July 15, 2019

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.

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.

After losing to Wisconsin in the final four, Kentucky players, Devin Booker, Karl Towns, Trey Lyles, Dakari Johnson, Willie Cauley Stein and The Harrison Twins all announced that they will go pro.

Do you think this is a good idea for these players to leave school early? Greg Alcala is surprised that they are leaving Kentucky so early.

Check out the video about the Kentucky Wildcats 7 Going Pro

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