Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Brooklyn Nets Fall Short on Comeback, Defeated by Lakers

Andray Blatche getting boxed out by two Lakers
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)
After coming off the close win last night against the Toronto Raptors to snap a 5-game losing streak, the Brooklyn Nets came home to play against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The game didn't start on the best note. The team couldn't hit shots nor could they play defense. They fell behind by the end of the first quarter by double-digits. Since I couldn't watch the first quarter, I asked Twitter. This is what I got back.

So yeah, there's that.

The second quarter began just as an extension of the first. The Lakers' kept building onto their lead which eventually climbed to as high as a 27 point lead. After that point, the Nets started climbing back thanks to tremendous work by both Blatche and Johnson. With the lack of other offensive weapons, Johnson had 16 points by halftime on pretty efficient shooting (above 50%). By halftime, the Nets had cut the 27 point deficit down to 14 as they trailed 40-54.

The third quarter... was actually not what one would expect. Rather than collapsing defensively and losing the quarter the Nets actually had at one point cut the lead down to 7. Paul Pierce scored his first 10 points in the third quarter the Nets ended the quarter by cutting the deficit to single-digits. Mason Plumlee showcased his athleticism multiple times with highlight plays on both sides of the ball.

The third quarter started off with a made three pointer by... Mirza Teletovic! It was his second three of the game and it cut the lead down to six. Ex-Net Shawn Williams negated his three with a three of his own two plays later. The Nets played much more aggressively to start the quarter with multiple drives by a variety of players. With the aid of Plumlee (who played excellently all game long), Mirza and Pierce, the team cut the Lakers' lead down to two with 6:32 left in the fourth quarter. Surprisingly, the player that gave the Nets the boost they need to tie the game was Teletovic, played solid defense and tied the game with a free throw at just under 4 minutes to go.

In addition to the offensive explosion by Teletovic, the Nets were playing great team defense and hustling for rebounds on both ends.

After that game-tying free throw by Teletovic to get it to 92-92, neither team could score for over two minutes before the Lakers converted on a fastbreak. The Nets fouled Steve Blake with 19 seconds left and Blake went just 1-2, which left the Lakers with the lead 95-92. Anderson cut the Nets' 3:30 scoring drought with a driving dunk to cut the deficit to 94-95 with 9.8 seconds left.

Nerve-wrecking finish.

With 8 seconds left to play, the Lakers' converted on both their free throws and Pierce brought the ball up, came off a screen by Kevin Garnett, had an open look and....


The Brooklyn Nets' comeback fell short after the Nets failed to convert on four open looks in the last couple of minutes.

Although it was a tough loss, there are some positives that could be taken. Mirza's play was obviously a plus. Who knew he could draw fouls and play defense? Plumlee is an athletic freak who can contribute on both sides of the ball and his energy is incredible. Blatche has been playing solid for the past few games and with Lopez out, it should continue. Pierce, although he played well in the 3rd quarter, played sloppy in the clutch when it mattered most.

Alas, the Nets fall to 4-11, still at the bottom of the Atlantic.

Final Score: 99-94 Lakers
Most Disappointing Stat of The Game:
Promising Stat of The Game: 10 blocks total coming from 5 different players
Scariest Moment of the Game: Blatche limping off the court after rolling his ankle
Best Moment of The Game: Plumlee turning a simple pass from Blatche into a reverse alley-oop

And as a bonus, here's Kidd telling Taylor "hit me" to create an extra timeout.

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