December 12, 2018

Nets led for three quarters and in a reversal of fortunes, have lead snatched away in the fourth quarter

Oh, it was going so well for the Brooklyn Nets straight up until the fourth quarter when the proverbial floor fell out from under them. The Nets were leading the Clippers for the first three quarters, ending the third and starting the fourth quarter 97-92. The 97 points not only marked the most Brooklyn has scored through three quarters this season, but the most the Nets have scored through three quarters at Barclays Center since the 2015-16 season, when it scored 98 points against the Washington Wizards on April 11, 2016.

Now, back to the reality of Saturday, because although the numbers through the third quarter were great and perhaps, displaying the upward leap the team is making overall, the only number that matters is the number that is on the board when the clock strikes zero at the end of the fourth quarter. And in this case, when the clock hit zero, it was the Clippers 127 and the Nets 119. With the loss, Brooklyn is 7-10 overall and 3-4 at Barclays Center, while the Clippers improved to 10-5 overall and 3-4 on the road with the win.

When asked how the game slipped away, Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson responded, “I thought their bench did a phenomenal job. Give them credit. I thought they brought the energy. We obviously missed some shots, but I thought (Montrezl) Harrell and Lou (Williams), obviously, those guys came in and changed the game.”

As Atkinson stated, coming off the bench for the Clippers with verve and vigor, Montrezl Harrell scored 16 points and 10 rebounds, and one blocked shot, while Lou Williams registered 16 points, five assists, and one steal. Meanwhile, Danilo Gallinari led all scorers with 28 points and three rebounds; Tobias Harris tallied 27 points, eight rebounds, and three assists; and Marcin Gortat chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds.

On the other side of the ledger, Atkinson did not throw his team under the bus.

“Listen, I thought we competed,” Atkinson said about the Nets. “I thought we played hard. We gave them a darn good game, we’re just not at that point where we could get over the hump.”

The Nets didn’t win, which is ultimately the objective of the game, but they did compete.

Nets center, Jarrett Allen, led all Nets scorers with 24 points and 11 rebounds, two assists, and one steal; D’Angelo Russell scored 23 points, 10 assists, three rebounds, and two steals; Joe Harris tallied 19 points and four assists, Allen Crabbe registered 15 points and four rebounds, and; Spencer Dinwiddie chipped in 11 assists and four rebounds. Ed Davis pulled down a game-high-tying 11 rebounds tonight along with four points in 19 minutes off the bench.

“I like the way we competed,” Crabbe told reporters in the Nets locker room about how the Nets played the Clippers. “I think we gave ourselves a chance. First three quarters we played great. I just feel like that last quarter they out-competed us. They made more plays than us and they went home with the W.”

Okay, note to the team, play four quarters; as it isn’t over until it's over.

What’s next for Brooklyn? The Nets will hit the road and travel to Miami to play the Heat on Tuesday, November 20, at 7:30 p.m. ET. Then, they will travel to Dallas to play the Maverick on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The Nets will be back home at the Barclays Center, the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, November 23rd to play the Minnesota Timberwolves at 12 noon.

Joe Johnson still underachieving, scores only nine points for Brooklyn Nets

Despite having three players with double-doubles, the Nets lost to the Washington Wizards 111-96, at the Barclays Center on Sunday. Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez led his team with 19 points, 11 rebounds; Thaddeus Young scored 16 points 14 boards, and Jarrett Jack chipped in 15 points and 11 assists.

Although Bojan Bogdanovic, a member of the Nets starting five, didn’t have a double-double, he registered 14 points, five boards, and two assists.

As with other games, the final score doesn’t give the total story. The Nets were hanging close and even went up six late in the third quarter. Young even had 12 of his 14 rebounds in the first half.

However, Washington turned into real wizards going on a 16-2 run late in the fourth quarter. The Wizards were up 19 points with less than four minutes remaining and outscored the Nets 32-19.

The Nets starting five outscored the Wizards starting five 73-71. However, Washington’s bench saved the day, beating back the Nets’ reserves 40-23. Even Kris Humphries, who was married to Kim Kardashian for all of 72 days, chipped in 10 points for the Wizards.

Washington’s Marcin Gortat led all scorers with 25 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and one steal. John Wall added 22 points and 13 assists.

Nets Breakdown in the fourth quarter

The Nets entered the fourth quarter down two points and then things began to unravel. It was as though the team had lost its compass; they had eight turnovers in the fourth quarter alone.

“I think they were kind of unforced,” Lopez explained about the turnovers in the fourth quarter. “I could’ve come to the ball more- I should’ve. I think we got up to playing at their pace a little bit and got away from our game. But, it definitely started defensively. I did a poor job on the pick and roll, and that led everything.”

”They hit a few big threes,” Lopez continued. “I don’t think we did a good job really of adjusting to what they were doing. It kind of just fell apart from there. They got hot and kept going.”

Losing is taking its toll on the team; the Nets (8-22) have lost their last six home games.

"We're the team we are at the moment," Brooklyn Nets head coach Lionel Hollins said of the Nets being 14 games under .500. "We're struggling to get better. We have starts of moving forward and then we have lags where we go backwards."

Next up: The Nets will play the Miami Heat on Monday.

Brook Lopez’s Hot Shooting Gave the Nets a Comfortable Lead Early

According to SBNation.com's Bullets Forever, Washington Wizards guard John Wall will sit out tonight vs. the Nets recording his second straight DNP in their last trip to NYC for this 2014-15 NBA regular season.

From the report, the main reason for Wall sitting out is to rest, something the team as a whole agrees with and also it being most of Wall's decision.

Translation: the Nets get a break tonight.

The Wizards can still hold their own, but fortunately for the Nets, they don't have to deal with the speed demon that is Wall, one of the better point guards in the NBA.

And it showed, especially early.

Wall's presence from the Wizards lineup was obvious and the Nets took advantage, fairly handling the capital’s team in a 117-80 win in front of a sellout crowd.

The Nets improved to 37-42 on the season while the Wizards, locked in as the 5th seed, had their four-game winning streak snapped, now 45-34.

With three-games left on the season, it’s important that the Nets are playing well heading towards the postseason, continuing to win especially nursing a one game lead over the Indiana Pacers, who are in pursuit of the 8th and final spot.

And tonight, they put forth an effort that can only benefit them in the immediate future.

The Nets attacked early and often and due to the hot shooting of Brook Lopez, who scored 14 of his team high 26 points in the 1st quarter, the Nets were able to build a comfortable lead, heading into the second up by 17+ points, 31-14.

Fortunately for the Nets, their hot start would carry them throughout the entire game.

Outside of the first 3 minutes of the game, the Nets never trailed during tonight's contest and actually had the luxury of coasting midway into the 4th quarter.

This is the NBA, and when down by double-digits or any extensive leads, teams will make a run like the Wizards did tonight and what’s impressive about this win, in particular, is the fact that the Nets negated every and any attempt made by the Wizards to compete.
With the Nets up by 16, 54-38, beginning the 3rd quarter, Wizards Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat strung together a couple of shots, consecutively including two treys from Beal which cut the Nets lead to ten, up 56-46 which forced a Nets timeout at the 9:57 mark.

The Nets responded by going on a 10-2 run, in less than two minutes, starring Deron Williams, who finished with a near double-double with nine points and nine assists and Bojan Bodanovic (22 points, final box) who both scored all ten points, shooting back-to-back threes and buckets near the cup, now up 66-48, at the 7:58 mark that resulted in a Wizards timeout.

Bojan Bogdanovic 600x338Brooklyn Nets shooting guard, Bojan Bodanovic

"We knew that they were going to make a run eventually so we just had to keep fighting throughout the game," Lopez said.

But they weren't done.

The Wizards found themselves in position to threaten a Nets home win, cutting that 18-point deficit down to ten later in the quarter, a comeback led by Gortat who scored eight points in the final five minutes of the 3rd quarter, within reaching distance, down 72-62 with two minutes remaining in the quarter.

To which the Nets responded with a 13-0 run to begin the 4th quarter featuring three's by Jarrett Jack, who finished with a solid 14 points and Bogdanovic, collectively scoring 11 total points which contributed to the Nets building a more than comfortable lead, up 26 with nine minutes left till the end of regulation.

Jarrett Jack Brooklyn Nets Media Day 2014 Brooklyn Nets guard, Jarrett Jack

"We had some good shots, but once we got in a hole, it's tough to fight back," said former Net Paul Pierce, post-game.

Paul Pierce Talking to Media 1Washington Wizards forward, Paul Pierce, talking to the media

The Nets dominated their opponent tonight, a Wizards team that looked rather uninterested in this match-up with their fates sealed as the 5th seed and their star player, Wall sitting out.

Even still, the Nets earned this win comfortably.

It gave Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins the ability to play Darius Morris, Jerome Jordan and Earl Clark who might not otherwise get the opportunity to play once the playoffs arrive.

And to his credit, as well as the team, every player available received minutes and scored.

The Nets had 29 assists in this game opposed to the Wizards 23 which was much to the delight to the home team's head coach.

"Obviously it's easier for everybody when we do share the ball, but we're cutting better, we're reading what we're doing better, we're sharing the ball and playing together better-everything is just better," said Hollins, upbeat during his post-game press conference.

You can tell that Hollins and his players are on the same page especially when his players are expressing the same views, just down the hall in the locker-room.

"We got out early, moved the ball well, and played great D," Brook said post-game.

Aside from their offensive explosion, the Nets, like Brook said played great on the defensive end forcing 17 turnovers and excelling with theft, totaling 10 steals.

"I thought, defensively, just allowed everybody to kind of get in a groove and get in a rhythm," Nets guard Jarrett Jack said following the game.

"I think it's easy when we're not allowing teams to shoot a high percentage, it allows us to flow that much better on the offensive end."

The Nets have been making it look easy for a little over a month now.

The team is peaking at the right time, and with the playoffs starting next weekend, the Nets are exactly where they want to be.

The Nets have three games left in the 2014-15 NBA season and as far as their playoff standing which isn't guaranteed, the Nets should aim to end this season 40-42.

"Well, if we don't keep it going, we'll be at home," Hollins said regarding the Nets position.

"If we keep it going, we'll be in the playoffs. We win out, we're in."

It’s that simple.

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