After two impressive wins against the Bucks, the Nets took on the Houston Rockets at the Barclays Center with Joe Johnson out of the lineup with a sore heel. Houston did what they do best and absolutely destroyed the Nets on offense. The Rockets would go on to win 106-96.
The first half was an offensive explosion for both teams. Which also meant it was filled with ugly defense. The first half went in favor of the Rockets, as they out-scored Brooklyn 61-53. Things got chippy when both Keith Bogans and James Harden got into a face-to-face altercation, which resulted in Bogans saying words that cannot be said in this post. Chandler Parsons led the way for Houston with 10 points in the half while Brook Lopez led all scorers with 15 and also grabbed three rebounds.
Interior defense was a huge problem for the Nets. A few times Mirza Teletovic was caught not making his rotation which ended with easy dunks and layups for Houston. Teletovic is no stranger to defensive miscues, but if he wants to become a consistent rotational player, he will really need to work on his defense and prove that he can be a solid NBA player.
The third quarter didn't look like your typical Nets third quarter. They played pretty much even with Houston until the final two minutes of the quarter when they let James Harden go on a 7-0 run to drive the Rockets' lead to 84-75. The Nets' defense for the first ten minutes of the quarter was solid, and impressive by their standards. But they continue to struggle when closing out quarters, which must be done against a team like the Rockets.
When the fourth quarter arrived, the Nets knew that they needed to step up and play big time basketball. And that they did...for the first 10 minutes. The lead was cut all the way down to three thanks in large part to the production of Mirza Teletovic. But it wasn't enough as the Rockets piled up three pointers and beat the Nets.
There were quite a few solid individual performances tonight, but those aren't really what matter. Deron Williams had a very D-Will game putting up 15 points and also dishing out 13 assists. Brook Lopez led all scorers with 27 points and also grabbed six rebounds. C.J. Watson, who started in place of Johnson, put up a solid 17 points. Mirza Teletovic came off the bench and added 12 points and five rebounds.
Final Score: 106-96 Rockets
Most Disappointing Stat of the Game: Nets allowing Rockets to make 16 threes.
Promising Stat of the Game: 16 forced turnovers by the Nets
Scary Moment of the Game: Houston taking a 15 point lead with 10:27 left in the fourth
Best Moment of the Game: Brook Lopez beautiful and-one
ESPN Box Score