The Brooklyn Nets snapped their mini 2-game losing streak Monday night at home against the Orlando Magic, 97-77 on their way to sweeping Orlando in the season series 4-0. Brooklyn got off to a hot start in the game and after seeing their lead cut to only 6 in the third quarter, the Nets demolished Orlando in the fourth to win by 20. Brooklyn was led by Deron Williams’s 20 points and 9 assists. Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 9 rebounds for Orlando.
This game looked over from the beginning. The Nets had a pretty good first quarter, outscoring Orlando 30-20 due to 13 points from Deron Williams. The bench helped balloon the Brooklyn lead to 16 points at halftime. In the first half, the offense looked as good as it has the whole season. There were many beautiful passes in the second quarter, including some from unsuspecting players, like Marshon Brooks. The third quarter was as bad as many we have seen from the Nets this year. They allowed Orlando back into the game and appeared disinterested on the court. Orlando cut the lead to as few as 6 points and the Nets only had a 7-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Brooklyn opened up the fourth on a 9-0 run and never looked back. They led by as many as 26 in the quarter and went on to win by 20.
We saw lots of good things in this game. Brooklyn shot 50% from the field, 45% from 3, and 83% from the foul line, all very good numbers. The Nets also outrebounded Orlando 45-36. Defensively, Brooklyn held Orlando to 40% shooting from the field and only 22% from 3, but Orlando did miss a lot of open looks. The Nets also only allowed 9 foul shots in the game from Orlando, and none in the first half. The only issue was turnovers, which are becoming a big problem for this team. The Nets had 20 of them tonight, way too many against a team as bad as Orlando. The Nets will have to fix that quickly because they won’t be able to get away with that on Wednesday against Miami.
With this win, Brooklyn completes the season sweep of Orlando, and this is one of the most lopsided sweeps I have ever seen. The Nets led by at least 20 points in all 4 games. The Nets trailed for a total of less than 7 minutes combined in all 4 games. The average score of the games was exactly the score we saw tonight, 97-77. The Nets may have wanted revenge on Orlando after the Magic refused to trade them Dwight Howard, and they have definitely gotten that revenge this season.
For a box score of this game, click here.
Player grades and notes:
Reggie Evans: B
Reggie did what he does: rebound. In 20 minutes, he had 10 rebounds and no points. I’m happy with that.
Gerald Wallace: C+
Wallace was again not very involved in the offense at all, but he was 3-3 from the field, so that’s a good thing. He didn’t have any steals or blocks on defense and he allowed Mo Harkless to score 14 points.
Brook Lopez: B+
The Nets didn’t need much from Brook in this game, but he played well in his minutes. He was 6-8 from the field for 16 points and also had 5 rebounds. There were some “All-Star” chants for Lopez tonight when he was at the foul line.
Deron Williams: A+
Deron played one of his best games and made very good decisions. He had 13 points in the first quarter and 20 in the game. He was 8-12 from the field and 4-7 from 3 and also had 9 assists with only 1 turnover. There’s not much more you can want from him.
Joe Johnson: A-
Joe had a quiet but efficient night. He was 5-10 from the field for 13 points. He also had a bunch of nice passes leading to 5 assists. Defensively, he shut down J.J. Reddick who shot only 2-13.
Keith Bogans: A-
Bogans did his thing tonight, shooting 4-7 from 3 for 12 points. He made most of his open looks and also had 4 rebounds. He also led the Nets in +/- with a +24.
It was important for the Nets to win this game because their next game will be on Wednesday against the defending NBA champions, the Miami Heat. The Nets got blown out twice this year already in Miami, but this will be the teams’ only matchup this year in Brooklyn. FRWD will have full coverage of that game.