December 13, 2018

D’Angelo Russell leads Nets with 26 points; but two thrilling overtimes, missed shots, unfavorable calls, and Nets get handed fifth consecutive loss

Wow, wow, wow, what a ride the Brooklyn Nets took its fans on when it played the Memphis Grizzlies last night at the Barclays Center. It took two thrilling overtimes to complete the game, but unfortunately, the Nets came out on the losing end with a score of 135-131. The Nets had their biggest lead of 10 points at 3:52 in the fourth quarter on a Spencer Dinwiddie three-point 25-foot jump shot and then the Grizzlies started to chip away during the waning minutes to end the fourth tied at 111-111.

Then there was the first overtime session, which ended with a score of 117-117 and the second and final session of the game, which led to the 135-131 final score.

“Tough; tough league, tough way to end,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson about how tough of a loss this was for the Nets. “I thought we played a good game and listen – up seven with 33 seconds, the kid makes a heck of a shot, two great shots. I regret we fouled him on that three. Can’t foul him, can’t suck in off the 3-point shooter. We had a guy suck in and then Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) goes to make a contest. You just can’t foul him there and then, hell of a job, he makes a hell of a shot against Jarrett Allen, contested three. That’s on us, but you gotta give them a lot of credit. Give that kid a lot of credit.”

Dinwiddie gave a different perspective of the game as he sees common threads to the Nets’ losses.

“…in a lot of ways it kind of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Dinwiddie stated. “So, if in the minds for some of the people out there…You know what I mean, like, this one’s going a certain way or whatever, and they have the ability to control that, then it’s going to go that way. (Are) You feeling me? So, there you go.”

In the loss, D’Angelo Russell led Brooklyn with 26 points, eight assists, and three steals; DeMarre Carroll tallied a season-high 21 points and a season-high 12 rebounds in 39 minutes tonight. Ironically, Carroll’s 21 points off the benchmarked the most points he's scored off the bench in a game in his career. Carroll’s previous high was 19 points off the bench with Utah vs. Charlotte on March 1, 2013. Shabazz Napier scored a season-high 18 points, a season-high-tying six rebounds, and two assists in 24 minutes. Three Nets players scored 15 points. Jarrett Allen recorded his team-high ninth double-double of the season with 15 points (5-of-5 FG, 5-of-6 FT) and a team-high-tying 12 rebounds in a career-high 39 minutes. He also recorded a season-high-tying five assists. Additionally, Allen shot 100 percent from the field for the third time in his career. In his first start of the season, Dinwiddie also posted 15 points, five assists, and two rebounds in 43 minutes. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, in his seventh game since returning from injury, tallied 15 points with three rebounds in 38 minutes.

Scoring leaders for the Grizzlies were Mike Conley with 37 points, 10 assists, and five rebounds; Jaren Jackson, Jr., registered 36 points and eight rebounds; Marc Gasol scored 15 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, and two steals; Garrett Temple tallied 13 points and three steals, and; JaMychal Green chipped in 11 points and four rebounds.

After the work of a two-overtime game, the Grizzlies do have a minute to breathe, as they meet their next opponent, the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday at 6:00 p.m.

The Nets, on the other hand, only have a few hours to get ready for their next opponent. Next up for the Nets, are the Washington Wizards in DC tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET.

So, will the Nets bounce back?

“We’ve got to bounce back,” Coach Atkinson said. “We’ve got a resilient group. It’s the good thing about having a young group. They’ll bounce back.”

The Memphis Grizzlies lived up to their name on Monday night at the Barclays Center, getting off to a fast and deep start mauling the Nets and ultimately winning the session 112-103.

It wasn’t a blow-out, but with Mike Conley’s game-high 32 points for the Grizzlies juxtaposed to the Nets high scorers Brook Lopez and Spencer Dinwiddie's lowly 17 points each, it just looks worse than it was. But, then again, anytime you lose is not a good thing.

The Nets led the first quarter 19-17 before the Grizzlies went on a 10-0 run ending the quarter 27-19 and then keeping the lead without looking back.

The Nets didn’t go away quietly, scoring 30 points in the third quarter to pull within seven. But, basketball is a game of runs and a Grizzlies run with two minutes remaining in the fourth, kept the Nets at bay.

“They’re an excellent team,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said regarding the Grizzlies. “You know (Mike) Conley really gave us a lot of issues with the pick and roll. I forget, it was you know - made a lot of big shots at the end. It’s tough. They have rollers going down, down the gut of your defense. You have him coming off and you’re trying to – it is a tough play to stop. I thought Brook (Lopez) did a pretty good job on (Marc) Gasol. I thought he fought and did a good job. I just thought the pick and roll defense really hurt us tonight. You know a lot of that has to do with them and Conley, I thought he was really good but I thought we did some good things. I thought we had a ton of looks in the first half, a ton of open looks. I think we were 5-for-19 from 3. We had opportunities, I felt like some decent looks and we just didn’t convert at a high enough level but that is an excellent team right there.”

“That’s a very good team we just played and I think the good thing is we were out there, we competed until the end and we were aggressive and physical with them,” Lopez told reporters post game. “They definitely make their mark by grinding games out and being tough, being physical and I think we responded to that; we didn’t back down, definitely. And we came out in the second half and answered right back and made them call the first timeout.”

For the Grizzlies’ win, Marc Gasol had 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, Brandan Wright added 17 points, Vince Carter put up 14 points, and JaMychal Green chipped in 10 points and six points.

In the loss, Sean Kilpatrick scored 15 points and six rebounds for the Nets. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Trevor Booker each added 13 points, and Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 11 points and five rebounds.

Next up for the Nets will be the Milwaukee Bucks at home at the Barclays Center, tomorrow, February 15, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.

Joe Johnson Snaps his personal streak of 937 games with at least one field goal

Last night the Memphis Grizzlies came to Brooklyn to play the Brooklyn Nets and it was the Grizzlies’ first game without Marc Gasol, who broke his right foot earlier in the day.

In a pre-game interview, Brooklyn Nets interim head coach Tony Brown spoke about the Nets’ chances against the Grizzlies with Marc Gasol being out of the Grizzlies’ lineup.

“Not having him around obviously helps us a little bit, but then it’s not the end all,” Coach Brown stated.

VIDEO: Watch Brooklyn Nets interim head coach Tony Brown talk about the Brooklyn Nets chances against the Memphis Grizzlies

On the other side of the ledger, Memphis Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger was a little concerned about not having Gasol, but wanted to focus on the game with the Nets and would wait until the NBA All-Star break to emerge with a plan to go forward without Gasol.

Regarding the Brooklyn Nets’ chances for a win, Joerger said, “It’s going to be a close game.”

VIDEO: Watch Memphis Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger explain the Memphis Grizzlies outlook without Marc Gasol

Coach Joerger’s pre-game interview was followed up by Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley.

Conley said regarding Gasol’s absence, “This team is resilient, we’ve been through a lot of diversity over the years, this is another hurdle, another obstacle to play without our leader, one of the best players on our team, we’re still confident.”

VIDEO: Watch Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley express the team's predicament without Marc Gasol

Okay so, no Marc Gasol. One would think the Nets would have been emboldened by their buzzer-beating win against the Denver Nuggets on Monday night. One would also think that the Nets would have used the opportunity to extend their home-court winning streak to three games. If you are an optimistic soul and said yes, you would be wrong.

The first half looked like it might be a game; the Nets led by five at the end of the first quarter, and only trailed by five at the half. But, in the second half, the Grizzlies sharpened their teeth and mauled the Nets like no tomorrow, ending the third quarter 89-63, and of course, the game at 109-90.

Nets double-digit leaders were: Brook Lopez who finished with 20 points, Wayne Ellington added 18, Bojan Bogdanovic dropped in 11 and Thaddeus Young chipped in 10, as did Markel Brown.

For the Grizzlies, they had seven players score in double digits. Conley finished with 20 points. Interestingly, the next highest scorer for the Grizzlies, Jeff Green contributed 18 points off the bench.

Now, the Nets have lost other games by 20 points or more this season, but this one was different. The Nets’ win against Sacramento and Denver were boosters, and even though Memphis is bound for the NBA playoffs, the Nets had a built-in advantage, no Gasol.

But real the real question on everybody’s mind was how could Joe Johnson end the game with a big fat zero points scored? Prior to last night’s game, Johnson played 937 games with at least one field goal. This was the longest active streak in the NBA. So how did he end up with zero?

“He’s a great pro, man; obviously, it wasn’t his best night,” Coach Brown said about Joe Johnson’s missed field goals. “We were trying to do some things to start the third quarter…..He had some opportunities, but he came up short.”

VIDEO Watch Brooklyn Nets interim head coach Tony Brown explain how Joe Johnson missed scoring a field goal for the first time in 937 games

Thank God for the NBA All-Star break! Also, thank God that the Nets practice facility will now be in Brooklyn starting on Wednesday, February 17, perhaps being closer to the Barclays Center will be helpful to the guys in black and white.

The day after, February 18 at 3:00 p.m., is the NBA trade deadline. Given the team’s performance this season, will the Brooklyn Nets join the shuffle? Only time will tell.

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