Less than 24 hours after a poor effort in Philadelphia, the Nets answered Avery Johnson's challenge with a 98-96 win over the Blazers at the Prudential Center.
"Big character win for us tonight," said the coach. "They were highly motivated, energized and focused. It was that way throughout the game."
The game went back and forth in the first half, but the Blazers ended the second quarter on a 12-3 run and led by eight at the break. They went up 12 early in the third, but the Nets came back to take the lead early in the fourth, and the game was tight from then on. Devin Harris put his team ahead 92-89 with a three with 1:12 left and the Nets got enough stops and free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win.
The Nets shot 53 percent from the field and 7-for-14 from 3-point range, but, thanks to turnovers and poor rebounding, attempted 19 fewer shots than the Blazers did. Harris led them with 25 points and eight assists, hitting seven of his 12 shots. Anthony Morrow added 16 points, hitting three of six from downtown. And the Nets got solid production from each of their three power forwards. Kris Humphries, Derrick Favors and Troy Murphy combined for 22 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks, while shooting 9-for-10.
The loss, which dropped the Blazers to 8-8, was so devastating it sparked a players-only meeting after the game.
- Boxscore - NBA.com
- Game Highlights (Video) - NBA.com
- Harris scores 25 to lead Nets over Blazers 98-96 - AP
- Trail Blazers - Nets notebook - Jake Appleman - NBA.com
- Arena Link: Kris Humphries (Video) - Steve Smith - NBA.com
Block of the Night - Kris Humphries (Video) - NBA.com
- Rapid Reaction: Nets 98, Blazers 96 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Hot-shooting Nets knock off Trail Blazers 98-96 - Colin Stephenson - Star-Ledger
- Notebook: Nets forward Troy Murphy back in uniform against Trail Blazers - Colin Stephenson - Star-Ledger
- Surprise workout pays off for Nets - Fred Kerber - New York Post
Murphy is glad to be on court - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Devin Harris puts Nets on his back to down Trailblazers - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets bounce back to beat Blazers - Al Iannazzone - The Record
Nets notes: Devin Harris here to stay - Al Iannazzone - The Record
Johnson's wake-up call leads to Nets' win - Al Iannazzone - The Nets Insider
- Post-Game Plus (Video) - Nancy Newman - YES Network
- From the Booth (Video) - Marv Albert & Mike Fratello - YES Network
- Avery Johnson Press Conference (Video) - YES Network
- Devin Harris Interview (Video) - Mike Fratello - YES Network
- NETS: Outlaw Sidesteps Slump, Finishes Strong vs. Former Squad - Ben Couch - New Jersey Nets
If you lose to Nets, then what? Blazers huddle up - Joe Freeman - The Oregonian
Brandon Roy, Trail Blazers Stumped as Struggles Continue - Rob Peterson - FanHouse
Game 16 Recap: Trail Blazers 96, Nets 98 - Dave Blazer's Edge