It was a shootout at Barclays between Brooklyn and New Orleans. Kyrie Irving was his usual dazzling self, racking up 39 points on 13/21 shooting. Brandon Ingram looked a lot like Kevin Durant dropping a career-high 40 of his own. Ultimately, it was the Nets who came out on top, 135-125.
Brooklyn started the game like a house on fire. They garnered a 17-point buffer in the first half, leading 67-50. Their lead extended to 20 at one stage before the Pelicans came out in the third and threw everything at the Nets. They posted a ridiculous 48 points in the period. Coach Atkinson was impressed with how they were able to withstand the hot scoring from Ingram and co.
“We took a combination, a haymaker, however you want to call it, couple left hooks in the jaw in the third quarter, and I thought in the fourth quarter we did a better job and slowed them down a little.”
The Nets closed out the fourth with a 31-27 advantage to seal the victory.
Irving also commented on the team’s ability to close out the game.
“We just had to keep executing and stay together as a team and make sure that we weren’t giving them any easy opportunities like we did in the third quarter or past fourth quarters. We just wanted to utilize that to get our breath, get our minds right, really get the shots that we wanted down the stretch.”
Individually, Irving was in his bag throughout the contest. Kevin Durant was certainly impressed with his ridiculous one-legged fadeaway.
He was less enthused by Garrett Temple’s dunk.
Kyrie can produce against any defender. Jrue Holiday is one of the best guard defenders in the league but that didn’t stop Uncle Drew from pulling out even more tricks.
Jarrett Allen had his best performance of the season posting a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. His physicality and aggression on the boards was evident as he nailed this putback slam at a critical juncture of the game.
Before injuring his ankle, DeAndre Jordan looked spry too. He was making an impact defensively.
Hopefully the injury is nothing too serious as the two big men were really starting to find some synergy.
Brooklyn’s ball movement was a pleasure to watch. They notched 32 assists on 49 made field goals.
The unfortunate result from increased passing lead to an inflated number of turnovers. Both teams combined for 44 turnovers, with the Nets accounting for 23 of them. It’s something that Kenny has an eye on.
“My gut is it’s happening a lot in scramble situations. You run a play, two-down or whatever it is and you run it and they take it away and it’s that next phase. How do you play when they take your initial action away or that initial play. It’s not really on initial play. I do think sometimes we’re playing too fast. We need to do a better job of changing speeds a little better. I think we’re rushing into a lot of mistakes.”
The Nets kick off their road trip with a matchup against Portland on Friday.