The Brooklyn Nets began their three-game Western Coast trip with a disappointing loss to the Phoenix Suns, 112-104, Wednesday night with all eyes on Brooklyn following Joe Johnson's remarks about his team being 'selfish'. Thursday night, however, the Nets looked to redeem themselves against the tough shooting arsenal of Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.
It wasn't so much Stephen Curry that killed the Nets, but rather another poor effort defensively from Brooklyn that doomed their chances, 107-99. While Curry was "contained" to 17 points, Andrew Bogut put up a hefty stat line of 11 points, 14 rebounds (7 offensive), five assists, four blocks and one steal -- a stat line that sums the Nets' night up very well. They finished the night shooting 44% from the field and a dreadful 19% from three. Along with that, they were out-rebounded 45-40 (14 offensive) and out-assisted 30-19, displaying more evidence for their lack of ball movement late in the game. The Nets are now 4-4 on the season and 0-2 on this difficult West-Coast trip. They play the Portland Trail Blazers Saturday night.
Nets' struggles to close out games: The Nets have an average of 54 points scored in the first half compared to 43.25 points in second halves this season.
Top performers for Brooklyn: Jarrett Jack redeemed his poor night in Phoenix with a 23-point effort in 26 minutes on an impressive 10-of-10 shooting. Deron Williams chipped in 18 points, five assists and two steals, along with Brook Lopez who finished with 18 points and a disappointing five rebounds. Mason Plumlee also had himself a decent day with 13 points and eight rebounds on 3-of-9 shooting, but 7-of-8 from the free throw line.
Negative performers for Brooklyn: Mirza Teletovic finished with zero points on 0-of-4 shooting in 24 minutes of action, while Alan Anderson had two points on 1-of-9 shooting in 24 minutes.
Quarter by quarter summary:
The Nets' poor finish in Wednesday night's loss in Phoenix would have no affect on how they started their matchup against the Warriors. The Nets would jump out to an 18-11 start within the first six minutes, while shooting 8-of-10 in the midst of it all. The offense, like Wednesday, looked fluid early; Brook Lopez in particular, who finished the quarter with 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Lopez, who was benched late in the game vs. Phoenix was chewing up Andrew Bogut and the Warriors' interior defense.
The first quarter proved to be a offensive shootout as the Nets shot 63% from the field and led the Warriors, 36-32.
The second quarter of this game resembled the second half in Phoenix too much, and that's not good news for Brooklyn. Jarrett Jack was doing all he could to keep the Nets at a steady pace, scoring 10 points in the quarter alone while finishing with 13 in the half, but the Warriors were too much for Brooklyn to handle. They only led 21-20 in the rebounding category, but the Warriors grabbed eight offensive rebounds and dished out 18 assists which led to their 34-19 scoring advantage in the second quarter alone.
They also shot an impressive 51% from the field (40% from three) and outscored Brooklyn, 22-6, to finish out the half. Klay Thompson led the way for Golden State with 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting, while Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes chipped in 12 apiece. Meanwhile, after putting up 12 points in the first quarter, Brook Lopez sat the entire second quarter. No wonder the Nets struggled to find offense, and the consequences were showing as this game was getting ugly quick.
Score at the half: Warriors 66, Nets 55.
The pace of the game slowed down a lot in the third quarter. The Nets continued to struggle from three, hitting on 1 of their 10 attempts, while the Warriors were 9-of-24. The Warriors outscored Brooklyn, 21-20, in the third quarter but were clearly in the driver's seat throughout. With the Nets shooting so poorly from the perimeter, it enabled the Warriors to force Brooklyn to drive into the paint and let Andrew Bogut and Draymond Green stand their ground. Both had two blocks apiece while the Warriors as a whole had seven blocks on the night.
Interesting enough, the Warriors were doing this all with limited production from Stephen Curry, who was held to 10 points and five assists through three quarters. Still, the Warriors led, 87-75.
The Nets looked better with the backup unit revitalizing their chances in this game by cutting the deficit down to as low as six within the first six minutes of the fourth. However, Andrew Bogut was absolutely destroying the Nets on both sides of the floor, finishing the game with 11 points, 14 rebounds (7 offensive), five assists and four blocks, being the primary reason for the Warriors strong finish.
On the other hand, Jarrett Jack kept the Nets' head above water -- scoring 10 points in the fourth and 23 on the night -- leading all Nets' scorers. But, once again the Nets failed to shake their stagnant offensive sets. They finished the night shooting 44% from the field and a dreadful 19% from three. Along with that, they were out-rebounded 45-40 and out-assisted 30-19, displaying more evidence for their lack of ball movement. For the second straight night, it was a disappointing final result for the guys in black.
Final score: Warriors 107, Nets 99.
The Nets will go up against the Portland Trail Blazers, Saturday at 10:00pm ET.
For more on the Golden State Warriors, check them out at Golden State Of Mind.
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- 2nd Half Game Thread: Nets at Warriors - NetsDaily
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- Warriors Take Down the Nets - Golden State Warriors