In a game that neither team wanted to win, the Warriors very deliberately blew a 19 point lead and lost this game to the Nets, who were led by Gerald Wallace. The Warriors were leading for the entire game, and were up by 14 heading into the 4th quarter, where they were outscored by the Nets 32-16, giving the Nets a 102-100 victory. It was the Nets’ second win in a row and only their third winning streak of the season. Too bad it comes at pretty much the worst time possible, when they need to lose as many games as possible in order to get a top 3 draft pick.
This was mostly a game of runs, and the Warriors had almost all of the runs in the first 3 quarters and were in control of the game. In the first half, David Lee dominated the Nets and neither The Hump nor Petro could stop him. He had 22 points in this half, but only 5 in the second half (very, very suspicious, I will talk about this more later). Also, Charles Jenkins, a random rookie out of Hofsta, had 18 points and 12 assists. He is averaging less than 4 points and 2 assists, and he was being guarded by an all-star point guard. That should not happen. Klay Thompson was on fire for most of the night, especially in the third quarter where he made three 3′s. Even Jeremy Tyler, a terrible rookie center, scored 10 points in the third quarter and the Warriors should never have lost this game. Then in the fourth quarter, the entire game took a 180 turn in favor of the Nets. It was led by the Gerald’s, Wallace and Green. Wallace became extremely aggressive, especially on defense and rebounding, and he did not want any Warrior taking the ball away from him. He missed some layups, but he often got his rebound a la Shelden and got put-backs. Gerald Green finished a very nice alley-oop and also made some 3′s. With the game tied and less than a minute to go, Gerald stormed the basket and finished with a dunk to give the Nets their first lead since very early in the first quarter. Golden State did not score on their next possession and the ball went back to the Nets with a chance to lock up the win. As usual for Deron, he turned the ball over and gave the Warriors one last shot. But Gerald Wallace was having none of it tonight, and he blocked Charles Jenkins to save the day and give the Nets a two-point victory.
This was definitely the biggest comeback I have seen this season, and I am not surprised that it was on the road against a bad team. These two components usually add up to Nets victories, while every other combination will end in a loss. But, as I said before, this comeback was way too suspicious. The Warriors have given up on their season and they want to tank to get a better draft pick. The Nets want to do this also, but Avery Johnson was not letting his players quit. Mark Jackson was, and they seemed to stop trying in the fourth quarter. The Warriors were not hustling as much and they gave up bad offensive rebounds to Gerald Wallace. They were also turning the ball over a ton and not getting back on defense. They should really be ashamed of themselves. The Nets needed to lose this game as much if not more than the Warriors did, but they did not quit even when they were down by 19 points. Even though this will never happen because it is impossible to get proof, Mark Jackson deserves to be fined for this loss. He really let his players stop trying and it is disgusting. What do you guys think? Do you think the Warriors purposely lost this game? Post your opinions in the comments section.
Player stats, grades, and notes:
Deron Williams: 9 points, 2-13 FG, 1-6 3 pt FG, 20 ast, 2 stl, 4 to, 40 min. Grade: B
Deron had a very weird game tonight. At some points in the first 3 quarters, I thought he would pick up yet another technical or get throw out because he was so frustrated. He shot terribly in this game and did not make a field goal until the 4th quarter. Despite all this, his passes were pinpoint today and he tied an NBA season high with 20 assists. He also leads the NBA in points scored in a game this season with 57. It will be extremely, extremely impressive if he can lead in both categories at the end of the year. I wonder if that’s ever been done. Back to this game, I was surprised by his effort tonight and that he never gave up. He helped lead the comeback and plenty of his assists were in the fourth quarter. He shot 2-13, but he still had a good game.
Marshon Brooks: 8 points, 3-6 FG, 2 reb, 4 to, 14 min. Grade: F
We thought Marshon was finally getting out of his slump after the Pacers game, but he has not. After playing for most of the first quarter and giving up 4 turnovers, Coach Avery benched Marshon for the whole second quarter. He came back in in the third, and the lead ballooned to 19 points. Avery took him out and he never returned. Marshon was worst on the Nets with a +/- of -12 and this is not surprising. I’m shocked he scored 8 points, because he was terrible, both on offense and defense. I wonder if he will even start tomorrow, or if Avery will just start Gerald Green at the 2. I’m kind of hoping for Green.
Johan Petro: 8 points, 4-10 FG, 7 reb, 2 blk, 25 min. Grade: C-
Because of all the injuries for the Nets, Johan Petro somehow started this game. He could not guard David Lee at all, which is not surprising, but he gave up 10 points in one quarter to Jeremy Tyler. That is completely unacceptable, and the 10 points are Tyler’s career high. And he scored them all in one quarter against Petro. Come on Petro. He did have one French Flush tonight.
Gerald Wallace: 24 points, 7-16 FG, 2-2 3 pt FG, 8-9 FT, 18 reb, 8 off reb, 5 ast, 6 stl, 1 blk, 4 to, 44 min. Grade: A+
What more can you ask of the man. I have never seen a stat sheet that full. He was a monster, especially in the fourth quarter, and really wanted to win this game. He shot the ball well tonight, drew fouls, attacked the glass, was aggressive on defense, and even passed well. The only thing he didn’t have was a block, until the last play of the game when he blocked Charles Jenkins to seal the game. He still can’t make a layup though.
Kris Humphries: 20 points, 8-12 FG, 9 reb, 2 stl, 1 blk, 41 min. Grade: B-
In the first half, The Hump’s defense on David Lee was terrible, but he definitely turned it around in the second half. He also had one of his better scoring games with 20 points. He should have had more rebounds, but 9 isn’t terrible. Above average offensively, below average defensively for Humphries tonight.
Gerald Green: 20 points, 8-12 FG,2-4 3 pt FG, 3 reb, 28 min. Grade: A
The Green Machine. Along with Wallace, this Gerald had a big 4th quarter. He had one of the more impressive alley-oops I’ve seen and made clutch shots throughout the quarter. He is now the Nets go-to-guy on offense, which is shocking because he was in the D-League a little over a month ago. He is playing for his contract next year, so expect more performances like this from Green in the future.
The Nets will be staying in California tomorrow when they head a bit east to face the Sacramento Kings in another draft lottery battle. The Kings surprised the Utah Jazz on the road tonight, but have not been playing well recently. That should be another close game, and we will have the coverage of it for you here at From Russia With Dunk.