It wasn’t as easy as it should have been, but the Brooklyn Nets held on to defeat the Philaelphia 76ers 108-102 Monday night in Brooklyn. The Nets jumped out to a huge lead in the third quarter, but Philadelphia got as close as 2 points in the fourth quarter. The Nets were led by Paul Pierce, who scored 25 points. Mirza Teletovic had 20 off the bench. Michael Carter-Williams scored 21 for the Sixers.
The Nets got off to a great start tonight and led 16-2 early in the first quarter. However, the lead would not last and the Sixers came back to lead by as many as 7 points in the second quarter before the Nets closed the quarter on a nice run to lead at halftime. The Nets were explosive at the start of the third quarter, but once the bench had to come back in at the end of the third and start of the fourth, the lead began evaporating. Luckily, the Nets made their free throws down the stretch and were able to inbound the ball tonight, which allowed them to hang on for the win.
This was not an impressive performance from Brooklyn, but without Joe Johnson, Andrei Kirilenko, and Andray Blatche, the bench was very shorthanded. Jason Terry, Marquis Teague, and Reggie Evans were all forced to play way too many minutes and none of them were effective at all. Hopefully the Nets get those 3 players back very soon.
Player grades and notes:
Kevin Garnett: B+
Garnett had a throwback defensive game with 5 blocks and 2 steals. He also had 7 rebounds and 4 assists, including some very nice passes. The Nets needed a defensive effort like this from Garnett tonight while shorthanded and they got it.
Paul Pierce: A-
Pierce had a very efficient game, scoring 25 points on just 9 shots. Of course, it helps when you go 14-14 from the foul line, including the 2 game clinching free throws.
Deron Williams: B
Deron had a better game tonight than he has had recently, but I still wasn’t that impressed. He missed some makable shots and his defense wasn’t nearly as good as his “backup”, Shaun Livingston.
Shaun Livingston: A
Great game again from Livingston, who can definitely make a case for best player on this team. He had a career high seven steals to go along with 13 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds. Now that is how you stuff a box score.
Mirza Teletovic: B
Mirza saved the Nets in the fourth quarter when the game was slipping away and they weren’t getting any good looks on offense. He finished with 20 points and five 3’s, but his defense was the problem. He couldn’t do very much to stop Thaddeus Young and he struggled rebounding.
Jason Terry: F
Jason Terry should retire right now. He is just not good enough to be an NBA player anymore. His defense could be the worst in the entire league and he can’t even make his shots anymore. He even missed a layup tonight. The whole bench played badly tonight, but Terry was the worst of the crew.
The Nets now have a couple of days to get healthy before a big matchup with the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night in Brooklyn. FRWD will have full coverage of the game.