Tonight, the Utah Jazz defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 92-90, in a game with a crazy finish. With 14.5 seconds left, the Jazz in-bounded the ball and were up by 2 with the shot clock turned off. The Nets were in desperation mode, they needed to force a turnover or foul a Jazz player and hope for a missed foul shot. Unbelievably, the Jazz couldn’t control the ball off the in-bounds as Reggie Evans and Gerald Wallace fought for the ball. The Nets took possession with 10 seconds to go and found Gerald Wallace open for a potentially game winning three. Wallace missed the three and Reggie Evans missed on a put-back attempt.
The Nets had another good first half tonight but a terrible third quarter. Wallace knocked down a buzzer beating three to end the first half as the Nets returned to the locker room up by 13, 57-44, at halftime. Brooklyn was able to score in the paint in the first half, even though the Jazz have a very formidable front court featuring Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, and ex-Net Derrick Favors. Jefferson and Marvin Williams finished with double-doubles and Paul Millsap came close to achieving one.
The Nets struggled once again to string together good possessions in the second half. They lost their halftime lead by the end of the third quarter and only scored 33 points in the second half. Their poor offensive execution is the main reason they lost this game, not their defense.
For a game box score, click here.
Player grades and notes
Deron Williams: B-
Williams had some nice moments and had two beautiful lay-ups late in the fourth quarter to keep the Nets close. However, he only finished with 5 assists to 3 turnovers and he is still struggling with his three point shot. With Brook Lopez back, Williams should be able to figure out ways to get the Nets’ offense to click in the second half. He did not do that consistently at all tonight.
Joe Johnson: B
Johnson by far played the most minutes of any Net tonight with 40 and played very well in the first half. He somewhat disappeared in the second half, though.
Gerald Wallace: B-
I really wish Wallace knocked down that potential game winning three. Once again, he played with great intensity over 30 minutes, but his impact did not translate at all to the box score. I would like him to stop front rimming free throws.
Kris Humphries: B
Humphries was re-inserted into the starting line-up tonight and responded well, barely missing a double double with 8 points and 11 rebounds (6 offensive). Against a very big Jazz team, Humphries did a great job on the boards. I expect to see him start again tomorrow night against the Knicks, unless the Knicks start Carmelo Anthony at power forward.
Brook Lopez: B-
Lopez still hasn’t had a great game offensively since his recent return from a foot injury. He had 16 points and only 5 rebounds in 30 minutes, but he did survive an awkward landing on a bizarre jump.
Andray Blatche: C-
Blatche might already be missing his starting role while Lopez was out with an injury. He simply hasn’t played the same since returning to his role off the bench. For the second straight game, he got into early foul trouble and ultimately finished with four fouls in 16 minutes of playing time. He also turned the ball over three times. Despite his bizarre game, he did finish with 8 points on 4-7 shooting.
MarShon Brooks: C-
MarShon only scored one basket in 16 minutes tonight and it was a fairly ugly one at that. He didn’t find a way to fit into the Nets’ offense tonight.
After an incredible November, Brooklyn has struggled in December. The Jazz are a very beatable team but the Nets didn’t have enough continuity on offense to win tonight. They have now lost 7 of their last 9 games and are only 2 games above .500. Let’s see if they can get back to winning tomorrow night as they hope for revenge against the Manhattan Knicks.