March 25, 2019

D’Angelo Russell led all Nets scorers with 22 points in the loss; Spencer Dinwiddie back in the lineup after missing 14 games following surgery on right thumb

This was a tough game to watch. For the second time this week, the Brooklyn Nets got pushed into the L column by an opponent that was either banging on the door for a playoff spot or seeking to move up in the standings. On Wednesday, it was the Washington Wizards, last night, the Nets lost to the Charlotte Hornets 123-112. The Nets are now 32-32 overall and 18-16 at the Barclays Center and the Hornets improved to 29-33 overall and 9-21 on the road with the win.

“We have given up 68 points in the first half two games in a row,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about his team’s recent streak. “It starts on the defensive end. It’s not about the lineups or working guys back in from injury. It’s about defense and we have to do a better job on that end. Right now, we just aren’t getting it done.”

Unfortunately, the Nets struggle wasn’t just defense, the Hornets had 50 field goals to the Nets 44 and 10 offensive rebounds to the Nets seven.

“We have to find some solution because we are out of sync right now,” Atkinson continued acknowledging his team’s offensive struggles. “We will figure it out because right now we aren’t sharp. Shot selection is not great, ball movement is not great. We will look at some things. Obviously, this late in the season, we won’t be changing our offense, but we will find some ways to help the guys.”

Coach Atkinson may want to look at his team’s offense because other teams certainly are looking at their offense to take them off their game, case in point, Hornets head coach James Borrego.

“…I think when we were here last time, Kemba was rolling there in that fourth quarter and they switched to a zone and they tried to take the ball out of his hands. This is a zone team, they’re number one in the NBA playing zone. We‘re going to see zone tonight, we understand that we play better against the zone of late…,” Coach Borrego told the media just before the game started.

For the Charlotte Hornets, Kemba Walker led all scorers with 27 points, seven assists, four rebounds, and four steals; Jeremy Lamb registered 22 points off the bench; Nicolas Batum accumulated 17 points, six rebounds, and five assists; Frank Kaminsky recorded 15 points and seven rebounds; both Cody Zeller and Tony Parker scored 12 points, with Parker scoring his 12 points and five assists off the bench and Zeller adding nine rebounds and three assists, and; not to be outdone, Marvin Williams chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds.

D’Angelo Russell led Brooklyn with 22 points and nine assists in 28 minutes. DeMarre Carroll scored 20 points (5-of-10 FG, 3-of-5 3FG, 7-of-8 FT) with five rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench; Spencer Dinwiddie returned to action last night for the first time since January 23, 2019, vs. Orlando and posted 15 points and four assists in 23 minutes off the bench. Dinwiddie missed 14 games following surgery that repaired ligaments in his right thumb. Caris LeVert totaled 14 points (6-of-11 FG) with seven rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes, and Jarrett Allen chipped in 10 points in 23 minutes.

Regarding the Nets struggles lately, could it be an abundance of riches now that everyone is healthy and back in the lineup and they need to adjust?

Or, is it just as simple as what D’Angelo Russell said: “We can’t dig ourselves in holes and teams shoot well and expect to get out of it by us scoring; we’ve got to get stops.”

Or, perhaps, it’s both.

The Brooklyn Nets travel to Miami to play the Miami Heat tonight at 7:30 p.m.

TIP-INS:

Dinwiddie has now scored 808 points off the bench this season, becoming the second player in franchise history to tally 800+ points in a season off the bench (Armen Gilliam scored 878 points off the bench in the 1993-94 season).

With his fourth rebound tonight, Ed Davis moved past Detlef Schrempf (3,640) and is now third in NBA history in rebounds off the bench (since the NBA first tracked starters in 1970-71). He now has 3,641 career rebounds off the bench and trails only Kevin McHale (3,526) and Paul Silas (5,337).

Washington Wizards down early, but used its wizardry to tie it up and wrap it up with 125-116 victory; D’Angelo Russell scored 23 points in the first half

This was a game where the final score really doesn’t tell the whole story. From the last third of the first quarter, it was tough sledding, but the Nets managed to close the gap in its 125-116 loss to the Washington Wizards.

At the outset, it took the Wizards more than three minutes to get points on the board. At 8:56 in the first, the Nets were leading 10-0, but with some wizardry, Washington scored its first two points. At the 4:08 mark in the first quarter, the score was tied 18-18. By the end of the quarter, the Washington Wizards finished on top 34-28. The remaining three quarters were more of the same. In the second stanza the Nets stayed close, tying twice, but ultimately, ending the quarter on the losing end 68-60. The third quarter was when things really went south, the Nets were down by as much as 28 points at 2:14, ultimately ending the third, 101-79, a deficit of 22 points. In a word, UGLY. Now, to their credit, towards the end of the third quarter and into the fourth, you could physically see the Nets hustling. But prior to the fourth period, everything that could go wrong went terribly wrong, it was as if they were under a spell. But, ultimately, the Nets managed to dig themselves out of the double-digit hole, ending the game down by nine, 125-116.

“I was concerned before the game about this team (Wizards),” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said responding to a question about the Nets lack of defense. “They’re a very good, talented offensive team. We didn’t stop them. Credit to them, I thought they played really well. Obviously, we didn’t have that it. Whatever it is, we didn’t have it across the board – players, coaches. It just wasn’t there. Just not nearly good enough to beat them tonight.”

Atkinson went on to say that he addressed the Wizards’ numerous fast-breaks during the team’s meeting at halftime.

“Yeah, we told them,” Atkinson continued. “Even without John Wall, they played faster than they did before. That was key, number one. We had poor transition defense. It doesn’t help when you’re missing shots – 5-for-23 for three in the first half, missing lay-ups and etcetera, etcetera. I think we can throw it in one bucket, it was across the board. I just thought we just weren’t very good, and they were very good. Really, it was nine points, but it’s really a 20, 25-point loss, the way it feels.”

THE THIRD QUARTER BREAKDOWN

“We were locked in, we defended,” Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said about the third quarter. “We did a great job of defending the basketball. Brooklyn is a hard team to guard. They have a lot of players that play fast. They can make a lot of threes. We did a good job of guarding the 3-point line. That was a point of emphasis that we wanted to accomplish tonight, and we did. It’s just one game, we played solid on the defensive end. We made too many mistakes down the stretch with the eight turnovers in that fourth quarter. Other than that, I thought we played solid throughout the game.”

“I think it just all happened after the 10-point lead,” Nets center Jarrett Allen said responding to a question about the Nets’ third-quarter breakdown. “We just came out unprepared, just mentally unfocused. You could tell that our energy wasn’t there, and our minds weren’t there either.”

In addition to beating the Nets 33-19 on points in the third quarter, the Wizards also took over on the boards. On the defensive end, Washington outrebounded Brooklyn 10-7 and offensively 4-1.

“I think we got a little dejected,” Nets forward Joe Harris said about his team’s performance in the third. “The energy felt down when they started to make a run in the third quarter. It seemed the harder that we tried, the worse that it got. We made a little run at it and then they started making some plays, they took advantage of our low energy. Tough to dig yourself out of it. But I thought the guys that went in at the end of the game did a good job of competing all the way through. Seeing Tahjere (McCall) go out there and compete, get a few buckets was awesome. Shabazz (Napier) played well. But, collectively, it was not a good enough effort on everybody’s part tonight.”

SCORING LEADERS

D’Angelo Russell led all Brooklyn Nets scorer with 28 points (9-of-16 FG), seven assists and three rebounds; Shabazz Napier came off the bench and scored 22 points, and Jarrett Allen accumulated 12 points and six rebounds.

Tahjere McCall, who the Brooklyn Nets signed to his first 10-day contract, made his NBA debut and registered four points and one rebound in under eight minutes after stepping on the court for the first time in the fourth quarter at the 7:58 mark. McCall scored his first two points on a driving layup at 5:16.

For the Washington Wizards, five players scored in double digits. Bradley Beal led all scorers with 31 points and four assists; Trevor Ariza registered 23 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists; Thomas Bryant accumulated 18 points, five rebounds, and three assists off the bench; Jeff Green scored 15 points and five rebounds, and; Bobby Portis chipped in 10 points and 12 rebounds.

UP NEXT

The Washington Wizards will travel to Boston to play the Boston Celtics tomorrow, Friday, March 1, 2019. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets remain at home to play the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, March 1, 2019, at the Barclays Center at 7:30 p.m.

Joe Harris hits the game-winning shot to help Nets edge the Hornets, and Spencer Dinwiddie records his first double-double of the season

It was the night after Christmas, and all through the Barclays Center arena, the fans were on their feet as the Brooklyn Nets tried to close out the Charlotte Hornets in the regular session, then the first overtime, and finally the second. It was thrilling to watch the Nets battle to the end, as well as, watching the fans applaud, cheer, and jump up and down spontaneously. At 29.1 seconds in the second overtime, you could feel the tension in the air with the score tied at 132-132 and Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie misses a 26' 3-point pull-up shot, then at 25.6 seconds, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker rebounds and calls a timeout. When the game resumes, the Hornets have possession, there’s ball movement with seconds ticking away. At 6.7 seconds left on the clock, Charlotte’s Malik Monk turns the ball over, Nets forward Joe Harris aka “Joey Buckets” steals the ball and at 3.4 seconds, goes for a driving layup and puts the Nets ahead 134-132. Monk tries to redeem his earlier turnover by hurling a 40-foot 3-point shot, but to no avail.

And, the Brooklyn Nets get the “W” defeating the Charlotte Hornets 134-132. Inching closer to the .500 mark, with this victory the Nets improved to 17-19 overall and have won nine of their last 10 games, while the Hornets fell to 16-17 overall and 4-10 on the road with the loss.

“Great fight,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about the Nets win against the Hornets. “We lost the game three or four times and we just kept coming back. They hit tough shots, we came back and hit tough shots. Just a great basketball game. It was just a fun game to be a part of. Give a lot of credit to them, (the) same thing they didn’t give up, that’s why they’re a good team. That’s why they’re a playoff team and it was a good test for us tonight and we made some big plays to pull it through.”

Coming off the bench, Dinwiddie led all scorers with 37 points, which is two points shy of his career-high set on December 12th at Philadelphia. Dinwiddie also had a season-high 11 assists in 41 minutes off the bench, recording his first double-double of the season in the victory and a career-high seven 3-pointers tonight.

On where this win stands with the rest, Dinwiddie gave his assessment to the media.

“I mean, obviously we didn’t lose a lead, so it is not disappointing or anything like that in terms of close games we’ve had in the past,” Dinwiddie said. “It’s a dogfight, they’re a good ball club, obviously, they’re sixth in the East I believe before this game. They have a phenomenal player who is probably going to be an (NBA) All-Star in Kemba (Walker) and we made just enough plays, just enough shots, just enough stops. So, it’s a credit to our group in terms of maturing.”

Leading the Nets starters, Joe Harris scored a season-high 27 points, six rebounds, two assists, and the one steal that mattered in this game. Both Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and D’Angelo Russell recorded 16 points. Hollis-Jefferson added a season-high 15 rebounds, a season-high-tying six assists, and a season-high three blocks. Hollis-Jefferson also registered his second double-double of the season. Russell, who only played 27 minutes, added four assists to his 16 points. Nets rookie Rodions Kurucs never ceases to amaze, he recorded his second-career double-double with 13 points, a career-high 12 rebounds, three assists, and a career-high-tying three steals in a career-high 39 minutes.

DeMarre Carroll came off the bench for the Nets and scored 12 points and four rebounds.

Brooklyn’s bench outscored Charlotte’s bench 55-35. The Nets’ bench is moving up the ladder on NBA bench scoring, entering last night’s game against Charlotte ranking third in the NBA in bench points per game (45.4). The Nets’ reserves have averaged 48.0 bench points per game in their last 10 games. The Nets also edged the Hornets 31-26 in assists, recording their third game of 30-plus assists this season.

For the Charlotte Hornets, Kemba Walker scored a team-high 35 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Jeremy Lamb registered 31 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals; Marvin Williams recorded 14 points and 12 rebounds; Nicolas Batum tallied 13 points and three assists, and; Tony Parker, yes that Tony Parker formerly of the San Antonio Spurs, chipped in 10 points and five assists in 21 minutes.

Time to get your popcorn, as the Nets and Hornets will face off again, this time in Charlotte, on tomorrow, Friday, December 28, at 7 p.m. ET. You can watch the game on the YES network or listen via radio on WFAN.

 

TIP-INS:

Spencer Dinwiddie recorded his eighth game of 25+ points this season last night against the Charlotte Hornets, which marks the most for any NBA player off the bench this season and the second-most in a single-season in franchise history (most: 10 for Bubbles Hawkins in 1976-77).

Rodions Kurucs is the first Nets rookie to record a double-double in consecutive games since Terrence Williams in the 2009-10 season. Kurucs has scored in double figures in six of his last eight, averaging 12.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 28.0 minutes per contest in those eight games.

 

Nets win game but lose Jeremy Lin to a reinjured left hamstring

Check out the Nets vs. Hornets Video Highlights

With the Brooklyn Nets, you never know what the outcome of the game is going to be. On Monday night, the Nets (7-22) met up with the (17-13) Charlotte Hornets at home at the Barclays Center. The Nets are fourth in the Atlantic Division and the Hornets are leading the Southeast Division. In fact, every team in the Southeast Division has a better record than the Nets. So to think that the Nets might lose this one wouldn’t be too far-fetched.

The Nets trailed the Hornets by nine points (40-31) at the closing of the first quarter, and then again the same point spread at the closing of the first half, Hornets 63 – Nets 54. Given the way that the Nets have been losing steam in the third quarter, it was amazing to see the team keep its composure and close the gap, ending the third stanza with only a five-point deficit 88-83. Equally important was that Nets guard Jeremy Lin re-injured his left hamstring during the third quarter; he abruptly left the game, and the Nets didn’t seem to miss a beat.

It was the fourth quarter where things got very interesting. The Nets showed their Brooklyn Grit; they kept the game close and went back and forth with the lead. Brook Lopez even scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth. Sean Kilpatrick added 10 of his 23 points in the fourth.

As the minutes wound down, and with just under two minutes left in regulation, the score was tied at 111-111. Kilpatrick hit a three, then Hornets center Cody Zeller dropped a cutting dunk to bring the score to 114-113, and then at the 1:06 mark, Nets shooting guard Bojan Bogdanovich hit a three to bring the score to 117-113. With 32 seconds left, Hornets guard Nicolas Batum posted up a three-pointer bringing Charlotte within one at 117-116. Now, at the four-second mark, the home crowd audibly engaged holds their collective breath as Hornets point guard Kemba Walker drives for a layup, but it is blocked by Nets power forward Trevor Booker. However, Zeller grabs the rebound and makes a putback layup putting the Hornets ahead by one point (118-117). Brooklyn calls a timeout to regroup with two seconds remaining on the clock.

When Zeller grabbed the rebound and then made the putback, Nets backup guard Randy Foye, listed at 6-foot-4, was right there; but Foye, no match for the 7-foot center, couldn’t get the block.

But when the timeout was over, Foye redeemed himself.

Foye stationed behind the arc received an inbound pass from Bogdanovich. With just .9 seconds left in regulation, Foye pushed up, released the ball just before the buzzer and drained a three to seal the deal. And, just like that, the Nets stung the Hornets with a 120-118 win.

Making that buzzer beater and winning the game, didn’t stop Foye from feeling a little bit guilty that Zeller got that putback layup to put Charlotte up by one.

“It was my fault,” said Foye, diagramming the team’s defensive scheme. “It’s my fault he got the layup. Trevor [Booker] switched and blocked the shot. I was supposed to block out Zeller.”

“You know, Zeller put that basket down with a few seconds left, but the way our team maintained focus, and our mental strength, was fantastic,” said Lopez. “It was a great validation for our guys.”

It sure was.

Foye’s buzzer-beating three marked his first points in 21 minutes off the bench on Monday night.

In the win, Bogdanovic led all scorers with 26 points. In fact, this was the second game this season that Bogdanovic, Kilpatrick (23 points) and Lopez (21 points) all scored 20 plus points in the same game. The last time was against the Lakers on December 14, 2016.

Booker posted 12 rebounds, Lin scored 17 points before his departure in the third quarter, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson chipped in 10 points.

Brooklyn shot .533 from the field (40-of-75 FG) and .484 from 3-point range (15-of-31 3FG) in the win. The Nets’ .484 shooting from 3-point range marked a season high (previous high: .481 vs. Detroit on 11/2).

In the loss, Charlotte had six players in double digits; Batum had 24 points, five rebounds, five assists, and three steals; Jeremy Lamb scored 17 points, and Walker and Zeller each had 15 points.

Next, up, the Nets are on the road to play Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, Washington Wizards on Friday, and then back home to play the Utah Jazz in the New Year on Monday, January 2nd, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

Rookie Isaiah Whitehead put up a valiant effort in Jeremy Lin's absence

The Brooklyn Nets fell short to the Charlotte Hornets 99-95 on Friday night at the Barclays Center, stumbling in the final minutes of the game.

The Nets (2-4), who were looking for another early season win, started off the game strong—up at halftime 50-43, but couldn’t seem to keep the momentum. After the game, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson gave kudos to Charlotte for stepping up their defense in the second half.

“I thought that third quarter really hurt us. I thought we got stagnant, I thought the ball stopped moving, and again, they got into us, they started denying some passes (and) got us out of rhythm. So, good job by them; credit to them,” Atkinson said.

Without Jeremy Lin, who is expected to miss at least two weeks due to a strained hamstring, the Nets tried to keep up on both offense and defense, and when the Hornets doubled on Brook Lopez, it made it hard for Brooklyn to stay consistent.

“I just think of the guys that are out there, and I want our offense to run well, whoever is in there. It is just for some reason we just didn’t have any rhythm, and I think they got into us,” Atkinson added.

And that’s what the Hornets did. After keeping the game close, and leading for most of the first half, Charlotte put a stop to the Nets, allowing a 23-6 run in the third.

In Jeremy Lin’s absence, Isaiah Whitehead, made his first NBA start for Brooklyn and in only his fifth career game. Playing 23 minutes, he scored 8 points with three assists and two steals. A Brooklyn native, who attended Seton Hall, Whitehead received some advice from Lin on the bench. Throughout the game, Lin was seen advising Whitehead with a pen and a notepad in his hand. Whatever advice Lin was giving Whitehead during the game, at the top of the list must be learn how to communicate with Lopez.

“We just weren’t finding him,” Whitehead said of Lopez, while criticizing his team’s effort. “We should always find him in the right spots. It’s our job to get him open and call the right plays.”

Lopez, who played 29 minutes, scored 18 points and reached 9,000 points after scoring his 16th point.

Up next for Brooklyn: Minnesota. The Nets will take on the Timberwolves on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8 at the Barclays Center.

 

Sean Kilpatrick, a spark off the bench, scores a career-high 25 points in Nets loss

Tonight, the Nets hosted the Charlotte Hornets at the Barclays Center. Coming into the game, the Hornets have held the Nets winless in the series this season. A win for Brooklyn would not only be their first against Charlotte this season but would also end a two-game losing streak. What would also be a first was Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s return to the Nets lineup, his first appearance after missing 50 games with a fractured right ankle.

Part of the Nets’ strategy would be to contain Hornets guard Kemba Walker which proved successful as he was held to two points in the first half. The Nets offense sputtered as Brooklyn had a field goal percentage of 35.3% and turned over the ball ten times leading to eight Hornets points. Although Brooklyn struggled from the field, the team went to the free throw line twelve times versus two times for Charlotte. At half-time, Charlotte had the lead 46-36.

The Hornets maintained their ten-point lead until the 3:30 mark when Nets guard Shane Larkin’s three-pointer cut the lead to single digits. Nets guard Sean Kilpatrick, who normally provides a spark off the bench, did just that by completing a three-point play after driving to the basket and getting fouled. Hornets lead was cut to four. The energy of both the Barclays Center and the Nets heightened as Brooklyn locked down on defense.

The fourth quarter began with a three-point Charlotte lead and it quickly turned into a battle of the point guards as Shane Larkin and Hornets guard, Jeremy Lin, went back and forth scoring points for their respective teams. The Nets hot streak would end as their turnovers disrupted the rhythm of the offense and created scoring opportunities for the Hornets. The Nets found themselves down by 11. When the Nets needed a jolt of electricity, Sean Kilpatrick answered the call. His two three-pointers followed by a thunderous dunk by Hollis-Jefferson cut the lead to three. Unfortunately, the Nets couldn’t capitalize on scoring opportunities in the waning moments of the game and fell to the Hornets 105-100. Brook Lopez scored 29 points and Kilpatrick had a career-high 25 points.

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