The Brooklyn Nets, led by 42 points and 11 3′s by Deron Williams, held off the Washington Wizards Friday night in Brooklyn, 95-78. The story of the game was obviously Deron’s incredible performance. He broke the NBA record for 3′s in one half in the first half of this game and had as many points at halftime as the entire Wizards’ team, 33. The Nets jumped out to a 24-2 lead in the game and never looked back. Reggie Evans also had 11 points and a career high 24 rebounds for Brooklyn. John Wall scored 16 points on only 6-19 shooting to lead Washington.
This was definitely one of the more memorable games of the season for Nets fans. The Nets played one of their best halves of the season in the first half tonight and were up 59-33 at halftime, led by Deron Williams’s shooting. However, they really cooled off in the second half and only scored 36 points total in the half. Luckily, the first quarter effort was enough to carry them to the easy win.
Even though it would be easy to say the Nets did nothing wrong tonight, there were still problems from every player other than Deron Williams. The rest of the team combined to shoot just 17-57 (30%) and they were only 1-11 from 3. Also, on the Nets’ 31 made baskets, they only had 14 assists while also having 18 turnovers on offense.
The keys to the game (other than Deron Williams) were the defense and rebounding. Led by Reggie Evans, the Nets outrebounded Washington 61-44. They also held the Wizards to under 36% shooting from the field and under 18% shooting from 3. Still, that should not be too surprising, because this is the worst offensive team in the NBA.
In Deron’s historic first quarter, he scored 23 points on 7-7 shooting from 3. By halftime, he had 33 points, the same amount as the entire Wizards’ team, and was 9-11 from 3. Read more about Deron’s first half here. Deron was quieter in the second half as the Wizards were focused on preventing him from breaking the NBA record. He finished with 42 points and 11 3′s in the game.
For a box score of this game, click here.
Player grades and notes:
Reggie Evans: A
Reggie Evans had a very fun night. He set his career high with 24 rebounds in this game and dominated the glass. Additionally, he had a very interesting fourth quarter. The Wizards went to a hack-a-Reggie strategy in the last 5 minutes of the fourth. Reggie was struggling mightily from the line but finally hit a pair of foul shots with the crowd behind him and the Wizards stopped the strategy. Brooklyn fans were chanting “Reg-Gie” when he was at the line. He finished the game with 11 points on 5-16 from the foul line.
Gerald Wallace: C-
Wallace had another very poor game. He finished with 2 points and shot 0-5 from the field. He did have 5 rebounds and 5 assists, but this is not the kind of production the Nets were hoping from the man they will pay $40 million.
Brook Lopez: C
Brook Lopez has quietly not been the same player he was since the all-star break. Tonight he was not involved at all and only had 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 fouls. The Wizards are not a bad defensive team, but if Deron didn’t have the game he had, the Nets would have needed much more from Brook.
Deron Williams: A+
Obviously, Deron Williams was great tonight. He finished the game with 42 points on 15-24 from the field and 11-16 from 3, breaking the NBA record for 3′s in a half and breaking the Nets franchise record for 3′s in a game. He also had 5 assists and defended John Wall very well. Hopefully he will have something left in the tank for tomorrow night’s important game.
Joe Johnson: C-
This was another game where Joe Johnson looked invisible. He only had 6 points on 3-10 shooting. He did not hit a 3 and he had 3 turnovers in over 30 minutes of playing time. This was not a good game from him.
Nets’ Bench: D
The bench players were pretty terrible in this game. They combined to shoot 7-25 for only 23 points. Mirza Teletovic was just 1-8 from the field. Keith Bogans was 0-3 from behind the arc. Marshon Brooks made some bad decisions in the game. These guys did not have a good night either.
The Nets will be back in action tomorrow night on the road in Atlanta. That will be an important game in the eastern conference playoff race as the two teams are fighting for home court advantage. FRWD will have full coverage of that game.