The Brooklyn Nets had their 5-game winning streak snapped tonight in L.A. at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers, 95-90. For the Lakers, Mike D’Antoni made his coaching debut and got a win in his first game. Brook Lopez had 23 points and 7 rebounds and Deron Williams had 22 and 10 assists for Brooklyn. Kobe Bryant had 25 points and Dwight Howard had 23 points and 15 rebounds for Los Angeles.
Nets fans have to be happy with what they saw tonight. After the Lakers scored 119 in their last game against Houston, Brooklyn held them to only 95 tonight. This is maybe the best offense in the NBA and the Nets were really able to shut them down for the most part. Although the Nets did not pick up a win, this was a moral victory for the team, if you believe in those things. The Lakers are a very good team and it was great to see the Nets able to hang around with them.
The biggest reason the Nets lost this game was the refs. There were tons of calls throughout the night that went against Brooklyn. There was one goaltending call and one possible travel by L.A. in the final seconds that really hurt the Nets. There were other calls also that were questionable. The Nets still could have played better and gotten a win, but the refs definitely did not help.
The reason this game ended up being close was because of the Lakers’ foul shooting. As a team, they shot 19-37. Dwight Howard was especially terrible at 7-19. In the fourth quarter, the Nets sometimes turned to hack-a-Dwight, and it worked for the most part. Avery coached a good game tonight and the Nets were unlucky to be unable to pick up a victory.
For a box score of this game, click here.
Player grades and notes:
Kris Humphries: C+
The Hump got his 10 rebounds, but he only shot 2-10 in this game and his jump shots were not falling at all. His defense was average but not great. Average performance from Humphries.
Gerald Wallace: B+
Even though Crash only scored 7 points, he showed tonight why he is valuable to this team. He had 5 steals and 3 blocks, and he played great defense throughout the night. His shot selection on offense was not great. He took too many 3’s and they all missed by a lot. The Nets will need efforts like this from Wallace every night.
Brook Lopez: B+
Brook played pretty well tonight and was near the level of Dwight Howard. He was effective on offense and shot the ball very well at 11-18. His defense was solid too. The best thing about this game was that Lopez didn’t fade after the first quarter like we have seen him do a lot this year.
Deron Williams: B+
Deron had a double-double with 22 points and 10 assists. However, he only shot 6-18, and his shot to tie the game with under 5 seconds remaining could have been better. He might have rushed his shot a little bit.
Joe Johnson: B-
Joe Johnson had another poor shooting performance at 6-16. He did contribute 6 assists to the team. He did not step up in the fourth quarter tonight as he had done in many games this season.
Reggie Evans: A-
Evans played 19 minutes and had 11 rebounds. He also had 0 points and 0 field goal attempts. That’s great. He also had a few classic Reggie Evans flops. I love watching him play basketball.
The Nets will head north back to the bay area where they will face Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors tomorrow night. We will have full coverage at FRWD.