The Brooklyn Nets opened up their 3-game California road trip by defeating the Sacramento Kings 99-90 on Sunday evening. The Nets were led by their bench in this game. Andray Blatche, Marshon Brooks, and C.J. Watson had 22, 14, and 13 points respectively. Sacramento got big contributions from DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans, who had 29 points and 21 points respectively.
Although this was at times a close game in the second half, the Nets were easily able to pull away in the fourth quarter. After taking a 12-point lead into halftime, the Kings cut the Nets’ lead to only 2 early in the 4th quarter. This has been a problem for the Nets all season so far, but yet again, the Nets fought through the adversity and had another relatively easy win.
This game was not very fun to watch. There were very few highlights and both teams seemed to be sleepwalking through the game. Maybe that’s because they were playing in Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena, where under 12,000 fans showed up despite the game being on a weekend afternoon.
Let’s look a little bit at both teams, starting with Sacramento. Other than Cousins and Evans, the Kings looked terrible today. They had too many turnovers, and, more importantly, shot only 10-19 from the free throw line. If they had made all their foul shots, this game would have been tied. They also managed only 13 assists on 37 field goals. That’s awful. This is a franchise that needs a change of attitude.
The Nets’ starters in this game did not play very well, but luckily, the “Bench Mob” was there to save them. Andray Blatche’s first half performance was excellent. He shot 9-9 from the field and had 18 points. C.J. Watson and Marshon Brooks also played very well. Marshon played meaningful minutes in the fourth quarter and made them count. I hope to see more of Marshon in the coming games.
For a box score of this game, click here.
Player grades and notes:
Kris Humphries: B
The Hump had his typical game: 6 points and 10 rebounds. He didn’t make a major impact on offense, but that is not his job this year. He had nearly a third of the Nets’ rebounds today and was the leading rebounder for either team.
Gerald Wallace: C
This was Wallace’s first game back after missing 6 games with injuries. He didn’t play well, but I consider this a warm-up game for Wallace before the Lakers game on Tuesday. He had 4 points and 4 turnovers in 25 minutes.
Brook Lopez: B-
Brook should have done more on offense in this game. He only scored 13 points and shot poorly from the field. He also only had 5 rebounds and was definitely outplayed by DeMarcus Cousins, who scored 29 points, many of them coming in garbage time. However, Brook did have 4 blocks on defense and only turned the ball over once.
Deron Williams: B+
Deron had a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists. He had control of the offense and only turned the ball over twice. Defensively he held Aaron Brooks to 4 points. He didn’t shoot very well in this game but he definitely did enough to get the win.
Joe Johnson: D-
What is going on with Joe Johnson? He only made one field goal in this game despite taking 10 shots. He managed to score 10 points, but most of those came on foul shots in the closing seconds. He also played more minutes than any other Net tonight. He needs to figure out what’s going wrong.
Andray Blatche: A+
Hello Blatche-lyn! Andray scored a season high 22 points on 11-12 shooting tonight. He also started the game shooting 10-10 and had 18 points in the first half. I don’t know where the Nets would have been at halftime if not for Blatche. He didn’t play much in the second half, but he didn’t need to after doing so much damage in the first half. He is very talented offensively.
C.J. Watson: A
C.J. played very well tonight backing up Deron Williams. He scored 13 points and also had 3 assists. He was 3-4 from 3 and didn’t have any turnovers. C.J. is very valuable to this team.
Marshon Brooks: A+
This was a breakout game for Marshon. Despite playing only 12 minutes, he played in crunch time tonight and he played well. He scored 14 points on 5-6 shooting and also made the dagger 3-pointer in the final minute. I expect Marshon to take over Jerry Stackhouse’s minutes in the Nets’ next game.
The Nets will now have one day off and then head down the California coast to Hollywood to face the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. That should be an exciting game because it will likely be the Lakers coaching debut of Mike D’Antoni. We will have full coverage here at FRWD.