July 23, 2019

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.

The Brooklyn Nets may not have any NBA All-Stars this season, but that did not stop their confidence, as they beat the Atlanta Hawks tonight at the Barclays Center, 94-89.

After a 14-point loss to the Hawks Wednesday night, Deron Williams led his team with 24 points; Brook Lopez finished with 20 points.

Nets interim coach, PJ Carlesimo said before the game, "It's easier when you play the same team, just makes your preparation better."

Former Hawks' guard Joe Johnson added 18 points and helped Brooklyn maintain its lead for the entire fourth quarter.

Prior to tonight's game, Hawks' head coach Larry Drew praised Johnson as a great addition to his new team.

"Brooklyn is a talented team. Joe is starting to find his rhythm."

A (Joe) rhythm that Drew still lacks on his team.

"When Joe left, it was tough. We had 9-10 new faces and we had to make them look familiar."

Familiarity was not in Atlanta's favor tonight, hitting only 5 of 22 from the field in the final quarter. Jeff Teague finished with a double-double, 21 points, and 10 assists.

Brooklyn is now 16-7 at home, with an overall record of 24-16. Under Carlesimo, the team has won 10 games.

The Nets play the Knicks on Monday, their third matchup this season.

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.

Kidd Leads Nets to Record-Setting January

Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd has been named the NBA's Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for January after leading the Nets to a 10-3 record, the league announced today.

This marks the first Coach of the Month honor for Kidd in his first season as a head coach. The Nets' 10-3 (.769) record in January marked the best winning percentage for the month of January in the franchise's 38 NBA seasons.

However, it was not too long ago, that some thought Kidd should be fired.

Let's take a walk back. At the start of the NBA season, many were critical of the Brooklyn Nets management for hiring Jason Kidd as an NBA head coach. After all, he had just retired as a player from the New York Knicks only a few weeks prior to the head coach announcement.
Kidd lacked experience said his detractors.

As the regular season got into full swing and the Brooklyn Nets went on a downward spiral losing game after game, the naysayers amplified the chatter for the firing of the rookie coach.

With the Nets on a losing streak and many calling for the proverbial hammer to come down, Kidd made a decisive turn in early December; he demoted his primary assistant, Lawrence Frank, by "reassigning" him to report-filing duties.

The Nets fortunes didn't turn around on a dime and the team continued to experience misfortunes in December.

Center Brook Lopez broke his foot in December. There was also the embarrassing 95-78 Christmas Day loss to the Chicago Bulls.

On December 31, The Nets left the court early during a blowout loss to the Spurs on December 31, forcing Kidd to take a timeout so that he could retrieve them from the locker room.

With a new year, often come new resolutions; and the Brooklyn Nets as a team must have decided to resolve to win in the new year.

The Nets strung together two five-game winning streaks under the first year head coach's guidance and held nine of their 13 opponents under 100 points, resulting in eight victories. Brooklyn also won four of five road games in January, including a buzzer-beating victory to begin the month at Oklahoma City January 2.

Kidd, who won NBA Player of the Month honors twice as a member of the Nets (November 2001 and December 2002) and once as a member of the Phoenix Suns (April 1999) becomes the fourth person in NBA history to win both coach and player of the month honors, joining Larry Bird, Larry Drew, and Jeff Hornacek. Kidd also becomes the second person to win both honors with the same franchise, joining Hornacek, who captured both honors with the Suns, including Coach of the Month in December 2013.

Kidd becomes the fourth head coach in franchise history to earn Coach of the Month honors, joining Avery Johnson (November 2012), four-time winner Lawrence Frank (February 2004, April 2005, March 2006 and April 2007) and two-time winner Byron Scott (December 2002 and December 2003).

Speaking of Avery Johnson, even though he won Eastern Conference Coach of the Month in November 2012, Nets management lost patience with the team's struggles and fired Johnson the following month in December 2012.

Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson forces that kept the Nets in Abeyance

It’s Monday night, the first day of February and the Brooklyn Nets have just lost three consecutive games, including one home game. However, still fresh in the home crowd’s memory at the Barclays Center, is the Nets stunning upset win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the best teams in the NBA.

The crowd at the Barclays Center was hopeful to the end, because overall, the Nets were playing fairly well. However, not well enough to overcome the forces of Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson and the rest of the Detroit Pistons. It was close, but the Pistons still beat the Brooklyn Nets 105-100.

Brook Lopez, aka The Big Guy”, worked his game, scoring 27 points for the Nets in addition to his five rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Andrea Bargnani put up 18 points and four rebounds off the bench, while starting guard Wayne Ellington contributed 11 points.

The Nets led 57-54 at the half and was just three points (78-75) behind the Pistons at the end of the third quarter.

“We moved the ball, played at a high pace, got up and down, got a lot of shots for AB (Andrea Bargnani) in the mid-range, Markel (Brown) and Bogie (Bojan Bogdanovic) on the three,” said Nets backup point guard Shane Larkin on what the team did to get back into the game in the third and fourth quarter.

But the guys in Black and White couldn’t grab the momentum in the fourth stanza. Could it be that Nets interim head coach Tony Brown changed the game’s momentum when he pulled Larkin out of the game at 6:40 in the fourth with the Nets down by one (90-89)and put in Donald Sloan?

Larkin was making his presence felt; dishing out a career-high 14 assists (previous high: eight assists done five times). He also chipped in eight points and a team-high six rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench.

Larkin is in good company. The last five NBA players prior to Larkin to dish out 14-plus assists in a game in 23 or fewer minutes were: Russell Westbrook (3/4/14 vs. Philadelphia); Manu Ginobili (3/1/13 vs. Sacramento); Rod Strickland (4/23/95 for Portland vs. Golden State); Larry Drew (1/6/91 Los Angeles Lakers v. Golden State); and Muggsy Bogues (4/12/89 for Charlotte at New York). The dates indicate that 14-plus assists in 23 or fewer minutes by a player coming off the bench is no easy feat.

Drummond led the Pistons with 21 points and 18 rebounds and dropped the tie-breaking basket on a dunk with 1:30 remaining.

"I didn't do a great job with Drummond. He got some easy ones," Lopez said. "I tried to wrap him up at the end of the game, making him earn it at the line. But it was something that was a focus tonight."

Jackson, who almost got pulled from the game because of leg cramps by Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy, scored 19 points. As a matter of fact, all Pistons starters scored in double digits: Ersan Ilyasova (16); Kentavious Caldwell (16) and Marcus Morris (12).

Although the Pistons won, Coach Van Gundy was not happy with his team’s performance. Van Gundy can be heard in his own words here.

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