The shorthanded Brooklyn Nets almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the NBA this season, but came up just short. Despite have a double-digit third quarter lead, the Nets (minus Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko, and Paul Pierce) quickly blew their lead and weren’t able to come back in the fourth quarter. Mason Plumlee and Andray Blatche each scored 19 points for the Nets. Blake Griffin had 30 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers.
With all the Nets’ injuries, they shouldn’t have been in this game, but they did more than hanging around in the first half and had a 1-point lead at halftime. Much like last night, they had a great opening to the third quarter, going on an 11-0 run, but then allowed an 18-0 run to L.A. later in the quarter. In the fourth, the Clippers were able to hold off Brooklyn, despite some great plays by Mason Plumlee.
The Nets finish off this road trip 1-2, and I guess it could have been worse. Still, they are 3-6 and have a lot of work left to do. Luckily, they begin a nice home stretch coming up and hopefully they will be able to get healthy and get back on track.
Player grades and notes:
Andray Blatche: A-
This was by far the best Blatche has looked all year. He shot 8-11 from the field and only had 1 turnover to go along with 8 rebounds. He did have some issues on defense and allowing Deandre Jordan to get offensive rebounds though. If only Blatche could play like this with the starters in the game.
Shaun Livingston: B
Livingston did not have nearly the game he had last night and shot very poorly from the field, but he still made some nice passes and finished some dunks. His defense on Chris Paul was also very good, holding CP3 to just 12 points.
Joe Johnson: B-
It is understandable that Joe Johnson wouldn’t have a great game after playing 45 minutes last night. He shot just 5-17 from the field, which is a sign that he is pretty tired. He also missed a couple of tough shots down the stretch that would have kept the Nets in the game.
Alan Anderson: B+
He made four 3′s and finished with 15 points as a starter. Had a nice run to start the third quarter making a couple of 3′s. Not much more you can ask from Alan.
Mason Plumlee: A+
Wow Mason Plumlee. He is so much better than I thought coming out of Duke. He finished with 19 points and 6 rebounds in only 27 minutes but he could have scored even more if he was able to shoot free throws. Plumlee is probably the most athletic player on this team and will definitely be in the rotation from now on. He probably won’t be heading down to the Springfield Armor anytime soon.
Mirza Teletovic: F
Unlike Plumlee, Teletovic should head to the Armor. He is awful. As soon as he came into the game in the third quarter, the Clippers went on their 18-0 run. He finished 1-7 from the field and didn’t hit a 3, which is pretty much the only reason he is in the NBA. No defense or rebounding either.
Tyshawn Taylor: B+
Taylor didn’t play much in the second half, but in the second quarter, he had a very nice run, going to the basket and drawing fouls. He finished with 13 points in just 15 minutes and went to the foul line 8 times. Good game for Tyshawn.
The Nets will be back home Monday night to host the Portland Trail Blazers at Barclays. Hopefully some of their injuries will have healed by then. FRWD will have full coverage of the game.