The Nets look to extend their win streak to six facing the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night. This is also the second National Televised game, and it turned out to be a great one.
The Lakers got off to a ten to nothing lead early in the first quarter. Turnovers and bad offense was the cause and had this game looking like a blowout. A timeout clearly had to be taken and the game changed. The Nets forced 3 turnovers and started get back in the game. Deron Williams came out firing with two threes and brought the nets back. Gerald Wallace, generated the defense with two help side blocks. One on Dwight Howard, and another on Pau Gasol. Brook Lopez would establish himself in the paint, having three strong dunks. He also managed to hit a couple mid range shots. On the flip side, Kobe Bryant would put on a show hitting everything from fade-aways to acrobactic lay-ups, only missing one shot from the field. The first quarter didn't look too good for the Nets but it quickly turned into the Kobe and Brook show, ending in a must see T.V type of game after one.
In the second quarter, The Nets bench came out strong and continued to show the NBA world why they must be accounted for. One of the bright spots out of the second unit has been C.J Watson and he continued to shoot well, hitting two early threes. With the lead being close, Joe Johnson helped the Nets take their first lead with a small fade away over the smaller Jodie Meeks. Jordan Hill gave the Nets some problems but Andray Blatche would return with good play. A couple of rebounds and outlet passes from him would lead to easy points from the line. Jerry Stackhouse was even contributing with decent defense and a made field goal. The quarter ended with Deron taking advantage of Darius Morris but the Nets would lead by one with 57 points.
Gerald Wallace opened up the second half with a quick two points. That play emulated the first half which basically showed little team defense. Both teams were still shooting high percentages from field, shooting at least 50 percent from the field. Those percentages would drop steadily but both teams still traded baskets. Deron Williams continued with his aggressive play, driving and kicking which would lead to a dunk by Kris Humphries. Lopez would do the same, attacking Dwight Howard finishing strong at the rim, looking like he had something to prove. Kobe was quiet for the most part and I would give credit to Joe Johnson's defense. The surprising thing so far was the decision to not play MarShon Brooks . Jerry Stackhouse provide good minutes but I believe MarShon is a better scorer, something the Nets needed in the third quarter. Despite the Nets shooting 30 percent from the field, they only trailed by three at end three.
Jump shots continued to be the recipe for the Nets but they managed to play decent defense and hang with the Lakers. All credit must be given to Gerald Wallace for the Nets defense. He has single handily left his signature on every play with block shots, rebounds, great help defense and loose balls. He has been the glue for the Nets in this game and would probably be the most valuable if it wasn't for the great game by Brook. Midway in the fourth, The Nets executed a beautiful play leaving Deron Williams open for a mid range jump shot in the corner. Immediately after, the Nets would play hack-a-Howard and it worked for most of the time. Surprisingly that strategy plagued the whole Lakers team and they somehow managed to shoot terrible along with their superstar center. Brooklyn ended up in foul trouble though and this turned out to be crucial. Late in the quarter the Nets would struggle to find offense but still hanged tough. Joe Johnson didn't play well offensively but his defense on Kobe was pretty good, especially in the fourth. Down by three with about 17 seconds left, Deron gets fouled in the act of shooting with 13 seconds left and brings them to one. The game came down for the Nets to make a 3 with 4 seconds left and Deron couldn't hit the three with 2 defenders hovering. The Lakers held on to win and would end the Nets win streak at five.
The Nets played a great but needed that extra scoring in the fourth to beat the high profiled Lakers. This was a test for the newly acclimated team and they played with heart. Brook Lopez needs to continue the aggressive play he showed tonight.He definitely backed up Shaq's words with this performance, looking like a top three player at his position. Joe Johnson on the other hand still struggles to find a rhythm but it is still early. The Nets will need him in order to beat the elite teams.
Final Result: 90- 95 Lakers
Dissapointing Stat of the Game: 13 turnovers
Promising Stat of the Game: Lakers shot 51 percent from the free throw line.
Scary Moment of the Game: Lakers got out to a 10 to nothing lead early in the first quarter.
Best Moment of the Game: Gerald Wallace blocking Darius Morris on a fast break lay-up.