Tonight's game had "classic trap game" written all over it. Coming off a 36-point blow over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night, Jason Kidd decided to rest Kevin Garnett, adding to the shorthanded-ness, with Joe Johnson not with the team due to "personal issues." Paul Pierce was back in the starting lineup for the Nets, after having come off the bench in the team's last four games, while Mirza Teletovic started at power forward in place of Garnett.
And that's the way it ended, a new low point in a season of low points, a 121-120 overtime loss on a buzzer beater by Evan Turner, a floater that hit just about every angle of the rim before finally dropping through the net as time expired.
This was the 12th different starting lineup for the Nets 26 games into the season -- they used 13 different starting lineups all of last season -- while 76ers are the worst in the NBA at guarding the three-point line. So it made sense for stretch players like Teletovic and Pierce to make their way back into the starting lineup. With Johnson out, the team reached another negative milestone: no Net has started in every game this season.
On the other side of the court, the 76ers welcomed back Michael Carter-Williams to the lineup for a Philadelphia team playing at the league's fastest pace this season. Deron Williams has been hot of late, coming off back-to-back double-doubles, and against the 76ers, he took advantage of their inability to, well, defend. He scored 10 points in the first quarter.
The major issue, once again, was rebounding. The Nets saw the 76ers crash the boards hard early, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Philadelphia showed their speed and athleticism early, getting off to a quick start with Evan Turner hot in the early goings (he made his first eight shots, scoring 16 in 13 minutes) -- they made eight of their first nine shots.
Brooklyn, however, settled down after the 76ers nearly went up by double figures, with Teletovic hitting back-to-back threes and Pierce once again dialing the clock back. This one certainly felt like it could be heading toward "trap game" territory in the first quarter, but once the Nets found their rhythm and started to defend a little things turned for Brooklyn, for the better.
Philadelphia led the Nets at halftime, though, 60-57 In the second half, the Nets found their spurt.
The defensive intensity picked up and the third quarter collapse was no collapse at all. It was actually a net positive. The fourth quarter sped up a bit too much for the Nets. The pace turned the game sloppy. And the Nets continued to fail at rebounding the basketball. Just an awful job of crashing the boards and limiting the points in the paint - and on transition.
Brooklyn had some nice stretch moments, with threes from Pierce, Anderson and, um, Brook Lopez. How about that? But the 76ers weren't going away they carried a one-point lead with one minute remaining in the game. Anderson went to the line then to give te Nets a lead, followed by a back and forth with the game tied with the shot clock off.
The Nets had the ball, tied with 5 seconds to go. Deron Williams missed a jumper. And, overtime. From there, the Nets just couldn't get the stops. Even as they pulled close, the 76ers seemed to always find a way to respond. Namely, off the glass.
That was, until Paul Pierce hit a super clutch three, giving the Nets the lead with 15 seconds to go. Evan Turner happened. Evan Turner. He hit a drive in the lane as time expired, giving the 76ers a 121-120 overtime win.
Terrible defense by the Nets in this one.
Brooklyn was out-rebounded in this one, again, which Pierce took note of.
"It’s just inexcusable right now, one of biggest teams in the league getting crushed on the glass every night," said Pierce in what could be construed as a dig at the Nets bigs. Lopez, Andray Blatche and Mason Plumlee finished with a total of 10 boards, or as many as Pierce.
That needs to improve. They were, however, better at defending the three. But if they can't rebound, they can't expect to win many close-out games.
For more on the 76ers, see: Liberty Ballers
- Boxscore: Nets at 76ers - December 20, 2013 - NBA.com
- Nets vs. Sixers (Video) - NBA.com
- Carter-Williams Picks It Off (Video) - NBA.com
- Back to Basket Banker (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: Evan Turner (Video) - NBA.com
- Kidd discusses overtime loss to the 76ers (Video) - YES Network
- Pierce discusses loss to 76ers (Video) - YES Network
- Teletovic discusses his performance (Video) - YES Network
- Turner Hits OT Winner, 76ers Tops Nets 121-120 - AP
- More Stones Crop Up on Nets’ Rocky Road - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- Rapid Reaction: Sixers 121, Nets 120 (OT) - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Lack of effort costs Brooklyn Nets in loss at Philadelphia 76ers - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Nets fall to 76ers on buzzer-beating layup in OT - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets fall to Sixers on Evan Turner’s game-winning floater in overtime - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Kevin Garnett gets to rest, but Nets teammates look weary - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets sunk by last-second shot in 121-120 OT loss to Sixers - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Sixers stun Nets in overtime - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets giving Kevin Garnett a rest day vs. Sixers - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets’ Williams: Other top NBA stars should be player reps - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Evan Turner is the prince of Philly — but for how long? - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Pain in the glass as Nets bullied on boards again - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Overtime Heartbreaker: Sixers 121, Nets 120 (GAME GRADES) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Nets-Sixers: Let's just talk about Tony's - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
Final Score: Sixers 121 Nets 120 - Brian Erni - SNY Nets
- Turner has big night for 76ers - Mike Perner - Philadelphia Daily News
- Sixers edge Nets in OT thriller - Keith Pompey - Philadelphia Inquirer
- Turner snaps Sixers' skid with OT buzzer-beater - John Finger - Comcast Sports Net
- 6 observations from Sixers-Nets - Comcast Sports Net
- Sixers-Nets: Inside the box score - Comcast Sports Net
- Evan Turner lifts Sixers over Nets in OT - Wes Szafran - South Jersey Times