A short-handed Brooklyn Nets team was blown away by the red-hot Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. Things seemed to be going Brooklyn’s way at the start of the game after opening up a nine-point lead – but it only seemed that way for a moment.
The Warriors’ activity on the glass kept them in the game, outrebounding the Nets 53-37 in the contest. It was only a matter of time before Golden State’s offense caught up with Stephen Curry’s (34 PTS, 11-18 FG) hot shooting. Their nine offensive boards in the first half didn’t help Brooklyn’s case either.
What head coach Steve Nash and the Nets will remember the most from this game was their cold shooting quarter coming out of the half. It was only a five-point game at the break, but Brooklyn came out scoring only 18 points in the period.
Kevin Durant (19 PTS, 5 REBS) in particular went 0-for-8 in the period. Golden State made sure to punish the Nets for it by putting up 35 points in that quarter. All hope for the Brooklyn to get back in game was lost.
The Nets went on to lose 99-117 while only shooting 39% from the field. The Warriors led by as many as 28. Brooklyn will look to bounce back against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday on the second night of their back-to-back.
Here are the player grades from Tuesday’s loss:
Kevin Durant: C+
Kevin Durant (19 PTS, 5 REBS) set the tone to open the game. He scored 12 points to help the Nets secure a three-point lead after the first quarter. Everything went downhill after that though. The Warriors’ defensive schemes started to adapt to Durant’s offensive avalanche and he went on to score four points in the second quarter and three points in the third period.
Although Golden State adapted the scoring phenom, he was also rushing a lot of the shots he was taking, specifically in the third quarter. In that period, he went 0-of-8 from the field. When Durant does this, it’s a recipe for failure. At the end of day though, he’s human.
James Harden: B-
James Harden (24 PTS, 4 ASTS) could not figure out a formula to dissect this Golden State defense. He was forced to be a scorer for most of the game, but his responsibility of being the primary facilitator on the team was deeply impacted and it showed. The spacing was indeed off though without Joe Harris in the lineup.
Harden racked up five turnovers in the contest as well, which does not match up with the standard he sets for himself when taking care of the ball. Nevertheless, getting to the free throw line to shoot 11 free throws along with his team-high of 24 points kept Brooklyn hanging around for a little.
Bruce Brown: A+
Bruce Brown (14 PTS, 5 REBS) came to play and his efficiency was the usual, going 6-of-8 from the field. In the process, he racked up three steals. Brown gave the Nets a reliable option to go to in the first half, notching his season-high in points (14 PTS) in just the first half.
This was not sustainable though in the second half without Joe Harris, not against this elite Warriors defense.
Blake Griffin: B
Blake Griffin was aggressive in his 22 minutes. Though, Stephen Curry was torching him on the perimeter and there is just nothing you could do about that defensively, especially as a big. Offensively, he could not knock down a shot, going 0-of-4 from the field. On the bright side, at least he did not spam shots from deep since he is still finding his rhythm from there. He kept it at only two shots.
Also, his three charges were impressive, but not enough. He needs help from others in that department.
Patty Mills: B-
Patty Mills (8 PTS) had a decent outing, but found himself rushing some of his shots too. Some more patience would have been key in finding his rhythm, he’s a streaky shooter and that’s what it takes for these type of players to get it going. It will come.
DeAndre’ Bembry: B
DeAndre’ Bembry (9 PTS) provided a spark for the Nets defensively off the bench, but the offense for him is not quite there yet. Being the primary source of offense coming off the bench in this particular game considering the circumstances did not help either. Still, Bembry did step up, but it was only a matter of time until the void of being short-handed caught up to him and the team.
Source: Yahoo Sports