Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets take big win over Clippers, but fall to top teams

The Brooklyn Nets took a surprising win over the now star-studded Los Angeles Clippers, who recently acquired James Harden, but the Nets were not able to garner wins over the Boston Celtics or the Milwaukee Bucks. The Nets struggled to find their groove defensively, along with failing to close out games and could not keep the momentum of wins they had a week ago. They are currently 4-5 after the loss to Boston on Friday night. 

Nets Welcome Giannis to Brooklyn

The Nets lost a close one on Monday to the Bucks, 129-125, where the Nets could not get stops over superstars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard, while also missing late game opportunities to grab the win.

The game was fairly close throughout the first half, with neither team gaining a significant point advantage over the other. This first half outing by the Nets, especially for guys like Mikal Bridges and Cam Thomas, showed that the Nets were able to hang with the top teams of the East. This momentum boosted the Nets in the second half as they had the Bucks trailing by 10 points halfway through the third quarter. However, the Bucks were stacked with too much talent and outplayed the Nets in the latter half of the third quarter where the Bucks cut down their deficit. The Bucks went on a 17-5 scoring run led by Antetokounmpo and went into the final quarter with a two point lead. The game remained close up until the final buzzer where the Nets just missed opportunities to take the win over the Bucks.

The Nets resorted to sending the Bucks to the free-throw line where Lillard easily sank free throws to secure the win for the Bucks. The Nets had their chance to win but squandered those chances in the final minutes with missed shots that could have given them a surprise win over the Bucks. Thomas led the way with 45 points while Bridges finished with 31 points and five rebounds. 

For the Bucks, Antetokounmpo had a double-double with 36 points and 12 rebounds while Lillard had 21 points, six rebounds, and seven assists.


Brooklyn Sinks New-Look Clippers

The Nets were able to snap their two-game losing streak on Wednesday when they hosted the Clippers in a 100-93 win. The win was thanks to the Nets being able to fire back in the final minutes of the fourth quarter and secure the win, along with the Nets taking advantage of a Clippers team that is still trying to gel together after the acquisition of Harden. Lonnie Walker IV played an incredible game and was an integral part of the win over the Clippers. Walker scored 13 of his 21 points in the second half and was 3-of-5 from the three-point line and was the driving force of the offense coming off the bench.

The Nets were able to grab a win over the talent-stacked Clippers team, which gave them their fourth straight road game loss of the season. The Clippers' stars had a horrible shooting night with Paul George shooting an abysmal 7-of-20, Kawhi Leonard shooting 7-of-16, and Russell Westbrook shot 6-of-18 for the night. It is clear this Clippers team has some growing pains to go through and struggle to win on the road, and thankfully for the Nets, they were able to take advantage of all of those factors.

Thomas had 14 points for the Nets before being taken out midway through the third quarter with an ankle injury, Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale had 12 points, with Finney-Smith grabbing nine rebounds and O’Neale grabbing 10 rebounds which makes it a double-double for O’Neale. Off the bench Walker IV had 21 points, and Day’Ron Sharpe had a double-double as well with 11 points and 10 rebounds. 

For the Clippers, George had 24 points, seven rebounds, and three steals while Leonard had 17 points and six rebounds. New addition James Harden had 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

Nets Travel To Beantown To Face Celtics

The Nets became 0-2 to the Celtics on Friday after getting dominated in a 121-107 loss in an In-Season Tournament game, currently placing the Nets at 1-1 in the East Group C bracket. The Nets were no match for the Celtics who were coming off a two-game losing streak, as the Celtics rained down 19 3-pointers. The Celtics took good care of the ball as well and only had two turnovers, as the Nets struggled to cause mistakes on the Celtics’ side of the ball. The Nets were outplayed by the Celtics, and were without one of their offensive weapons in Thomas and also losing Simmons in their second straight game due to back soreness. They are now without Ben Simmons and Thomas who has been a secondary offensive threat on the court. The Nets just did not have it in them to take on the Celtics who have been on a tear this season. 

For Brooklyn, Mikal Bridges had 12 points and five rebounds, Spencer Dinwiddie had 12 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists, Cam Johnson, who returned on Friday after a strained hamstring injury finished had 11 points and five rebounds in his return.

For the Celtics, Jaylen Brown had 28 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the three-point line, along with five assists. Jayson Tatum had a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds while Jrue Holiday also grabbed a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, but was one assist away from a triple-double with only nine assists.

While the Nets were able to squeeze out a win over the Clippers, it’s clear they are not fully equipped to take on the juggernauts of the eastern conference. The Nets have offensive tools and can hang around for a while with these top teams, but tend to struggle in the latter half of the game and miss opportunities to take the lead or win the game. The Nets are in dire need of a closer-type of player. It is unsure to see how this Nets team can fare with the rest of the league with a fully healthy team, but as of this moment, the Nets are likely to fall further in the standings if they are not able to keep the team healthy and gain some wins.