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Lakers take down Nets in Brook Lopez’s return, 102-99

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... But at least Jarrett Allen looked good

Los Angeles Lakers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Another heart-breaker in the final seconds.

The Nets and Lakers were all tied up at 85 apiece entering the fourth. Spencer Dinwiddie had scored 14 points within six minutes in the third, which helped lift Brooklyn over the hump.

But as Jeremy Lin said before the game, the next step for these young Nets is finishing games, which didn’t happen.

The Lakers started the fourth on a 10-2 run and gained an eight-point lead. In came D’Angelo Russell, playing with Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen.

The Nets stormed back and trailed by two with less than 20 seconds left. Brook Lopez missed a turnaround jumper, but L.A. grabbed its 18th offensive board of the night and went up three with one at the free throw line.

It was 102-99 Lakers, 8.9 seconds left.

We were all thinking it: D’Angelo Russell. Revenge time.

Instead, Dinwiddie caught the inbounds and was immediately double teamed. He hit Joe Harris, but the shot was short. Game over.

Lakers defeat the Nets, 102-99, for the second time this season.

“Joe’s [Harris] the first option in that look and he was open. I threw it to him. He had daylight. Joe got off fairly clean until the end of his follow-though in which case obviously his shot came up a little short,” said Dinwiddie of the final play.

Russell finished with 15 points against his old team, while Dinwiddie carried the scoring load again with 23 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

Lopez, meanwhile, had another solid game against his former team with a team-high 19 points and 3-of-5 shooting from deep.

Early in the game, Brooklyn relied on the pick and roll game and it worked. They took only 11 3-pointers in the first half, as Allen kept them afloat with 16 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting. He finished the night with a career-high 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting.

He’s averaging 14 points and six rebounds in the last five games. In that span, he’s shot 29-of-35 from the field.

“Face of the franchise, now I’m here trying to become the face, too,” Allen said when asked about Brook Lopez. “I wouldn’t call it replacing Brook [Lopez], Brook is one of a kind that I hear. He has stuff, I have stuff, and I’m just trying to see where I’m at against him.”

So, what kept L.A. in it? Living above the rim. They grabbed 11 offensive boards which led to 17 second-chance points in the first half and finished the night with 18 offensive boards and 23 second-chance points. The Nets were out-rebounded by 18 and shot just 9-of-39 from 3-point.

“Coach is starting to trust me more in the crunch time, in the important part of the game. Me being in there, you can tell there is trust,” said Allen.

BROOK LOPEZ RETURNS TO BROOKLYN

Times haven’t been all easy for Brook Lopez in Los Angeles. He hasn’t played much of late and left the bench in the fourth quarter on Wednesday. He returned home in Brooklyn on Friday and received the reception he deserved.

After nine seasons with the team and countless trade rumors, Brook Lopez was finally traded over the summer. He had nine different coaches, three GM’s. He played in two states, three cities, three arenas and two practice facilities. He was an All-Star once and underwent three or four foot surgeries.

The day had to eventually come, but his imprint on the organization will last a long time. He leads the franchise for most points and is second all-time for games played.

The big fella might be going through some tough times in L.A., but he’ll always be appreciated in Brooklyn (and maybe even New Jersey). He proved that loyalty in sports is not extinct.

“That’s the kind of stuff you dream about as a kid and to see that kind of support from both Laker and Nets fans it’s really an onslaught. It’s such a fantastic moment. I can’t thank them enough for the continued support,” said Lopez after the game.

LOPEZ ON HIS YOUNG TEAMMATES ALL GROWN UP

On Spencer Dinwiddie:

”It’s truly great to see. I definitely saw bits of it last season when he got a chance. For him to take full advantage of the opportunity he has it’s been great. The talents obviously there, it’s obviously been there, but the thing that always struck me about him is his IQ, his basketball IQ, and off the court he’s such a smart, intelligent human being as well. I think that helps him be a great leader and a great point guard in the court.”

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson:

”There’s no surprise there as well. Rondae still has so many more levels he can reach, he really does it all out there. First and foremost, it’s all his energy, he wears his emotions on his sleeve but it makes him the player that he is. He’s truly out there and he cares every game. He cares about the teams success, his teammates, and I think that really energizes and empowers him. As far as talent, the sky’s the limit for him, it’s just that simple.”

***

The Nets are now 19-34 on the season with a game against Milwaukee on Sunday, who they lost to just one week ago. There were plenty of positive signs in terms of development, particularly with the play of Dinwiddie and Russell. But Jarrett Allen is beginning to look like the real deal.

For another perspective on the game, head on over to Silver Screen and Roll.