Tonight, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Brooklyn Nets 109-92, handing the Nets their third straight loss and second straight at home. Brooklyn could not contain Stephen Curry and David Lee in particular and as a team, the Warriors finished with a high 51% field goal percentage. For the Nets, Joe Johnson methodically had a breakout game and Andray Blatche played well on offense too in place of injured Brook Lopez, but the team struggled on defense. This could bear to show that the Nets need Brook Lopez, not just for his offensive ability, but also his length on defense to disrupt opposing offenses in the second half.
The Warriors’ point guards really dominated the Nets’ defense tonight. They were able to push the tempo, to Golden State’s advantage. Stephen Curry had 28 points and 5 assists, on 10 of 19 shooting. Time and again, the Nets were simply unable to guard Curry, who beat the Nets off the dribble and on quick-release jumpers. Curry’s backup, Jarrett Jack, had 15 points and 8 assists. Down low, David Lee had a monster double double: 30 points and 15 rebounds and was a +16 in 41 minutes of playing time. The Nets always seem to struggle against athletic, stretch big men.
The Nets led by 8, 63-55 at halftime. Joe Johnson played a big role in the Nets’ offensive success in the first half. Andray Blatche surprisingly nailed a 3 at the end of the half to stretch Brooklyn’s lead. The team struggled in the 3rd quarter again though, scoring only 19 points to the Warriors’ 29. Part of the blame for this actually has to go to the Nets’ second unit, which has been shorthanded while Blatche has been starting for Brook Lopez. When Lopez comes back, hopefully on Sunday against the Bucks, Blatche will be able to return to the “bench mob” and be a big boost to it.
Brooklyn really could have taken better advantage of Golden State’s lack of a center. The Warriors’ starting center, Festus Azili, was a complete disaster: held scoreless and a -14 in 8 minutes of playing time. The backup center is Andris Biedrins, but he was ineffective in only 5 minutes of playing time. In their place, Draymond Green (who?), a 6-7 backup forward finished with 10 rebounds and was a game high +17 in 28 minutes.
For a game box score, click here.
Player grades and notes
Deron Williams: B-
Williams struggled with his 3 point shot, yet again. He went 2 of 10 from beyond the arc in 41 minutes. He still finished with 23 points and 8 assists; however, the Warriors’ point guards were better tonight.
Joe Johnson: A
Joe Johnson finally broke out tonight and got off to an extremely hot start in the first quarter. He finished with 32 points and 5 rebounds on 12-23 shooting and was a team high +3 in 39 minutes. On the other side of the ball, Golden State’s shooting guard Klay Thompson had a very pedestrian game going up on Johnson.
Gerald Wallace: B-
Wallace didn’t do much on offense tonight, but neither did his counterpart Harrison Barnes. The problem for Wallace was turnovers: he had a team-high 4.
Kris Humphries: C
Humphries had a really unfavorable matchup against David Lee and as a result, he only played 23 minutes. He finished with just 4 points and 4 rebounds while the Warriors’ bigs dominated.
Andray Blatche: B+
Blatche had yet another strong offensive game, finishing with 22 points, 15 rebounds (7 offensive), and 4 steals, on 8-13 shooting. He finished a +1 in 35 minutes. The Nets’ bigs dominated on offense, though.
Nets Bench: C
Avery Johnson tried to mix and match on the Nets’ second unit tonight, playing Mirza Teletovic and MarShon Brooks in the second half. None of the Nets’ reserves finished with a positive +/-.
The Nets struggled on defense in the second half for the third straight game. Hopefully Brook Lopez will be able to do something about this when he returns from injury in the next few games. The Nets will have a day to think it over, then play the Milwaukee Bucks at home at 6:00 Sunday evening. When the Nets played in New Jersey, they often struggled against Milwaukee. Let’s see if they can break their losing streak and get some positive momentum going into their showdown against the Knicks on Tuesday.