Everyone expected the Brooklyn Nets to take care of business on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans, but it took a major effort in the fourth quarter to win a second consecutive game on Friday night.
Brooklyn entered the fourth quarter with a 12-point lead and a big part of it had to do with Joe Harris’ (24 PTS, 6 3PM) and his sizzling start in the first half.
Head coach Steve Nash’s game plan was being executed perfectly up until the fourth quarter but then, before you knew it, the Pelicans rallied back to take the lead.
New Orleans took advantage on the offensive glass, exploiting the Nets’ biggest weakness this season.
With New Orleans trying to hang on, a timely shot from Bruce Brown (6 PTS) sparked some momentum for the Nets to close out the game.
Some defensive stops down the stretch and a clutch basket from Harris in the final two minutes set the stage for James Harden (39 PTS, 12 ASTS) to knock down a dagger.
The Nets ended the game shooting 51% from the field and 53% from deep. Their nine steals and four blocks were big time too despite allowing 50 points in the paint. Here are the grades from Friday’s game:
Kevin Durant: A
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Kevin Durant was sensational. His efficiency is continuing to shine, going 11-of-17 from the field, and he flirted with a triple-double with eight assists and seven rebounds. Durant tied Harden with the best plus-minus in the game with plus +17.
As the best offensive player to ever play the game though, he should not be missing a free throw in the final seconds.
James Harden: A+
James Harden was going crazy and was aggressive all night on his way to notching 39 points and dishing out 12 assists. His struggles from downtown came to an end as well, going 6-of-10 from deep. To put the icing on the cake, Harden made sure to get to free throw line to rack up 15 free throws in the contest.
It was only right that he put the finishing touches on his near 40-point outing with a dagger three. Next time, the 32-year-old has to aim for the goal of three turnovers or less.
Joe Harris: A+
Joe Harris got the Nets off to a fast start and the team kept going to him in the opening stages as he casually knocked down five threes to open the contest. Instead of hitting the goal of 50% from deep, he hit 80%, which made it torture for the Pelicans to run him off the line for the rest of the game.
Bruce Brown: A+
Bruce Brown compiled three steals, continually annoyed the offense, and his on ball activity was second to none. The Boston native was also able to knock down a timely three to help the Nets close in on the victory. It was such an important shot, but Brown embraced the pressure to knock it down. It was his only attempt of the night too.
Blake Griffin: B+
Blake Griffin was all over the place. He was taking charges, blocking people (2 BLKS) and executing the offense with his off ball activity. Though, his struggles from downtown continue as he keeps spamming threes. He went 0-of-5 from downtown, but at least he’s shooting it. It’s eventually going to fall.
Jevon Carter: B+
Jevon Carter’s offense is coming together. He needs to continue getting shots up, preferably from the perimeter. Carter ended the game going 2-of-4 from there, but the level of difficulty on those made field goals goes to show that he’s capable of pulling off more accurate shooting performance from behind the arc.
Source: Yahoo Sports