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Nets still putting up big numbers on offense as season winds down

Offense hasn’t been a problem for most of the year, although of late, there’s been some concern. Here’s a look at the season numbers so far.

Brooklyn Nets v Boston Celtics Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

With a four-game losing streak, it’s probably not a good time to extol the Nets offense, but the Nets in-house beat writer, Tom Dowd, reports, the team is putting up big numbers and in particular, despite the recent adversity and season-long spate of injuries, clutch numbers.

One stat that got a lot of play this week was the Nets ability to close games. The second loss in Milwaukee was also the second loss of the season for the Nets when entering the fourth quarter with a lead. The Nets are now 33-2 and in those games.

Similarly, Dowd reports, the Nets have been clutch as a team. Brooklyn is second in the league in clutch games played (39), first in clutch wins (26), and third in winning percentage in clutch games (.667). A clutch game is defined as being within five points in the final five minutes.

The Nets are also first in offensive rating (116.9) and if they continue on that track, they’ll have the highest offensive rating all-time, beating last year’s Mavs. (116.1). They are also first in the league in field goal percentage (49.1) and effective field goal percentage (57.1), fifth in 3-point percentage (38.9) which has dropped of late. And they are second in the NBA in isolation possessions per game (11.2) isolation points per game (12.0), and points per isolation possession (1.05).

How’s all that team offense translating in the won-loss column. The Nets have set single-season franchise records for games with 130 points (13) and 120 points (30). They are 28-3 when scoring at least 120 points.

Individually, the Big Three, Harris and DeAndre Jordan are setting personal highs.

  • Kyrie Irving is seventh in the NBA in scoring, averaging 27.4 points per game, and fifth in offensive rating (118.9). Irving is also fourth in free throw percentage (92.3). Over his last 21 games, Irving has made 88-of-90 free throw attempts (97.7 percent). Irving has the 11th-highest career scoring average among active players (22.8). Irving’s 45-point game against Dallas on Thursday was his eighth 40-point game as a Net, tying John Williamson for the second-most 40-point games in franchise history. Vince Carter is atop that list with 17.
  • Kevin Durant is fourth in the NBA in shooting a career-high 46.7 percent from 3-point range. Durant’s 53.8 field goal percentage is also a career high. While he doesn’t qualify for the official leaders, Durant’s scoring average of 28.0 points per game would rank seventh. This week, Durant moved past Charles Barkley on the all-time NBA scoring list and now ranks 26th with 23,780 career points. Allen Iverson (24,368) is next on the list. Durant ranks third among active players in total points and first in scoring average (27.05).
  • Joe Harris leads the NBA in 3-point percentage, shooting 47.8 percent for the season. Harris is also fifth in total 3-point field goals made (207) which is the second highest single-season total in franchise history. Harris also holds the fourth (183, 2018-19) and fifth (172, 2019-20) places on that list. Harris is second in franchise history in 3-pointers made (797) behind Jason Kidd (813). He is also fourth all time in career 3-point percentage (43.82) a shade ahead of Nets legend Drazen Petrovic (43.74). Harris ranks seventh in effective field goal percentage (65.8). And among clutch players, based on scoring in that kind of stretch, Joe Harris is tied for third in the category, according to NBA.com.
  • James Harden is 13th in the NBA with 31 double-doubles and third with 12 triple-doubles. Though he no longer qualifies among the league leaders after missing Brooklyn’s last 16 games, Harden’s 10.9 assists per game would be second in the league. Harden is seventh in free throws made per game (6.5) and attempted per game (7.5) while shooting 87.0 percent. Harden has the third-highest career scoring average among active players (25.2).
  • DeAndre Jordan leads the NBA in effective field goal percentage (76.3) and true shooting percentage (73.6). Jordan is the NBA’s all-time career leader in field goal percentage (67.4) and among active players is second in total rebounds (9,875) and fourth in blocks (1,467).

Unfortunately, but not really surprisingly, the Nets stats survey doesn’t include defensive stats, but a quick check of the numbers from other sources show Brooklyn 25th in defensive rating (113.2); 23rd in points allowed (114.5); 10th in opponent field goal percentage (46.2), 17th in interior defense (47.9 percent) and 16th in perimeter defense based on opponents’ 3-point shooting (36.8).