The Brooklyn Nets fought back in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t do enough to beat the Washington Wizards, losing 113-107 Wednesday night in Brooklyn. The Nets’ issue all night was rebounding and they were completely unable to get defensive rebounds, even in the fourth quarter. The Nets were led by Paul Pierce, who had his best game as a Net, with 27 points off the bench. John Wall scored 19 points for Washington.
The Nets trailed by as many as 11 in the first quarter, but clawed back into the game and actually led for part of the second quarter. However, they continued giving up way too many wide open 3′s, and Washington was making their shots tonight. In the third quarter, the rebounding woes continued, led by Nene and Kevin Seraphin and the Nets couldn’t cut into Washington’s lead. In the fourth quarter, the Nets’ starters (plus Pierce instead of Anderson) played every minute until Kevin Garnett fouled out in the final moments. I think this was a good decision by Kidd, but it just didn’t work out. Brook Lopez still couldn’t rebound and a lack of defensive rebounding eventually killed the Nets.
The two issues for the Nets tonight were 3-point defense and rebounding, as has been the case for the whole season. The Nets allowed Washington to shoot 60% from 3 and 75% in the first half and were outrebounded 51-31. It’s very tough to win games like that.
Player grades and notes:
Deron Williams: B-
Deron Williams had a solid game statistically with 14 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 steals, but he really didn’t show much killer instinct in the 4th quarter. Of course, he did play every minute of the second half, so he was probably pretty tired.
Joe Johnson: A-
Joe Johnson led the Nets in rebounding, which should never happen. He had a quiet 20 points tonight, or at least much more quiet than his 29-point quarter on Monday. He hit most of his open shots and did what he was supposed to do.
Paul Pierce: A+
So Paul Pierce should be a starter, right? He was awesome tonight, making 10 of his 12 field goal attempts for 27 points. He was also the Nets’ second best rebounder with 6 rebounds and he actually showed effort rebounding unlike most of the other players. This allowed him to get some rebounds in traffic.
Kevin Garnett: C
Garnett played pretty good defense for most of the night, but his rebounding and offense was lacking. He also fouled out of the game. 4 rebounds is not acceptable for a 7 foot player.
Brook Lopez: D
Lopez was fine offensively, but he was incredibly soft in terms of rebounding and defense. He allowed Wizards guards to get in the paint and finish layups and he also didn’t rebound at all until the fourth quarter. He finished the game with only 5 rebounds despite having so many chances. He should have had at least 10 tonight.
The Nets hit the road on Friday when they will be in Philadelphia against a team they just beat by 36 on Monday. FRWD will have full coverage of the game and you can find Nets vs. 76ers tickets still available if you want to go to the game.