Blake Griffin Makes Brooklyn Debut, Nets Defeat Wizards

The Brooklyn Nets have defeated the Washington Wizards 113-106. The Nets improve to 29-14, good for 2nd in the Eastern Conference. On the other hand, the Wizards fall to 15-26, good for 12th in the Eastern Conference. After signing with the Nets on March 8, Blake Griffin finally made his Nets debut and while his impact did not show in the scoring department, he ended the game as a +12.

First Half

The Nets got off to a sluggish start on offense and defense, shooting 1 for their first 5. This allowed the Wizards to take an early 20-6 lead, forcing Steve Nash to call a timeout at the 7:13 mark of the first quarter. Following this timeout, the Nets finally decided to show up, going on a spirited 6-0 run to get back in the game. Later in the quarter, Blake Griffin entered the game and the Nets went on a 9-0 run. The Nets continued to cut into the deficit, playing much better on both ends of the floor with much more energy. The Nets were able to get plenty of opportunities to further cut into the deficit, as they had 6 offensive rebounds, but they just could not consistently hit shots. At the end of the quarter, the Wizards led 30-25.

The Nets continued their much better play in the second quarter, starting the quarter on a 9-0 run. Shots started going in, as Joe Harris hit back to back 3’s, while James Harden was creating score after score. A 21-6 start for the Nets in this quarter gave Brooklyn a 46-36 lead. This forced Wizards coach Scott Brooks to call a timeout at the 6:13 mark of the quarter. The Nets held nearly a double digit lead throughout the whole second quarter. Finally, Brooklyn 63-56 at halftime.

For the Nets to keep their lead and finish out the game, they will need to consistently hit shots and continue to take care of the basketball. In the first half, the Wizards had 12 turnovers, with the Nets scoring 21 points off Wizards turnovers. The Nets only had 4 turnovers. Additionally, the Nets bench dominated the Wizards bench in the first half, outscoring them 21-2. At the half, Harden took a hard shot to the side of head, and was down for a few minutes. He would return in the second half, not missing any game time.

Second Half

Brooklyn’s offense continued to click in the third quarter, with Harden and Kyrie Irving catching fire. The Nets were able to maintain their lead. Landry Shamet went down with a right ankle sprain at the 2:23 mark of the third quarter, and he would not return. At the end of the quarter, the Nets led 88-83.

Blake Griffin started the 4th quarter with a dunk, his first field goal as a Net and his first dunk in a game since December 12, 2019. The Wizards made it a very close game in the final 3 minutes, but could not pull together enough stops in the end game to get the win. The Nets outscored Washington 25-23 in the fourth quarter, giving them a 113-106 win.

Upcoming Game for the Nets

Brooklyn will be off tomorrow as they prepare for their a three-game road trip. On Tuesday, the Nets will take on the Portland Trail Blazers. The game will start at 10:00 PM EST and of course, will be broadcasted on the YES Network.

Performances of Note

Brooklyn Nets:

Kyrie Irving – 28 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 10-25 FG, 1-6 3PT, 7-7 FT, 34 minutes

James Harden – 26 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, 10-23 FG, 3-9 3PT, 39 minutes

DeAndre Jordan – 12 points, 5 rebounds, 6-6 FG, 17 minutes

Nicolas Claxton – 16 rebounds, 3 rebounds, 3 blocks, 7-10 FG, 26 minutes

Joe Harris – 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 3-8 FG, 3-7 3PT, 35 minutes

Washington Wizards:

Russell Westbrook – 29 points, 13 rebounds, 13 assists, 10-20 FG, 2-7 3PT, 7-9 FT, 39 minutes

Rui Hachimura – 20 points, 10 rebounds, 9-11 FG, 2-2 3PT, 40 minutes

Alex Len – 20 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, 8-12 FG, 4-5 FT, 29 minutes

Bradley Beal – 17 points, 5 assists, 6-15 FG, 1-3 3PT, 4-5 FT, 38 minutes

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