The Brooklyn Nets bounced back very nicely from Saturday’s tough game in Washington, defeating the Phoenix Suns 108-95 for their 9th straight home win and 16th win in their last 18 home games. The Nets jumped out to a double digit lead at the end of the first quarter and Phoenix never really got too close again after that. The Nets were led by Deron Williams, who only missed 2 field goals in the game, and Joe Johnson, who only missed 4 times. The two guards combined for 47 points. Gerald Green had plenty of highlights for Phoenix to go along with 17 points off the bench. The former New Jersey Net was impressive.
The Nets proved they can play with a fast team by beating Phoenix at their own game, running up and down the court for fast breaks. Most of Brooklyn’s points came in the paint today, which is a rarity, but it worked out well for them. Defensively, the Nets were great when it came to halfcourt defense, but they did give up plenty of transition baskets, even after made baskets of their own. Phoenix is a very good team and this was an impressive win, especially after the Suns won in Toronto yesterday afternoon.
The Nets are now just one game behind Chicago in the loss column for home court advantage, even though they are currently in 6th place in the east. Brooklyn also has a pretty light schedule for the remainder of the month, and can make up even more ground.
Player grades and notes:
Mason Plumlee: A
It’s pretty unbelievable how much Plumlee has improved since the beginning of the year, when he couldn’t play more than 5 minutes without picking up a foul or 4. Tonight, he played 27 minutes against his older brother and picked up just 1 foul while also getting a big double-double. Even when Kevin Garnett eventually comes back, Plumlee has solidly earned a spot in Brooklyn’s rotation.
Paul Pierce: B+
Pierce didn’t need to play too many minutes tonight, but when he was in, he was pretty good. If the game was close, he would have came back in at the end of the 4th quarter, but it was not needed. He had an efficient 10 points on only 7 shots and also had 5 rebounds, only one fewer than Channing Frye, who he was guarding. His defense on Frye was very good, as he held the nearly 7-footer to just 9 points.
Shaun Livingston: A-
Livingston had another efficient, well-played game tonight. He scored 12 points, and most of those were right near the rim, and also had 5 assists. He didn’t put up huge steal numbers tonight, but he still caused problems on defense and tipped some balls away and got out on the fast breaks.
Joe Johnson: A
19 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists is exactly the kind of numbers the Nets need from Joe Johnson. He got hot in the third quarter where he made a couple of shots from Coney Island, and he worked very well in the flow of the offense.
Deron Williams: A+
This was easily one of Deron’s best games of the season. Yes, he finally dunked, but he also did so much more than that. He shot an unbelievable 9-11, including 3-5 from 3. He hit clutch shots, too. When the Suns were rallying midway through the 4th, he hit a buzzer beating 3 to really crush Phoenix. That was the play of the game.
The Nets will be back at home on Wednesday night when they host the Charlotte Bobcats in another crucial game to avoid the 7-seed. FRWD will have full coverage of the game.
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