Brook Lopez dominant as the Nets cruise past the Utah Jazz, 104-88

Maddie Meyer

BROOKLYN - Coming off a terrible road loss to the Orlando Magic on Sunday, the Nets were home looking to rebound against the Utah Jazz, one of four winless teams in the NBA entering Monday night.

Any chance they'd let their lackluster performance in Orlando carry over? No. Of course not. They actually "took it out" on the Jazz, just burying them by a score of 104-88.

The Jazz boast a young, long and powerful duo in the middle in former-Net Derrick Favors and 7-footer Enes Kanter, but that didn't stop the Nets from looking to run the offense through Brook Lopez early. They went right at Kanter and Favors, and while Favors got the best of Lopez on the first possession of the game, from there the Nets continued to pound the paint, opening up the perimeter and getting Lopez planted and active early.

In the first quarter alone, the Nets had a total of 16 points in the paint, with Lopez leading the way with 11 points in nine minutes. His dominance continued, as the Nets all but ran away with this one in the first half, carrying a 54-38 lead into halftime. Lopez finished with 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting in 26 minutes.

Brooklyn made sure they wouldn't be out-hustled and caught off guard like they were in Orlando. They were aggressive, active and, most importantly, getting good looks on offense. The offense had that crisp, everybody-touches-the-ball kind of movement, which all started with Lopez owning the paint. It led to open looks for Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson and even Andray Blatche who got nice wide-open mid-range looks.

Mason Plumlee saw some early minutes tonight -- and played well, though the stat-line doesn't necessarily read that way; five points, four rebounds in 17 minutes -- which allowed for Brooklyn to throw different looks at Utah. A front-line of Kevin Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko and Plumlee allowed for them to get active and run, plus gave them enough stretch to pull Kanter, Favors and Rudy Gobert away from the paint.

The Jazz are 0-4 this year, a young team dealing with injuries and, well, "rebuilding." So, this was one of those games they had to win; a loss would have been disastrous. The fact that they dominated the paint and never really let the Jazz into this one was a good sign.

Brooklyn shot 51.3 percent from the floor (shot 59 percent in the first half), forced 22 turnovers, topped the Jazz 25-6 in fastbreak points  and scored 58 points in the paint. Success.

It was the first win over Utah for former Jazz players D-WIll and Kirilenko, after a combined eight losses. "It's a rebuilding year for them, but I'm definitely happy to beat them," said Williams.

Next up for the Nets, Friday in Washington against the Wizards.

For more on the Jazz, see: SLC Dunk

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