The Brooklyn Nets won their 13th straight home game in a row Sunday evening, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 114-99. The Nets again looked very good on offense, scoring over 100 points for the 8th straight game. Brooklyn was led by Paul Pierce, who scored 22 points in just 26 minutes. Joe Johnson chipped in with 19. Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin each had 21 for Minnesota.
Even though the Nets struggled with turnovers and foul trouble for the first 3 quarters, their offense came up big again tonight. They shot 50% from the field and also made 12 3-pointers despite the 20 turnovers. Another key stat was the rebounds. The Nets actually out-rebounded Minnesota 43-42 even though the Timberwolves had a huge size advantage. If the Nets ever out-rebound a team, they will win the game.
Player grades and notes:
Mason Plumlee: B+
Plumlee didn’t do much in the first half and had trouble defending Nikola Pekovic, but in the second half, he had many dunks off of great Nets passes and he was also 5-6 from the foul line. He finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds, another good home game for him.
Paul Pierce: A-
For the second straight game, Pierce came out on fire, scoring 16 points in the first quarter including four 3’s, but foul trouble limited him over the next two quarters. That should come as no surprise, as he was defending Kevin Love. One thing to watch in the playoffs will be if the Nets play either Chicago or Toronto, he will be guarding much bigger players in Boozer and Amir Johnson. Pierce will need to stay out of foul trouble in those matchups. In the fourth quarter, Pierce came back in the game and helped seal the win.
Shaun Livingston: A-
Livingston had a quiet, yet extremely effective game tonight. He scored 13 points on just 5 shots. He also had 4 assists and 2 blocks, and was again really good on defense.
Deron Williams: C+
This was Deron’s first poor shooting game in a while, as he was just 1-9 from the field. However, the offense still looked great with him on the floor and he made some great passes to Mason Plumlee and Paul Pierce throughout the night. Like Pierce, he got into foul trouble in the third quarter, but did not commit a foul in the fourth.
Joe Johnson: A-
Joe Johnson really saved the Nets this game. With Deron and Pierce out in the third, the Nets turned to Joe for offense, and he showed us why. He had a couple of nice floaters in the paint, which forced double teams to come. This allowed Joe to swing the ball around to Shaun Livingston and Mason Plumlee to get easy shots.
Andray Blatche: B-
Blatche had a very weird game, like usual. The good: he had 14 points and 6 rebounds on 7-11 shooting. The bad: He led the team with 5 turnovers, including many that allowed easy fast break baskets.
Alan Anderson: B+
Anderson had a trio of huge 3’s in the fourth quarter that helped extend the Nets’ lead. With Thornton out of the game with back issues, Anderson filled his role nicely.
The Nets will have another tough home game on Tuesday night when they host the Houston Rockets. FRWD will have full coverage of the game.
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