Coming off a brutal loss to the Miami Heat, the Brooklyn Nets came into tonight’s game looking to bounce back versus the New Orleans Pelicans. The Nets headed into the game very short-handed, just receiving the news that James Harden suffered a setback with his injury, and of course still without Kevin Durant. Nicolas Claxton was also out due to health and safety protocols. However, Brooklyn didn’t let this stop them from competing and grinding out a win in what was a battle until the end. It wasn’t easy, though. Let’s take a look and see how the Nets managed to pull out this win.
Started off Slow
The Nets took a quick lead at the beginning of the game, leading 8-5, but would not lead again until a 66-65. The Pelicans came out ready to play after blowing their last game to the Knicks. Zion Williamson was continuously fed the ball in the paint and the Nets had no answer for him. Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram also showed off their strong 3 point range. The Nets started off looking a bit lethargic, running their offense with a lot of isolations and not a lot of movement. This caused the Nets to be behind 59-57 at the half.
Second Half Surge
After a slow first half, the Nets really picked it up in the 2nd half. 5 minutes into the 3rd quarter the Nets went on a 12-0 run to take a commanding 10 point lead. Joe Harris started to get going with the Nets running excellent screen plays for him to get open 3 point looks. Landry Shamet, who has been phenomenal as of late, was also huge for the Nets today, hitting tough shot after tough shot. However, the Pelicans closed the 3rd quarter on a run led by Naji Marshall to cut the Nets lead to 1.
The 4th quarter saw the Nets and Pelicans go back and forth until the buzzer sounded. Kyrie Irving proved to be the deciding factor for the Nets, as he hit two clutch baskets only he could have made to close out the game. The Pelicans didn’t even have a chance to tie the game as the Nets smartly fouled before a shot attempt, which sent the Pelicans to the free-throw line down by 3. A Bruce Brown rebound off a missed foul shot and a Kyrie Irving defensive stop on Zion Williamson secured the Nets the win.
What Went Right
While Kyrie Irving led the Nets in the box score with 32 points, it was a complete team effort tonight. 7 Nets scored in double figures and even Deandre Jordan had 8 points. Shamet continued his hot streak and Irving was very efficient from the field going 12-19. Joe Harris also finished with 24 points and went 3-6 from behind the arc while also finishing around the rim. Blake Griffin and Bruce Brown were also huge off the bench, with Griffin constantly making the hustle plays and taking charges to give the Nets the advantage. And while Zion Williamson (33 points) and Brandon Ingram (27 points) were both great tonight for the Pelicans, it just wasn’t enough.
The Nets need to look to maintain the momentum from tonight’s game, the first of a back-to-back. With so many injuries it may be hard to stay positive but this Nets team comes out and plays hard every single night, which is all us Nets fans can ask for at this point. This game wasn’t perfect, but a win is a win, and the Nets will look to get another win tomorrow versus the Toronto Raptors.