The Brooklyn Nets suffered one of their worst losses of the season Monday night, as they went down in Philadelphia, 106-97. The Sixers had lost 12 of their previous 13 games, while the Nets were on a 3-game winning streak, making this a confusing and disappointing loss. Deron Williams had 27 points, 13 assists, and 6 rebounds for Brooklyn, while Joe Johnson also had 20. Spencer Hawes led the way for Philadelphia with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists. Jrue Holiday also had 15 points and 11 assists.
From the second quarter on, the Nets trailed in the game. They just were never able to make a big enough run to really get back into it. They trailed by 7 at halftime, which was also Philadelphia’s biggest lead of the half. In the third quarter, the Sixers expanded their lead to 14 before the Nets cut if back down to 7 heading into the fourth. The Nets got within 4 points a couple of times in the fourth quarter, but were simply unable to get stops down the stretch and that prevented their comeback. Although the Sixers missed many foul shots in the fourth, they made just enough to put the game out of reach in the end.
The Nets lost this game for two reasons: defense and bad luck. They allowed Philadelphia to shoot 53% from both the field and from 3 and they also allowed 31 assists. Remember, this is the second lowest scoring team in the NBA. Although the Nets’ offense was far from great, it should have been good enough to win this game. The other reason they lost was that the ball just seemed to bounce the Sixers’ way. Brooklyn missed some layups, Philadelphia made some lucky shots at the end of the shot clock, etc.
The Nets need to forget about this game quickly and move on. They should head into their game tomorrow not thinking about this game, but instead about how they blew out Atlanta on the road on Saturday. This team has been hard to figure out this year.
For a box score of this game, click here.
Player grades and notes:
Reggie Evans: C
The Nets continue to struggle at the power forward position. Both Reggie Evans and Mirza Teletovic have major flaws that were on display tonight. Reggie surprisingly had 9 points to go with 11 rebounds, but the Nets offense really struggled with Evans on the court. The Sixers double-teamed without worry of Reggie getting open and making a play.
Gerald Wallace: D
Wallace did not play in the fourth quarter for a reason. He was pretty awful in the first 3 quarters. He only had 4 points, 1 rebound, and 1 assist in 26 minutes. Wallace really can’t shoot and that is becoming a problem. He was not close on any of his three 3-point attempts and didn’t make his layups either.
Brook Lopez: C+
Lopez’s stats were fine: 19 points and 6 rebounds, but he did not play a good game. He was unable to guard OR rebound against Spencer Hawes, who is not a very good player. Hawes probably had his best game of the season against an all-star. Lopez also did very little damage after the first quarter, where he scored 14 of his 19 points.
Deron Williams: A
We can’t blame Deron Williams for this loss. He continued to play great basketball, finishing with 27 points, 13 assists, and 6 rebounds. He was the Nets’ only offensive weapon in the second half and did all he could to keep them in this game. They needed much more from Lopez and the bench, and they did not get that.
Joe Johnson: B
Joe had a very quiet 20 points and 6 assists tonight. He was making his shots, 8-11 from the field, 3-5 from 3, and I suppose it is not his fault the Nets lost tonight.
The Nets will be back in Brooklyn tomorrow to host the New Orleans Hornets. FRWD will have full coverage of that game.