contribution to Nets, pulling down 10 rebounds in 16 minutes.

For the Cleveland Cavaliers, Jordan Clarkson scored 20 points off the bench, along with 11 rebounds and four assists. Tristan Thompson registered 19 points and 14 rebounds; Collin Sexton tallied 15 points, and Alec Burks chipped 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench.

Next up for Cleveland will be the Golden State Warriors at home in Cleveland on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, at 7 p.m. ET.

The Brooklyn Nets will remain home to host Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder at Barclays Center on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

LeBron James carries his team; Game 1: JR Smith in a fog, possible pivotal point in 2018 NBA Finals for Cavs

 

Joe Harris scores a career-high 30 points in the loss

When the Cleveland Cavaliers come into your building, the operations change and it is unlike when any other team in the NBA arrives at your doorstep. The same can almost be said for in-arena activity.

At the end of 48 minutes, the Cavaliers had left its imprint on the Barclays Center defeating the Brooklyn Nets by only seven points, 121-114.

In the loss for the Nets, Joe Harris had a great night, scoring a career-high 30 points (11-of-14 FG, 6-of-7 3FG) with seven rebounds and two assists in 27 minutes off the bench. His previous career high was 21 points back on December 29, 2017, at Miami.
Harris’ 30 points also marked the most points scored by a Net off the bench this season.

“I think he’s good because he cuts off the ball, so against their switches, I think that messed with them,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about Joe Harris’ performance. “He’s a good cutter. Obviously came off some good screens. I thought our bigs set some really good screens for us. He gets out in transition. You know Joe’s had a darn good year. I think he’s struggled a little lately so it was nice to see him break out, have a really good game especially against his former team, so great for Joe, just stinks we couldn’t get the W for him.”

“I just got in the rhythm early,” Harris told the media about his performance today. “We were moving the ball well and I was able to get room and rhythm looks right off the get-go, knocked down my first couple. It just felt good after that and I was a little bit more aggressive, hunting into shots. I guess towards the end, especially I took a couple more chances on taking contested looks when we needed the three’s. But it started at the beginning of the game just us moving the ball, and me getting room and rhythm looks.”

“He’s been solid throughout the season,” Nets guard D’Angelo Russell said about his Harris’s performance. “He knows his job. He knows his role. He embraces it. He and a few others, they have that job to shoot the ball and space the floor and they embrace that. He does a great job at that as well.”

“This Brooklyn team has been a really tough team for us to play against all year long, whether we’re at our building or theirs,” said Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Larry Drew. “I’m just proud that we hung in there. We got behind a little bit but we didn’t fold. LeBron (James) was once again spectacular. We got some really good play out of George Hill. Rodney Hood was really good for us as well. I’m just proud of the fact that we didn’t fold. We got behind, we kept grinding. I thought we gave a much better defensive effort in the second half than we did in the first half. ”

DeMarre Carroll posted 18 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals in 34 minutes today. Spencer Dinwiddie recorded 16 points, four rebounds, and two assists in 25 minutes off the bench today. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson totaled 15 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in 33 minutes. D’Angelo Russell also scored in double figures for the Nets with 12 points in 26 minutes today.

Entering today’s game, the Nets’ bench ranked as the second-highest scoring bench in the league with 43.5 ppg and Brooklyn’s bench outscored Cleveland’s bench 60-42 today, led by Joe Harris and Spencer Dinwiddie.

For Cleveland, LeBron James led all scorers with 37 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. Kevin Love added 20 points, 15 rebounds, and four assists. Jordan Clarkson recorded 18 points, George Hill contributed 17 points, four rebounds, and five assists, and Rodney Hood chipped in 16 points.

Next, the Cleveland Cavaliers will play the Miami Heat in Miami on Tuesday, March 27.

The Nets will fly to Orlando to play the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, March 28, 2017.

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