When push came to shove, it was Brooklyn’s three guys from last season who stepped up and got them the victory: Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen.
This game was about as ugly as games get. The two teams went back and forth throughout, looking as if everyone morphed back into another dimension where putting a ball through a hoop wasn’t a concept.
In the end, the Nets and Pelicans found themselves in an overtime game after a horrible night of shooting by both teams. The fact the Nets were even in position to win was impressive, given how poorly they shot. But their defense gave them the opportunity. And it was Dinwiddie, Harris and Allen saved the day on the offensive end.
Dinwiddie wreaked havoc with his downhill play all night, but when it mattered most in the fourth, he resorted to a step back three-pointer as time expired. He missed. At that point, it was 93-93.
Then, Dinwiddie opened extra time with a downhill bucket to get the Nets right back on track. Brooklyn brought the lead up to 101-98 with less than two minutes remaining.
Kenny Atkinson was on fire all night with his ATO’s on inbound calls. He called Harris’ number and it paid off, as the sharp shooter nailed his fifth three-pointer on the night to get him to 24 points and the Nets to a six-point lead. Brandon Ingram answered with a three of his own, but Dinwiddie answered with, yes, another downhill layup to put the Nets up by five with under a minute remaining.
From there, the Nets came up with two straight stops and sealed this thing with a 15-8 advantage in overtime — a 108-101 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, a team that’s lost 13 straight games.
For the Nets, the trio of Dinwiddie, Harris and Allen scored 13 of Brooklyn’s 15 points in the fourth quarter. They jolted Brooklyn when they needed them most and improved the Nets record to 15-12 and 11-5 since Kyrie Irving’s shoulder injury.
With the Nets as depleted as they are, it really doesn’t matter who they beat. A win is a win, any way they can get it.
The game was stagnant in the first half. The Pelicans missed their final 15 shots in the first half as the Nets finished out on a 15-0 run. They held New Orleans to 35 points in the first half — the fewest they’ve surrendered in any half this season. The problem? They scored only 42 points and shot 30 percent from the field.
Down came the boos from the hometown crowd, displeased with another disappointing display. Still, Brooklyn’s poor play kept the door wide open and New Orleans walked in.
The Pelicans started the second half on a 13-2 run and took a two-point lead. At one point, they even took a seven-point lead. The Nets shot 26 percent from the field and entered the fourth quarter with 61 points. The last time they played New Orleans, they had 67 points at halftime!
Then, the guys in black-and-white awoke. They made nine straight shots — 11 of 12 and took a five-point lead following a surge from Dinwiddie, Harris and Allen. They didn’t get the stops they needed to close out the game, Jrue Holiday capped off an 8-2 run late with an and-one slam to put the Pelicans up by two.
Out of a timeout once again, Harris shifted right on the left wing extended, turned and hit Jarrett Allen on the left block for a slam. The Nets made a stop and had their chance, but Dinwiddie missed the shot that would’ve won the game in regulation.
No matter. Nets win.
Taurean Prince shot 1-of-9 on the night — but that one shot was a huge three-pointer to put the Nets up by six late in the fourth. But after the game, Brandon Ingram said great things about Prince’s D.
Ingram had scored 40 on the Nets in Brooklyn, but Prince helped hold him to 7-of-23 shooting tonight. “He just stayed on my top side & he trusted his big; that was all. I couldn’t get open on the perimeter, so he forced me to the big on the inside.”
Garrett Temple struggled as well, finishing with seven points on 2-of-14 shooting. On the other hand, David Nwaba was stellar off the bench yet again with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Same with Wilson Chandler, who had a nice line —seven points, six rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes.
Ingram was held to 7-of-23 shooting — 1-of-11 in the first half. Allen was a nightmare for Ingram, blocking four of his shots in the first seven minutes of the game! For context, Ingram torched the Nets for 40 points the last time the two teams played.
Allen finished with six blocked shots on the night to go along with 14 rebounds and 12 points.
Harris was “Joe Reliable” in the second half ... despite struggling in the first half. He scored 24 points —19 in the second— and hit (and assisted) on the biggest buckets of the game. Dinwiddie scored 24+ points for the fifth straight game. It was also the 14th time in the last 16 games in which Dinwiddie has scored more than 20 points.
The Nets prevailed thanks to their defense, but even at their worst, they put themselves in a position to win the game ... which they did. At this point, it doesn’t necessarily matter how they get it, rather the fact that they do get it with Irving, Kevin Durant and Caris LeVert sidelined.
A win is a win, any way the Brooklyn Nets can get it right now.
SCARED OF BOSTON? KYRIE? NAH, SAYS IMAN SHUMPERT
Former Net Iman Shumpert was a guest on Complex Sports podcast, “Load Management.” The podcast was recorded after he was waived by the Nets. So for that alone, big shout out to him. He spoke plenty about the Nets and his time there, but what stood out most: His perspective on Kyrie Irving.
"PULL UP THE TAPES! How many times has Kyrie come over there and smacked Boston around?" @ImanShumpert to folks saying Kyrie skipped his return to Boston on purpose.— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) December 17, 2019
Listen : https://t.co/ec3udlVTEy pic.twitter.com/ptMfk4Eihf
RJ AND SHEARN ON DINWIDDIE’S ALL-STAR CASE
Is Spencer Dinwiddie an All-Star? @Rjeff24 and @ChrisShearnYES debate the case of the former Skills Challenge champ. #NETSonYES pic.twitter.com/2LttyvUdYx— YES Network (@YESNetwork) December 18, 2019
(... I’m just going to say as of right now, I believe he is for reasons beyond the box score.)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH KUSTOK!
You guys at home know how great Sarah is on television. There’s no denying that. But what I can share from the vantage point of Barclays Center is that Sarah is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and obviously a huge part of the Brooklyn Nets community.
You’re the blessing !! Love you sis ♥️ https://t.co/XhGGXBzi0w— sarah kustok (@sarahkustok) December 18, 2019
To another great year ahead! Sarah wasn’t the only Nets type to be celebrating a big day in New Orleans. Stefania Rizzo, the Nets director of performance rehabilitation, also got her cake.
For a different perspective, head on over to The Bird Writes, our Pelicans sister site on SB Nation.
The Nets face the Spurs on Thursday, 8:30 PM ET.
- Box Score: Brooklyn Nets 108, New Orleans 101 - NBA.com
- Recap: Brooklyn Nets 108, New Orleans 101 (Video) - NBA.com
- Kustok and Eagle on Nets’ win (Video) - Sarah Kustok & Ian Eagle - YES Network
- Harris on grinding out win (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson on strong defense, win (Video) - YES Network
- Wear Brooklyn At? (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson speaks on missing stars (Video) - YES Network
- Dinwiddie’s 31 points push Nets past Pelicans, 108-101 in OT - Brett Martell - AP
- Nets win in OT as Pelicans lose 13th straight - Reuters
- Nets escape Pelicans with nail-biting overtime win - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Jarrett Allen’s monster Nets outing tees up homecoming - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Spencer Dinwiddie carries Nets to overtime win over Pelicans - Kristian WInfield - New York Daily News
- Nets’ starters give their best in OT win over Pelicans - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, David Nwaba providing punch off bench for Nets - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Pelicans to take it slowly with Zion’s recovery - Greg Logan - Newsday
- NETS 108, PELICANS 101: BROOKLYN HOLDS OFF NEW ORLEANS IN OVERTIME - Tim Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- GALLERY: NETS VS. PELICANS - Brooklyn Nets
- What the heck is wrong with the Pelicans? - Matt Ellentuck - SB Nation
- Pain continues for Pelicans as they lose 13th straight in overtime - Christian Clark - New Orleans Times-Picayune