August 12, 2020

Brooklyn Nets defeated the Toronto Raptors 101-91, Caris LeVert recorded a team-high 20 points

Last night at the Barclays Center was a momentous occasion. The Brooklyn Nets ended the Toronto Raptors 15-game win streak for this season by defeating the Raptors 101-91. With the win, the Nets are inching their way back to surpass the .500 mark. Currently, the Nets are now 25-28 on the season with their victory last night, while the Raptors fell to 40-15 for the season following this loss against the Nets.

How the Brooklyn Nets Won By The Numbers

Brooklyn outrebounded Toronto 55-42 (+13), including a 12-6 edge on the offensive glass

The Nets clipped the Raptors 27-21 in assists.

The Nets outscored the Raptors 50-38 in points in the paint.

Overall, both teams shooting percentages weren’t anything to write home about. The Nets field goal percentage was 40.9 percent (36-of-88), while the Raptors field goal percentage was 37.8 (34-of-90). The Nets also shot 25.7 percent (9-of-35) from three-point land versus the Raptors’ 30.2 percent (13-of-43), and; in the land of free, Brooklyn made 80 percent (20-of-25) of its free-throws, while Toronto hit 76.9 percent (10-of-13) of its buckets from the stripe.

At the end of the first quarter, Brooklyn had a four-point lead over Toronto, 23-19, which marked the fourth time this season that Brooklyn held its opponent under 20 points in an opening quarter. The Nets led the Raptors 52-40 at halftime. Toronto’s 40 points marked the second-fewest Brooklyn has allowed in a first half this season. The team that Brooklyn held to the lowest points at halftime, which was 35 points, was the New Orleans Pelicans with no Zion Williamson, which was on December 17, 2019, at New Orleans.

Going into the fourth quarter, Brooklyn led Toronto 75-65. In previous meetings against Toronto this season, the Nets trailed through three quarters in each of their three previous meetings by a total of 22 points. This is another testament that on any given night, even the elite NBA teams can be beaten by teams who have not reached elite status.

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson on the intangibles that helped his team defeat the Toronto Raptors

“I think I said it before the game, our compete level, our intensity level has to be three levels higher than them to have an opportunity to win the game, said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “I thought our physicality, the things we were missing in the last two games against them, I thought we just raised that. We wanted it bad. The execution wasn’t perfect, but our will to win was at a super-high level. That’s why we came out with the W.”

“I think the process has been right,” Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris said to the media about the team’s defensive effort against the Toronto Raptors. “Sometimes you get a little fortunate, teams are off. I thought tonight and especially against Indiana we just did a better job contesting every shot. We did a good job scrambling around. A lot of times defense gets broken down, but it’s about the second effort, closing out still getting contests. You know, we just talked about trying to be the more aggressive and assertive team on both ends. Especially when you play against quality teams. That’s usually what dictates the game, who is able to establish as the aggressor early on.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert recorded a team-high 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and a season-high four steals in 36 minutes against the Toronto Raptors last night. Joe Harris scored 19 points (7-of-12 FG), six rebounds, and two assists in 35 minutes against the Raptors last night; Spencer Dinwiddie posted 17 points, six boards, and a team-high nine assists in 34 minutes; Jarrett Allen hit a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds, while adding three assists to his points and rebounds total in 20 minutes, and; Garrett Temple also scored in double figures for Brooklyn last night against the Toronto Raptors with 10 points in 25 minutes off the bench.

Toronto Raptors Scoring Leaders

For the Toronto Raptors, Serge Ibaka led all scorers with 28 points, nine rebounds, and two blocked shots in 35 minutes; Fred VanVleet posted 22 points in 39 minutes; Pascal Siakam registered 16 points, eight rebounds, and four assists in 37 minutes, and; Kyle Lowery contributed 12 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds in 37 minutes.

Coach Speak: Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse on what’s ahead for the Raptors going into the NBA All-Star Break

“I think when you look at it in totality, sitting where we are right now, I think we’re extremely pleased to get to this point,” Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said about his team’s status. “The good news is I think we’ll (have) Marc Gasol back after the break. Norman Powell is pretty close as well. Obviously, that’s what is most important, is to get our team back as a whole. I think our team really battled well with a couple of key guys missing. I think we’ve had a healthy team for two games this season, so we’ve done a nice job of plugging in and picking up. In the big scheme of things, you look at the overall of where you’re sitting, and we have to be pleased with that.”

Kawhi Leonard, who last season, helped lead the Toronto Raptors to win its first-ever NBA Championship, is now with the Los Angeles Clippers. Although a follow-up question was asked of Coach Nurse about the makeup of his team this year without Kawhi Leonard, reading between the lines, the real question continues to be, can the Raptors represent the Eastern Conference and win a consecutive NBA championship?

“Well, I think that we’re hoping that some of these guys have taken some steps forward,” responded Coach Nurse. Obviously Kawhi (Leonard) is a late-game closer on both ends of the floor. Pascal Siakam has to assume that role. Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol have kind of stepped forward to assume the secondary role to Pascal Siakam. Fred VanVleet continues to get better. Norman Powell, before he got hurt, was getting better. So probably it’ll be a little more by committee on both ends and trying to figure out matchups. Again, our team has played pretty well. We’ve got some growth to do and we need to do for sure if we want to make a run at it again.”

What’s Next for the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets?

Last night was the last game for both teams before the 2020 NBA All-Star break. The NBA All-Star activities end with the 2020 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, February 16, 2020. The Toronto Raptors will host the Phoenix Suns on Friday, February 21, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. ET, their first game following the NBA All-Star festivities.

Following the NBA All-Star break, the Brooklyn Nets will play two games on the road before they play at home. The Nets will travel to Philadelphia to play the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, February 20, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET, and then on to Charlotte to play the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 7:00 ET. Next, the Brooklyn Nets will travel home to Brooklyn to take on the Orlando Magic on Monday, February 24, 2020, at 7:30 p.m., at the Barclays Center.

TIP-INS:

Joe Harris, the 2019 NBA All-Star 3-Point Contest champion, and Spencer Dinwiddie, the 2018 NBA All-Star Skills Contest champion, will represent the Brooklyn Nets during State Farm’s All-Star Saturday night this year. The event will be held on February 15, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET at United Center in Chicago, Illinois and will be broadcast on TNT and ESPN Radio.

 

Caris LeVert hits a career-high-tying 29 points and Suns have no answer

The sun and the moon set on Phoenix last night as the Brooklyn Nets dimmed the lights 119-97. With the win, the Nets improved to 22-27, while the Suns fell to 20-30 on the season with the loss. Additionally, the Nets improved to 5-1 this season in games in which they hold their opponent under 100 points this season.

How the Brooklyn Nets Won by the Numbers:

The Brooklyn Nets shot 48.3 percent (43-of-89) from the field versus the Phoenix Suns’ 43.3 percent (39-of-90) and the Nets outscored the Suns 54-42 (+12) in points in the paint.

The Nets also shot 44.1 percent (15-of-34) from 3-point range against the Suns’ 35.3 percent (6-of-17).

At the free-throw line, the Nets bested the Suns at the stripe, hitting 18 of 21 free throws compared to the Suns’ 13 of 18.

Brooklyn led Phoenix 35-31 at the end of the first quarter, 55-52 at halftime, and going into the fourth quarter, the Nets led the Suns 90-73.

Brooklyn edged Phoenix 44-43 on rebounding and 28-23 in assists.

The Brooklyn Nets’ Leading Scorers

With no Kyrie Irving in the lineup, Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson inserted Caris LeVert into the starting lineup who led all scorers with a career-high-tying 29 points with three rebounds, a season-high seven assists, and two steals in 32 minutes. Joe Harris recorded 16 points, four rebounds, two assists, and a steal in 28 minutes against the Suns; Taurean Prince scored 15 points (5-of-10 FG, 3-of-6 3FG, 2-of-2 FT) with six rebounds in 30 minutes; Spencer Dinwiddie posted 14 points, four assists, and three rebounds in 31 minutes, and; Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot came off the bench and scored in double figures for Brooklyn for the sixth time this season posting a season-high 13 points (4-of-7 FG, 3-of-4 3FG) and three rebounds in 25 minutes.

DeAndre Jordan didn’t hit double figures in scoring or rebounds, but he led the Nets in rebounding posting a team-high nine rebounds to go along with his eight points and five assists in 22 minutes off the bench.

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson on his team’s resilience after losing on Saturday to the Washington Wizards

“Like I’ve said, we have to start getting back some wins we left along the way, so this is a good start,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “It’s an important week for us, so I think the guys felt that. They felt the sense of urgency. I have a lot of respect for Phoenix. I know they’re banged up a little, but they really play good basketball, so it was one of our better wins of the year just on both sides of the ball. I thought we were good defensively and really shared it offensively.”

Coach Atkinson was thrilled about Caris LeVert’s performance against the Suns.

“Great timing,” said Coach Atkinson. “We needed it, especially with Ky (Kyrie Irving) going out. We needed it. He did it on both ends. The Devin Booker defense was excellent and of course, offensively really, really carried us. So great timing there.”

"It's one of those things where there's so many nights in the NBA where guys might go through four, five, six-game stretches where you're not playing your best basketball, but you can always turn it around and get it going for yourself,” Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris said about Caris LeVert’s performance. “And it's not something that's out of the ordinary for Caris. Everything stays consistent with him. Even if he's not making shots, he still does all the intangible stuff. He does all the hustle plays, activity. He stays locked in with the game plan. And tonight, he just made shots. He finished around the rim. He finished on the line. It's great to see that, great to see him get his confidence going. We need him to play that way in order for us to win here without Kyrie (Irving)."

Phoenix Suns’ Leading Scorers

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton led his team with 25 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, and two blocked shots; Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 21 points and five rebounds in 39 minutes; Mikal Bridges posted 12 points, six rebounds, and four assists, and Devin Booker chipped in 11 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Coach Speak: Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams assessing his team's loss

“We just lost a bit of our poise tonight,” said Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams. “It was a three-point game at the half, and we didn’t make shots in the third quarter. I think our shot quality was decent. Brooklyn (Nets) packed the paint and dared us to shoot the ball and we couldn’t make shots. When you miss that many shots in a game it’s going to be tough. We gave up 13 threes when I took the guys out of the game. We had a 21-point third quarter and Brooklyn had 35 points. So, I thought that (the) third quarter did us in. Again, it was a moment like last night in Milwaukee in the third quarter. The competitive edge was there. I thought we let the officials get to us a little bit. Our competitive edge wanted it to be right and fair all of the time and sometimes it’s not that way, so we just have to keep battling.”

Were the 3-pointers the Nets hit defensive breakdowns or just hot shooting?

“We’re in the NBA with great NBA players,” said Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre. “They have a lot of great guards on their team who find ways to get buckets. They got hot at one point in the game and you can’t do anything but go to the next possession and keep playing the right way. They punched first in the second half and they just continued to punch, so, it happens.”

What’s Next for the Phoenix Suns and the Brooklyn Nets?

The Phoenix Suns will travel to Detroit to face the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at 7 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will remain at home at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

 
 

Kyrie Irving has another breakout night, scores 54 points in 32 minutes

Make that two-in-a-row.

After defeating the Detroit Pistons 125-115 on Wednesday night, the Brooklyn Nets continued its win streak and defeated the Chicago Bulls 133-118. With the win, the Nets improved to 21-26, while the Bulls fell to 19-32 on the season with the loss.

By the Numbers

Brooklyn shot a season-high .625 (50-of-80) from the field. The Nets’ .625 field goal percentage marked the fifth-highest field goal percentage in a game in franchise history and their best field goal percentage in a game since shooting .640 almost three years ago on April 4, 2017, at Philadelphia.

The Nets also shot .484 (15-of-31) from 3-point range against the Pistons, which marked their second-best 3-point field goal percentage in a game this season. Meanwhile, the Bulls shot 15-of-31 from behind the arc.

At the free-throw line, the Bulls bested the Nets with hitting 22 of its 26 free throw attempts, while the Nets were successful at the stripe, 18 of its 25 attempts.

Brooklyn also led Chicago 73-57 at halftime, with Brooklyn’s 73 points marking a season-high for a first-half. Going into the fourth quarter, the Nets led the Bulls 103-96.

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson on the team’s high field goal percentage tonight

“I thought we got out in transition and got a lot of easy buckets, responded Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “They (Chicago) are the sixth-best defense in the league. They do a phenomenal job, but I think our goal was to get it up the floor before they could get that defense set. They still turned us over 20 times. Obviously, Kyrie (Irving) – vintage performance. I can’t imagine a more efficient game on only 23 shots. Really, really impressive. And then I think Spencer (Dinwiddie) was right behind him, super-efficient. But give Jarrett Allen and DJ (DeAndre Jordan) and our fives screening for them. We did a good job – 31 assists I think—getting it out, moving it. But having those two guys play at a high level like that, that bodes well for us in the future.”

The Brooklyn Nets’ Leading Scorers

In a game where the Chicago Bulls never led, the Brooklyn Nets saw Kyrie Irving take over the game and led the Nets with 54 points, five rebounds, and five assists in 32 minutes. Spencer Dinwiddie came off the bench and scored 20 points and seven assists in 30 minutes; Taurean Prince added 16 points, eight rebounds, and three assists; Jarrett Allen contributed 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists, and Garrett Temple chipped in 11 points.

The Chicago Bulls Leading Scorers

For the Chicago Bulls, Zach LaVine led Chicago’s scorers with 22 points and eight assists in 36 minutes; Luke Kornet tallied 19 points and four rebounds in 28 minutes; Tomas Satoransky added 15 points, eight assists, and four rebounds in 31 minutes; Thaddeus Young contributed 14 points and four assists in 31 minutes; Shaquille Harrison recorded 12 points off the bench, and; Coby White chipped in 11 points in 25 minutes also off the bench.

“I thought we battled,” Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen said about the way his team played against the Brooklyn Nets. “We hung in there. I think we got it within six points, and we were right there. We couldn’t make enough plays there in that moment to take the lead. But I thought we battled. I thought a lot of guys competed. I liked our effort and I liked our focus. I thought we were trying.”

What’s Next for the Chicago Bulls and the Brooklyn Nets?

The Chicago Bulls will head to Toronto to face the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, February 2, at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will travel to Washington, DC to play the Washington Wizards later today, Saturday, February 1, 2020, at 8:00 p.m. ET. The Nets will then travel home to Brooklyn to host the Phoenix Suns on Monday, February 3, 2020, at 7:30 p.m., at the Barclays Center.

 

Atlanta Hawks guard, Vince Carter, gets a rousing standing ovation from basketball fans at the Barclays Center during a game against the Nets on Sunday

Make that two-in-a-row.

To no one’s surprise, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Atlanta Hawks at the Barclays Center last evening. What might have surprised most is the score, 108-86. The 22-point victory marked Brooklyn’s largest win margin of the season; topping the 20-point win margin against the Philadelphia 76ers on December 15, 2019. With the win, the Nets improved to 18-20, while the Hawks fell to 8-32 on the season with last night’s loss. With the Nets' most recent losing skid, it could make one forget that this wasn’t the first time this season that Brooklyn held the lead wire-to-wire, with the largest margin being 39 points. The last time this season the Nets’ held the lead from start to finish was on November 22, 2019, against the Sacramento Kings.

How The Brooklyn Nets beat the Atlanta Hawks by the numbers:

Brooklyn led Atlanta 37-16 at the end of the first quarter, its 37 points marked the highest point total for the Nets in a first-quarter this season, while Atlanta’s 16 points marked the fewest points. At halftime, with the score 70-46, the Nets continued its lead, but the Hawks narrowed it to 24 points, and it was the Nets' largest halftime lead of the season. At the end of the third quarter, the Nets led the Hawks 92-66. Brooklyn also outrebounded Atlanta 62-33, with the Nets’ 62 rebounds marking a season-high. The Nets only eclipsed the Hawks by two assists, 25-23.

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson on the metrics that got away from the Nets

“Free throws, obviously,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “I’ll have to talk to our free-throw coach about that – we obviously have to do a better job making free throws. Turnovers bothered me. I will give Atlanta credit – I thought they put their
young guys out there and they were just trying to make every catch hard. We had a tough time getting open. They were denying us and causing a lot of problems – I give them a lot of credit. Listen, when guys deny you and are in your shorts, we have to do a better job of screening, (a) better job of getting open. We did that early and I thought we slipped later.”

One area that didn’t disappoint Coach Atkinson was Kyrie Irving’s return.

“Yeah, he was really efficient,” Coach Atkinson said about Kyrie Irving’s shooting after missing 26 games. “I liked that he didn’t force anything, and he just played like a pro. My fear was being out so long, he’d try to really force things. He was just in a perfect flow – had a nice demeanor and nice rhythm about him. Normally when you come back after a long time, your rhythm is off, you’re going too fast or too slow – you’re not in the right tempo. He was in the right tempo, right place and I thought defensively, (he) competed his tail off. The first group, I think 16 points in the first quarter, really made a mark defensively – I thought our defense was good again. Offense has a long way to go.”

Did Nets' players think that Kyrie Irving’s return gave the team an energetic emotional boost?

“It did,” said Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen. “Seeing anybody come back from that (shoulder injury), just being able play basketball again – you take the Nets out of it, just having a friend being able to come back and play, then that gives everybody an extra boost to play hard.”

“…Having Caris (LeVert) and Kyrie (Irving) back, that brings us to a whole other level,” Allen continued. “We have more ball handlers, we have more people that can score without having an action for them, so it just brings us all together.”

The Brooklyn Nets’ Leading Scorers

Last night, Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 21 points (10-of-11 FG) with four rebounds, four assists, and a steal in 20 minutes. Irving’s .909 field goal percentage marked a career-high and the highest field goal percentage for a Net in a game this season. Taurean Prince recorded 14 points (5-of-8 FG, 4-of-6 3FG) with five boards and two assists in 21 minutes; Caris LeVert totaled 13 points, two rebounds, and a season-high-tying three steals in 22 minutes off the bench; DeAndre Jordan also added 13 points (5-of-7 FG), eight rebounds, and a block in 24 minutes off the bench; Joe Harris tallied 11 points and seven rebounds with a steal in 21 minutes, and; Jarrett Allen chipped in 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds in 24 minutes, notching his team-high 18th double-double of the season.

About Kyrie Irving’s performance

“I mean, he is who he is,” Brooklyn Nets forward Taurean Prince, said about Kyrie Irving’s return after missing 26 games. “He’s missing all the games, but he’s not missing any days in the gym. He’s probably there before us, more than half the time, so that just shows you the preparation he puts in for himself. It also shows you that he cares about the organization and the team to be ready and able to put on a performance like this on his game back.”

The Atlanta Hawks’ Leading Scorers

Cam Reddish led the Atlanta Hawks with 20 points and five steals in 29 minutes; DeAndre' Bembry recorded 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in 22 minutes, and; Alex Len chipped in 10 points.

It is worth mentioning that even though Atlanta Hawks guard Vince Carter, who at age 43-years-old, plans to retire at the end of this season, only scored eight points, three steals, and two rebounds, he received several “call-outs” from the crowd to play and several standing ovations.

“It’s always great to receive a standing ovation coming into or checking out of the game,” said Carter. “It’s always extra special when it’s a team I’ve played for before. To come back here — and some of the other stops I’ve played for — and receive a standing ovation one last time is great.”

Vince Carter played for the Brooklyn Nets from 2004-2009.

Coach Speak: Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce

“Not a lot of fun in that one,” said Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce. Brooklyn was good. They fed off of Kyrie (Irving) being back and had some great momentum in that first quarter. We were stuck in (the) sand. We were stuck in cement, trying to move and just late to everything with everybody.”

What’s Next for the Atlanta Hawks and the Brooklyn Nets?

The Atlanta Hawks will return home to host the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

As for the Brooklyn Nets, they will host the Utah Jazz at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, also on Tuesday, January 14, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

 

TIP-INS:

Caris LeVert has now scored in double figures off the bench in four straight games, which matches the longest streak of appearances in double figures off the bench for a Net this season.

 

Nets defeat weary Suns 111-103 and get back on the winning trail with eight wins in nine games

The Brooklyn Nets came out of the gate last night a bit sluggish but managed to snatch a 111-103 win from the Phoenix Suns who had just lost a 149-146 triple-overtime game against the Washington Wizards the night before.

With the win, the Nets get their eighth win in nine games and improved to 16-19 overall and 8-11 at Barclays Center, while the Suns fell to 8-26 overall and 3-15 on the road with the loss.

Spencer Dinwiddie came off the bench to lead Brooklyn with 24 points (7-of-14 FG), seven assists, and two rebounds in 26 minutes. Ed Davis, also part of the Nets second unit, totaled 15 points (7-of-8 FG), nine rebounds and a career-high-tying three steals (done 14 times previously) in 24 minutes.

Although last night’s victory marked Brooklyn’s eighth win in the team’s last nine games. It was not a walk in the park.

“We had to grind it,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said regarding what it took to pull away in the second half. “First of all, I want to give them (Phoenix Suns) a ton of credit. They came off a triple-overtime game and they fought us tooth and nail. That was not an easy victory at all, excellent job by them. I think they’re playing much better. They gave us a tussle; it was a tough game for us.”

D’Angelo Russell, who led Brooklyn Nets starters with 18 points (6-of-18 FG), a team-high eight assists, six rebounds and two steals in 31 minutes, underscored Coach Atkinson’s assessment of the work needed to get some separation from the Phoenix Suns.

“We just had to make winning plays in order to get a little separation,” Russell explained. “We had to get stops and it took a lot.”

“Just locking in,” Russell added on what changed defensively in the third quarter. “Definitely the game plan with what we’re supposed to do with each individual guy, but just locking in.”

Rodions Kurucs recorded his first-career double-double with 16 points and a career-high 10 rebounds in 33 minutes. He also recorded two assists and a steal in the win. Kurucs, an NBA rookie, has scored in double figures in five of his last seven games, averaging 12.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 26.4 minutes per contest during that stretch. Joe Harris tallied 13 points, three rebounds, and two assists in 32 minutes. Jarrett Allen posted 11 points with nine rebounds, two assists, and one steal in 24 minutes.

Leading scorers for the Phoenix Suns were Deandre Ayton with 26 points, 18 rebounds, three blocked shots, and two steals. Devin Booker registered 25 points and nine assists, and; Josh Jackson chipped in 11 points and three rebounds.

Phoenix Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov summed up his team’s loss: “We knew it was going to be a tough game. (A) tough game when it came to finding fresh legs and energy. Overall, I think the energy was there. We tried and competed to the end of the game. We were looking for our chance. Brooklyn was ready. They came prepared and fresh with the understanding that we played last night and you could feel they were putting pressure on us with the hope we’re going to collapse at some point.”

One person who is not losing any sleep over the Suns’ loss is the Nets elder statesman and forward, Jared Dudley, who was unceremoniously traded to the Nets. Dudley had a lot to say about the Nets win over the Suns.

“I would say for me personally, every time you get to play the Suns…a team that traded me basically for nothing, a player they didn’t even want,” Dudley told the media. “So, for that franchise – to be able to come out there and get two dubs (wins) on those guys and keep it moving, it feels good.”

Next up for the Phoenix Suns is a road game against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, December 26, 2018. The Nets will remain home to play the Charlotte Hornets also on Wednesday, December 26th at 7:30 p.m. at the Barclays Center.

In the Nets’ game loss, a phenom in the making emerges, Nets rookie Rodions Kurucs leads all Nets players with a career-high 24 points

Seven.

Seven was the number of consecutive wins the Brooklyn Nets had heading into their game against the Indiana Pacers on Friday night. Unfortunately, the Nets could not keep pace with the Pacers (pun intended) starting in the first quarter and lost 114-106.

In addition to snapping their season-high seven-game winning streak, the Nets fell to 15-19 overall and 7-11 at home, while the Pacers improved to 21-12 overall and 10-7 on the road with the victory.

With the Nets experiencing so many losses, sometimes it’s easy to forget that the team has had win streaks in the past. This current win streak matched the team’s longest winning streak since relocating to Brooklyn for the start of the 2012-13 season. The Nets winning back-to-back games in this fashion and at this time had many sports reporters talking about the Nets who wouldn’t have otherwise because the Nets win streak marked the longest active winning streak in the NBA.

Yesterday's breakdown for the Brooklyn Nets came in the first quarter when they ended the quarter with a 10-point deficit 37-27 and didn’t gain much in the second, ending that stanza 59-49. Brooklyn closed in on Indiana in the third, but still fell short by four points, finishing the third 84-80, and similarly, in the fourth, the Nets just couldn’t make up enough ground. The Pacers outscored the Nets in the final quarter by four points 30-26 and ultimately winning the game 114-106.

“We could really never stop them,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters after the game. “We didn’t stop them all night. I think we got in a big hole – 37-point first quarter and then (in the) fourth quarter we couldn’t stop them either. We tried some different things. We tried mucking up the game a little, some different defenses, and never found that key to stopping them.”

Despite the outcome of tonight’s game, there were several bright spots for the Brooklyn: a season-high .516 (16-of-31) from 3-point range including .647 (11-of-17) from 3-point range in the second half, which also marked a season-high for 3-point shooting percentage by the Nets in a half this season, which also included 7-of-8 from 3-point range in the third quarter, matching the team's highest 3FGM total in any quarter this season.

Additionally, the Nets edged the Pacers 28-24 in assists and also outrebounded Indiana 41-29, including an 11-6 edge on the offensive glass. Actually, when it comes to rebounding, the Nets have been on a roll, they have outrebounded their opponents 353-292 (+61) in their last eight games. The Nets’ bench also outscored the Pacers’ reserves last night 43-29. Entering the game against the Pacers, the Nets’ bench ranked fifth in the NBA with 45.4 points per game.

It was a special night for Nets rookie forward Rodions Kurucs, he led all Nets scorers with a career-high 24 points; he also registered three rebounds, one blocked shot and one steal in 34 minutes.

Last night’s game also marked Kurucs’ first-career 20-point game and the first time Kurucs has led the Nets in scoring; all the while proving each game with attitude and performance that he belongs in the NBA and perhaps in the Nets starting line-up. His four made 3-pointers marked a career high, while his six made field goals matched his career high. Kurucs has scored in double figures in four of his last six games and has averaged 12.3 points per game in those six outings.

When asked about his role and continued growth, Kurucs responded, “I mean, it’s been good. I’m enjoying it every day. I don’t really have much to say. Like before I said, I’m enjoying it every day. I enjoy the team, the guys, the staff, everyone. I just love to be here. I just love to help the team.”

Other Nets starters in double digits were Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Joe Harris who scored 13 points each, along with five and four rebounds respectively, and; Jarrett Allen tallied 10 points and five rebounds. D’Angelo Russell who had a rough scoring night with only three points contributed nine assists.

DeMarre Carroll led the Nets’ second unit with 16 points and four rebounds; Spencer Dinwiddie contributed 15 points and nine assists, and; Jared Dudley chipped in 10 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one blocked shot.

For Indiana, Victor Oladipo led all scorers with 26 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and two steals. Former Nets players, Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 and 17 points respectively; Myles Turner registered 15 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, and five blocked shots, and; Domantas Sabonis came off the bench and chipped in 17 points and three steals.

Next up, the Indiana Pacers will return home to host the Washington Wizards on Sunday, December 23rd at 5:00 p.m. ET. The Brooklyn Nets will host the Phoenix Suns at home at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn also on Sunday, December 23, 2018, at 6 p.m. ET.

Brooklyn Nets defeat Philadelphia 76ers 122-97 and contained Joel Embiid to just 16 points

It was Marathon Sunday in New York City and the Philadelphia 76ers probably felt like their game against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday was a marathon they couldn’t wait to see come to an end. The Nets took the Sixers off their game and cruised to a comfortable 122-97 victory at the Barclays Center. With the win, the Nets improved to 4-6 this season (3-2 at Barclays Center), while the Sixers fell to 6-5 (0-5 on the road).

A notable metric from Sunday is that the Nets forced a season-high (and NBA season-high) 28 turnovers on the Sixers, which marked their most turnovers forced in a game since March 7, 2014, vs. Boston (also 28 turnovers). Another remarkable stat is that Brooklyn also committed a season-low nine turnovers, good for a +19 turnover margin, which marked the Nets’ largest positive turnover differential in a game since the 2002-03 season on January 17, 2003, against the Toronto Raptors, which was also +19.

Individual Nets players have been having a great start to this young season, lifting above their own records. Caris LeVert, who has been having a break-out season scored 20 points tonight, his sixth 20-point game of the season (in his 10th game), matching his total from all of last season. LeVert didn’t register his sixth and final 20-point game of the 2017-18 Season until March 19, 2018, against Memphis. And, tonight, he scored 18 points in the first half, which marked the highest-scoring half of LeVert’s career. Keep an eye on LeVert, as he is an NBA All-Star in the making.

In addition to LeVert, other Brooklyn Nets scoring leaders are part of the team’s young core. Starting PG D’Angelo Russell, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, each scored 21 points. Hollis-Jefferson, who is coming back from injury, was part of the second-unit and added six rebounds and three assists to his total, while Russell added six assists and just one turnover in his 25 minutes on the floor. Starting center, Jarrett Allen, in his second year with Nets and the NBA, registered a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. This is Allen’s third double-double of the season, an improvement over his total four double-doubles in his rookie season. Spencer Dinwiddie, also part of the second unit tonight, tallied 12 points and eight assists; while Joe Harris, as a starter, chipped in 11 points and three assists.

For years, the Nets’ Achilles heel has been the third quarter. But not tonight, as Brooklyn scored 41 points in the third quarter alone, which wasn’t lost on Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson.

“That’s where you’re like, decent first half,” Atkinson stated. “The third quarter is going to decide where the game goes. So, again, we made shots too. That helps a ton. I think we scored 41 points in the third quarter and kept our defense sharp. And like we talked about before the game, closing a really good team out, that’s the tough part. So I thought we handled that. I thought we were really good to finish it out.”

“We wanted to close them out in that third,” LeVert added regarding the Nets scoring 41 points in the third quarter. “We knew it could go either way, they could make a run or we could make a run, and we wanted to throw the first punch there.”

VIDEO: IN HIS OWN WORDS: CARIS LEVERT

The Nets had only nine turnovers versus the 76ers’ 27, an indicator that Brooklyn handled the ball well while putting defensive pressure on Philadelphia.

“I don’t know the numbers…,” Russell responded. “But as far as getting in the passing lane, anticipating passes and anticipating their plays, we did a good job of that.”

“Defensively, Brooklyn was good and we were not,” stated Brett Brown, head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. “I give Brooklyn credit.”

Philadelphia did take the first quarter, leading the Nets 21-18. Even at the end of the first half, no one could see a slaughter-fest in the making, with the Nets having a four-point lead of 51- 47. Additionally, the Nets have a history of collapsing in the third quarter. But, not tonight, the second half just didn’t go right for the Philadelphia 76ers, which left Coach Brown befuddled, the Nets ended the third stanza 92-75, and the final quarter 122-97.

“I think it was a combination of some frustration on offense and with our inability, at times, to guard them one-on-one,” Brown said about what didn’t go right in the second half. “Brooklyn did a good job of making shots. I thought they did a really good job of hitting rollers and finishing or throwing lobs for dunks. In general, it was a poor performance that was unexpected and nobody is going to overreact to it, but that’s the lay of the land. That’s what happened. That’s the way I see it.”

Philadelphia scoring leaders were Ben Simmons with 20 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, and three assists. Joel Embiid registered 16 points, 15 rebounds, and four assists. JJ Redick scored 15 points in 27 minutes off the bench. Dario Saric added 14 points and three rebounds, and; Landry Shamet came off the bench to chip in 12 points.

The Sixers will travel to Indiana to take on the Pacers on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Nets will embark on a four-game road trip (their second-longest road trip of the season), beginning on Tuesday night in Phoenix to play the Phoenix Suns.

The next time the Nets will play at home at the Barclays Center will be on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, at 7:30 p.m., against the Miami Heat.

 

TIP INS - The Nets Moving in the Right Direction:

• The Nets scored 39 points off Philadelphia’s 28 turnovers, which marked their most points scored off an opponent’s turnovers since the 2002-03 season (47 points on 11/22/02 vs. Cleveland).

• Brooklyn’s nine turnovers were good for a +19 turnover margin, which marked the Nets’ largest positive turnover differential in a game since the 2002-03 season (+19 on 1/17/03 vs. Toronto).

• The Nets registered a season-high 70 points in the paint, which marked their most points in the paint in a game since the 2016-17 Season (72 points in the paint on 4/1/17 vs. Orlando).

• The Nets have recorded 60+ points in the paint three times through 10 games after doing so twice all of last season.

• Brooklyn tallied 41 points in the third quarter, which marked the Nets’ highest-scoring quarter of the season and their third-highest-scoring third quarter in Barclays Center history (since the start of the 2012-13 season).

• The Nets improved to 9-4 all-time against the Sixers at Barclays Center, matching their most wins against any opponent at Barclays Center (also: nine wins over the Orlando Magic).

Phoenix Suns rally late to defeat the Brooklyn Nets

It was fright night aka Halloween last night and Nets fans at the Barclays Center were fully engaged. Unfortunately, they did not get the treat that they were looking to receive. Instead, it was a trick in the form of a Brooklyn Nets 122-114 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

The Suns led the game during the first half, as the Nets starting unit struggled. During the third quarter, the Nets mounted a comeback scoring 35 points. However, the Suns went on a 20-4 scoring run during the 4th quarter and never looked back.

“Give credit to their (Suns) group that was in there,” said Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “They went on a run at the end of the game. They just took over. We didn’t make plays. I thought our shot selection was iffy. I thought our shot selection was iffy all game. I think we set a Nets record for midrange contested jump shots. We have to improve our shot selection and I think that will help our defense, help our spirit.”

''We could do a better job,'' Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson said. ''I feel like we should definitely make better decisions. At the end of the day, I put the blame on us.''

Although the Nets starters struggled, the second unit provided much-needed momentum at the right times.

“I don’t want to compare the two because I look at the team as a whole, but give credit to our second unit,” Atkinson stated. I thought they all did a good job. I thought Tyler Zeller came in and gave us some really good minutes, but there’s an energy there. They did a good job really getting us back in the game because we weren’t in the game. We talk about the fourth quarter, but I really think they outplayed us. At the end of the day, if we would have pulled it out I don’t think we really would have deserved it.”

In the loss, D’Angelo Russell led all scorers with 33 points, six rebounds, and four assists in 29 minutes. Hollis-Jefferson put in defensive muscle with six of his seven rebounds on the defensive end to go with his 21 points. Other Nets players in double digits were Spencer Dinwiddie with 15 points; DeMarre Carroll added 13 points, five rebounds, and four steals; and Caris LeVert chipped in 11 points.

Top scorers for Phoenix were Devin Booker with 30 points and seven rebounds, followed by Mike James with 24 points and five assists, and TJ  Warren with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

The Nets start their West coast trip with a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, November 3, 2017. They return to home to the Barclays Center on Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

Nets’ rookies show out, and the Brooklyn Nets’ bench outscores Phoenix Suns 81-22 in the win

Spring has officially begun and the change of seasons can usher in new beginnings. For the Brooklyn Nets, a game against the Phoenix Suns could mark a first for the Nets. A win would mark the first time that Brooklyn won two consecutive games this season. On the flip side, Phoenix was looking to end a five-game losing streak.

Brooklyn fell behind by double digits to the start the game, scoring only two points in the first four minutes. After the scoring drought was broken by Caris LeVert, the Nets offense showed signs of change but the team still struggled from the field. When the quarter ended, the Nets shot 36% from the field and 20% from three-point range. Brooklyn trailed Phoenix 32-22.

When the second quarter began, rookie Isaiah Whitehead helped cut into the Suns lead by scoring quick eight points coming off the bench. As the game progressed in the first half, the Nets offense became more fluid. Their collective shooting hands got warmer and they pushed the tempo of the game often creating easy scoring opportunities for themselves. With just under nine minutes left in the half, Trevor Booker gave the Nets the lead, one they carried into the second-half of the game.

The second-half saw the Brooklyn Nets build upon the momentum created in the first. Nets guards continued to penetrate the Suns defense which either resulted in a trip to the free-throw line or a bucket. Brooklyn played like a well-oiled machine and didn’t show any signs of a collapse. At one point, Brooklyn had a 33-point lead over Phoenix which matched their largest of the season. The Nets’ bench once again proved to be instrumental in the success of the team, outscoring their counterpart 81-22. One of the sparkplugs off the bench, Archie Goodwin, scored 10 points which is the first time he has scored double digits in consecutive games this season.

When asked to discuss his mindset going into the game, Goodwin responded, “Whenever they call your name, they’re going to expect you to be ready, so I just always stand ready, just watching the game and seeing how it’s progressing, and seeing where I can get in and be effective and just try to take advantage.”

When the final buzzer sounded, the Nets secured the victory winning 126-98. They are now headed to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Wizards.

When asked about the win streak, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said, “I think we are building and we are improving. I mean we obviously have a long, long way to go…You know looking to continue this and again it is monumental; it is huge, that we trend positively and continue our improvement.”

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