March 02, 2024

Jeremy Lin leaves game with a sprained right ankle

The Brooklyn Nets outing against the Dallas Mavericks just started out bad. A 12-noon start-time, which I don’t mind by the way, but inside of eight minutes of play, Brooklyn's point guard Jeremy Lin sprained his right ankle on a drive to the basket and missed the remainder of the game. Lin, nevertheless, was productive while he was there; he left the game with four points.

The Nets trouble didn’t start with Lin’s exit, they were down 11 points before Lin left the game at 7:42 in the first quarter. At the end of the quarter, it looked like the Nets could right the ship, ending the first stanza with only a six-point deficit (32-26).

During the second quarter, the Nets were down by as much as 18 points. And, in a game, in which they never led, the Nets came within one point (93-92) with just under six minutes in regulation. However, the combination of Mavericks center Dirk Nowitzki and backup guard J.J. Barea proved to be a power couple that would thwart the Nets’ drive for a comeback. With just over five minutes left to play, Barea went on a tear, scoring nine straight points for Dallas. When it was all said and done, the Mavericks stole the show with an 111-104 ending.

Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson offered his critique of the Nets last few possessions.

“Yeah, not great execution on our part,” Atkinson said. “And I think what happens is teams start switching everything at the end of the game and the thought is you have to go one-on-one and I think we just have to realize we can keep them moving and when teams switch they’ll eventually break down …”

However, even in defeat Atkinson saw a silver lining.

“To me, the story of the game was getting down 18 in the first half,” Atkinson added. “I thought the second half we brought it, we brought the energy, we were competitive, we were going towards a 40-point blowout quite honestly in that first half the way we came out. We dug ourselves a huge hole, and we used a lot of energy to get back in it, then couldn’t close it, we didn’t have enough to get over the hump.”

Brook Lopez led all scorers with 27 points. Randy Foye was the only other Nets starter in double digits, he scored 11 points and six rebounds. Spencer Dinwiddie came off the bench to score 18 for the Nets. Also, off the bench, Quincy Acy added 11 points, and Isaiah Whitehead chipped in 10 points.

Dallas had three starters in double digits. Nowitzki had 23 points and nine rebounds, Harrison Barnes scored 19 points and six rebounds; while Wesley Matthews chipped in 15 points and five rebounds. Barea and Devin Harris were double-digit contributors off the bench. Barea supplied 20 points and seven assists, while Harris chipped in 11 points.

Before the game, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle talked about former Nets rookie guard Yogi Ferrell.

"We were all banged up,” said Carlisle. “We had a lot of guys out. We desperately needed a guy that could play the position and hold the fort. I wasn't sure he was going to be a starter right away, but the way we were structured at the time it seemed like the best way to go. He started the first game, did a lot of good things and had a really terrific first couple of weeks. Now, we're at a point where he's pretty much held that position and he's done a lot of good things."

Ferrell did indeed help the Mavericks hold things together against the Nets; he contributed eight points and five assists.

Next up, the Nets will host the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday and then the Phoenix Suns on Thursday. Perhaps, the Nets could string together back-to-back victories with this homestand?

The Brooklyn Nets stayed with Boston Celtics to the end, but could not close the deal

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and last night at the Barclays Center, it sounded as if every Boston Celtics fan from New England was in attendance to root for the Celtics. It was so loud I’m surprised the players could hear each other on the floor.

Unfortunately for the Nets, the luck of the Irish traveled with the Boston Celtics and their fans, as the Celtics pulled out a squeaker routing the Brooklyn Nets 98-95.

It didn’t help that the Nets went scoreless for five minutes in the latter portion of the first quarter, ending that stanza 21-16.

Brook Lopez started a rally for the Nets in the second quarter, coming out the gate scoring the team’s first five points. With a three-pointer, Jeremy Lin helped to create a 10-1 run. But that didn’t hold back the Celtics, they came roaring back with an 11-1 run led by Jae Crowder. The Nets stayed in the hunt until the last buzzer sounded. They ended the second quarter with an eight-point deficit (45-37), and the third with a six-point deficit (71-65).

The Nets had two opportunities to tie up the game in the final nine seconds. However, both Lopez and Quincy Acy missed three-pointers with seemingly good looks.

Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson saw a silver lining even in his team’s defeat against the Celtics who stand just two wins behind the Eastern Conference frontrunner, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I think Brook (Lopez) helped us,” Atkinson said. “I thought the first half, we were in pick and roll 98 percent of the first half and it was just too much. We were giving them one dose of the same thing over and over. And then I felt like in the second half we started getting Brook some touches in the post and not just to score, but it just loosened up the defense. Even if he kicks it out for a shot or we’re getting them cuts off the post, so I think that helped us. It helped us penetrate their defense a little and I just felt like in the first half we weren’t getting into the teeth of the defense. So I think that’s what they learned. We can post up a little against this team and give them a little more variety.”

Four of the five Celtics starters scored in double digits. Crowder led all scorers with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Avery Bradley scored 16 points and five rebounds; Al Horford added 14 points and eight rebounds; and Marcus Smart chipped in 12 points and five assists.

Similar to the Celtics, four of the five Nets starters scored in double digits. Lopez had a team-high 23 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Randy Foye scored 14 points, Jeremy Lin and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson each scored 10 points with Lin adding seven rebounds and six assists, while Hollis-Jefferson chipped in 5 rebounds.

Off the bench for the Nets, newcomer Andrew Nicholson scored 11 points, and Acy chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds.

Next up, the Nets will play the Dallas Mavericks at home on Sunday.

On Biggie Night, the Nets get their first win of 2017 and their first win in three months

On so many levels it was Biggie Night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Sunday, as the Brooklyn Nets took on their cross-town rivals, the New York Knicks. At the top of the evening, the Barclays Center celebrated the life of Christopher Wallace aka the Notorious B.I.G aka Biggie Smalls, with a remembrance. A Brooklyn-born rapper, Wallace, was murdered 20 years ago this week. Voletta Wallace, Biggie’s mom; and Biggie’s children T-Yanna and CJ Wallace; Faith Evans, Wallace’s former wife; P. Diddy; Lil’ Kim; and Brett Yormark; CEO of the Barclays Center, were part of the on-court ceremony before the game.

Ms. Wallace said tonight’s game was her “very, very first professional basketball game.” In her remarks, she also said, "I have to remember what my son said in the past, Brooklyn, we did it."

And, that my friends, kicked off the evening for the Brooklyn Nets as team Black and White got its first home win in over two months beating the New York Knicks 120-112. Yes, Brooklyn, you did it! The Nets last home win was on December 26, when Randy Foye’s buzzer-beater dashed the hopes of the Charlotte Hornets. This was the same game that Jeremy Lin re-injured his left hamstring, which resulted in Lin missing the next 26 games.

Lin struggled early tonight with a 0-9 start. However, late in the fourth quarter, when the Knicks had trimmed its 22-point deficit to down to five, Lin dropped a 3-pointer pushing the score to 109-101 with 4:58 remaining. Lin also converted a three-point play with 3:25 giving the Nets a double-digit lead.

“I think I was still out West for the first three-and-a-half quarters,” Lin said about his performance. “And gladly I was able to show up a little bit; felt like I was letting my team down. I don’t know, just wasn’t doing what I needed to do, but I just tried to stay aggressive and just try to keep my mind just on playing…”

Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson wasn’t quite as hard on Lin as Lin was on himself.

“I thought he hit a huge three off the dribble,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about Lin’s late game contribution. “They’d been going under all night and to have the kind of moxie to take that shot, that was big. His ability to get to the free-throw line in the fourth quarter is huge. I think it helps when it’s not Isaiah (Whitehead) and Spencer (Dinwiddie) first-year guys kind of handling the ball at the end of the game. To get a guy that has been in the league and has done it before, it’s huge for us.”

In the victory for the Nets, Brook Lopez came in on fiyah!!! He scored 25 points, two assists, six rebounds, one block, and one steal while shooting eight of seventeen from the floor and six of nine from deep in 28 minutes.

“I think we were shooting with a lot of confidence and making them,” said Lopez. “Our team did a very great job of sharing the ball. It started with the penetration, attacking the basket and that opened a lot of things up for us. When we kicked out, we swung it around the perimeter until we had an open look and we shot with confidence.”

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 27 points on 10-of-26 shooting. Although the Knicks lost, Anthony joined an elite NBA club that many Knicks fans could care less about considering the team’s record. Anthony is one of three players to have scored over 10,000 points on two different teams (Denver, New York); the other two are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Milwaukee, Lakers) and Elvin Hayes (Houston, Washington).

Brooklyn shot .500 from 3-point range tonight on 19-of-38 shooting from the distance. Lopez was a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc to start off the game. The Nets’ 19 3-pointers marked a season high (previous high: 17 made 3-pointers; done three times this season, most recently on January 21, 2017, at Charlotte).

"I don't know what the thinking was to start of the game," New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek said. "We gave Brooklyn wide-open shots. They kept making three after three. There were one or two of those pressure threes. It was like practice shots for Brooklyn."

The Nets made 14 threes in tonight’s first half, which marked a new franchise record for 3-pointers made in any half. The previous high of 13 in the second half was on December 16, 2013, against Philadelphia.

Nets starters helping out Lopez in the double-digit range were Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who scored 14 points and 11 rebounds; Jeremy Lin and Caris LeVert each scored 13 points.

The Nets’ bench outscored the Knicks’ bench 53-28 tonight and has scored 50+ points in nine of its last 10 games.

Off the bench with more than 10 points for the Nets were Trevor Booker with 14 points and nine rebounds; Quincy Acy, a relatively new pickup for the Nets, added 12 points and six rebounds; while Isaiah Whitehead chipped in 10 points.

In the win, the Nets also out-rebounded the Knicks 55-43 tonight and also edged New York 18-13 in second chance points and 21-12 in fast-break points.

With a win against the Knicks, the Nets hope to make it two-in-a-row, as they take on Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday. Good luck.

The Nets continue to lead early, but is still having troubling closing the deal

On January 25, 2017, the Miami Heat overcame an 18-point deficit to begin the fourth quarter and used a 15-2 run in final 4:35 to beat the Brooklyn Nets 109-106. Last night, the Heat came back to Brooklyn and the Nets pulled out the same playbook, led early and then gave up the lead in the end.  In so doing, the Heat overcame an 11-point, third-quarter deficit to capture a 108-99 victory.

"I don't what it is against [Brooklyn] but they always take the lead against us," said Miami guard Goran Dragic who scored 21 points and five assists. "I'm proud of our guys, how we responded and came back."

“Sometimes you just have to dig really deep and Brooklyn forced us to have to do that,” Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters after the game. “It’s whatever it takes. The habit we’ve been taking all season long is that we’re a team that it takes a village. There’s not necessarily going to be one guy every single night to defend. We have to do it five-man basketball. Offensively, it’s different guys making different contributions on different nights.”

The Heat scorched the Nets in the second half, outscoring Brooklyn, 34-27, in the fourth. Again, turnovers worked against the Nets. Brooklyn had 22 turnovers to Miami’s 14.

“You felt it,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson regarding the Nets turnovers and pressure from the Heat. “They made every catch tough. Bringing the ball up was a task, sideline out-of-bounds was a task. We had trouble getting open, so we’ll have to go back to the drawing board now and try to help our guys when the pressure is turned up like that, but credit to them. Again, I thought that small lineup really hurt us.”

“They hit us at a certain point and their physicality definitely had an effect,” Brook Lopez told reporters about the Heat’s defensive pressure. “I think we responded well but that initial bout, you know we definitely turned the ball over and they made a run but again I think we responded and we definitely went right back at them.”

In the loss, Lopez had a game-high 30 points and eight rebounds. Randy Foye scored 15 points (5-of-9 FG, 1-of-2 3FG, 4-of-4 FT) in 26 minutes tonight vs. the Heat. Foye’s 15 points last night mark his second-highest scoring output this season (behind a season-high 16 points on January 27th at Cleveland). Bojan Bogdanovic totaled 10 points with six rebounds in 29 minutes vs. Miami. Spencer Dinwiddie recorded a season-high-tying eight assists in 19 minutes tonight (he previously recorded eight assists on January 15th vs. Houston).

With this loss, the Nets fell to 9-45 overall and 7-22 at home. The Nets will host the Memphis Grizzlies next on Monday, February 13, at 7:30 p.m. EST at Barclays Center.

Lack of execution, turnovers, and iso-ball give Nets its third straight loss

Dion Waiters is having a very productive week. On Monday, Waiters danced on Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson with 2.4 seconds left in the fourth and drained the go-ahead three-pointer to beat the western conference power 105-102. On Wednesday night, Waiters would send the Nets to the same fate.

The Miami Heat overcame an 18-point deficit to begin the fourth quarter and used a 15-2 run in final 4:35, setting up Waiters dagger trey, to lead the Heat to an exhilarating 109-106 victory. With 30 seconds remaining in the final period, Randy Foye found Trevor Booker in the paint for a layup that gave the Nets an opportunity for the win, down one, 104-103. And then it happened.

Wayne Ellington inbounded the ball to Waiters who streaked towards the ball behind the three-point line. He dribbled once defended by Foye, pulled up without hesitation and fired a high-arching, 27-footer, giving the Heat a 107-103 lead with 6.8 seconds left to play.

“I love those type of moments,” Waiters said post-game. “Coach just drew up a play, and I looked at (Ellington) and said, ‘give it to me, I want it.”

It was a play that capped off the Heat’s big fourth quarter in which they outscored the Nets 38-17. And it also highlights the stellar defense they played down the stretch, especially on Brook Lopez, who after torching the Heat for 26 first half points, was limited to a two-point fourth quarter.

With 4:35 remaining in the fourth, the Nets were in good shape. They were up by 10, 99-89 after two made free-throws by Lopez and had the opportunity to put the nail in the coffin and eliminate any chance of a Heat comeback, but they didn’t. They folded.

And while Lopez misfired on two consecutive trips on offense, the Heat, led by Goran Dragic and Waiters, spearheaded a 10-0 run capped off by Ellington’s three, that tied the game at 99-all with 2:16 remaining in the quarter.

A couple possessions later, with the Heat down one, 101-99 on two made free-throws by Nets rookie guard Caris LeVert, Miami rookie forward Okaro White buried a three, assisted by Waiters 102-101, which gave the Heat the lead for good.

“You know (Waiters) drew two at the end and I was wide open in that corner and he had that trust and the faith in me that I’ll knock it down and kicked it right to me,” White said post-game. “I went up into the shot and it was good so it’s nothing but God.”

At the end of the day, the Heat made shots when it counted and the Nets didn’t. The Nets also relied heavily on Lopez to create down the stretch and settled for “iso-ball”. It also doesn’t help that after Waiters’ layup cut the Nets lead to three 99-96 with 2:54 left to play, LeVert turned the ball over coming out of a timeout on the next possession.

After White’s three put the Heat up one, 102-101, the Nets left it up to Spencer Dinwiddie who missed a big three that could have put the Nets up two, with 43 seconds left. Late game execution has plagued the Nets all season long and on Wednesday night, it cost them another contest, this time against the Heat.

“I think we didn’t execute,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said post-game. “We started playing iso-ball and they turned us over a few times. We were missing shots, and then on the defensive end, we couldn’t get stops. You can’t give up 38 points in the fourth quarter, that’s way too many.”

Atkinson also said that he has to do a better job coaching, in finding the right balance between getting Lopez the ball and when to run plays and move the ball effectively for good shots. On too many occasions in the fourth, Atkinson said that Lopez wasn’t getting the ball in good positions to score and in doing so felt that it was up to him to save the day.

Despite his shortcomings, the Nets should’ve won this game and Lopez, who said post-game, that he has to do a better job of keeping the Nets offense going, knows that the Nets let one get away in large part to one single quarter.

“We really gave ourselves a chance for 40 minutes tonight, but obviously, it’s a full 48-minute game,” Lopez said post-game.

He led all scorers with a game-high 33 points. Bojan Bogdanovic added 17 points and LeVert, who broke Ellington’s ankles in the third quarter on a vicious crossover step-back three, recorded 12 points.

The hero of the game, Waiters scored a team-high 24 points and dished out eight assists while his backcourt mate, Dragic nearly clinched a double-double with 17 points and nine dimes. Ellington, who hit several big shots in this game and seemed eager to face his former team, handed the Nets 22 painful points off the bench and Willie Reed, another former Net scored 14 points.

This is a young team and you have to think that late game execution and defending for 48 minutes will be issues the Nets will tackle going forward. Like the Philadelphia 76ers, the Nets need to “Trust The Process,” and continue to learn from their mistakes to become a better team in the future.

The Nets will have Thursday off and then face the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers and with Lebron James voicing his disappointment in his team’s play as of late and the inability of his front-office to find a playmaker for their bench, this is the absolute worst time for the Nets to face the Cavaliers.

Following the Cavaliers, the Nets will still be on the road and will face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday and the Miami Heat in Miami on Monday. The Nets will be home on Wednesday, February 1 to play the other struggling New York team, the New York Knicks.

Raptors Backcourt, Minus Lowry, Sends Nets To 11th Straight Loss

The Brooklyn Nets hosted the Toronto Raptors, Tuesday evening, for the second time in less than a week. In the last contest, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan would combine to score 48 points, leading Toronto to a 19-point win, 132-113. Unfortunately for the Nets, they would endure the same fate, this time around, losing 119-109, but instead of DeRozan teaming up with his usual backcourt mate in Lowry, and unlikely hero came off the bench to start and torched the Nets perimeter defense.

Corey Joseph, who started in Lowry’s place (rest), scored a career-high 33 points, supplemented with DeRozan’s monster performance of 36 points, 11 rebounds and six assists to lead the Raptors to their third straight victory over the Nets for the season.

At halftime, Joseph scored nearly half of his game total, with 18 points, but in the third quarter, the Raptors, thanks to their fifth year guard, would start to pull away after a competitive first half.

Toronto (28-13) would trade baskets with the Nets for the first six minutes of the third, and after Jonas Valanciunas’s layup, which put the Raptors up by two, 73-71, Joseph went on a mini-scoring run all by himself. He would score five straight points, including a desperation three, at the top of the key, with the shot-clock expiring.

“(Kyle) provides a lot of scoring for us,” Joseph said post-game. “I knew that slot would be missing today, so I took it upon myself to try to be more aggressive, try to be aggressive and take what the defense gave me.”

It was only five points and put the Raptors up 78-73 at the five-minute mark, but following that make, Toronto would get into a groove defensively, forcing three turnovers in the next two and a half minutes. Their five-point lead became nine, as the Raptors would transform those turnovers into points, capped off by a breakaway fast-break dunk by Valanciunas, off of a Randy Foye turnover.

In the final period, Joseph would continue terrorizing the Nets, scoring 13 points, blowing by his defenders, making them look silly. But this particular fourth quarter, where games are decided, belonged to DeRozan.

Joseph scored more than his All-Star teammate’s 10 points but the difference is, it seemed like DeRozan made shots exactly when Toronto needed them. When Sean Kilpatrick cut the deficit to six points on two made free-throws, 99-93, DeRozan answered on the other end converting a floater, spinning off of his defender, to put the Raptors back up by eight for the second time in the quarter, with 7:54 remaining.

With the Nets threatening to cut into the lead, once again, down nine at the 6:50 minute mark, 103-94, DeRozan would hush the crowd again. He drained a 10-foot jumper at the free-throw line increasing the Raptors lead to 11 and on their next offensive possession, DeRozan struck again, hitting a floater over the defense, which put Toronto up 13, 107-94 with six minutes left in the quarter.

Prior to DeRozan’s big second half, he struggled early, shooting three of 14 from the field for 16 points heading into the half.

“I just kept playing the same way,” DeRozan said post-game. “You know, getting good looks and just going out there and I know it’s going to come, it’s just more so being patient, not really worrying about the misses.”

For the Nets, Brook Lopez led all scorers with 28 points and Bojan Bogdanovic, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert, all scored in double-figures chipping in 11 and 14 each respectively.

In the first half, the Nets were clicking on both sides of the ball, led by Lopez and Jefferson. Lopez scored 19 of his 28 points in the first half, highlighted by a couple of spin, step-through layups in the post that were Hakeem Olajuwon-esque on Valanciunas. Jefferson had some nice moments, taking his defender off the dribble, scoring 10 points at the half and as a group the Nets were looking good up 61-58.

In the third and fourth quarters, things went downhill for the Nets on offense due to the Raptors increased defensive pressure on Lopez. Toronto keyed in on the big-man, sending extra defenders and made sure to get the ball out of his hands. On several occasions, turnovers ensued and the Nets, collectively, just couldn’t find a rhythm on offense to prevent their 11th straight loss.

Despite their issues, the Nets know the season is far from over and can only do one thing: keep playing.

“You got to keep going,” Lopez said post-game. “We have a young group and we’re learning a lot on the fly so you got to just stay positive. We’re doing a lot well, just has not translated in the win column. I think we’re definitely going to break through soon. We just got to give ourselves a chance every night.”

One of the bright spots on the Nets has been LeVert’s play as of late. The rookie who missed most of training camp, scored 14 points with four assists and took the challenge of going up against DeRozan, at times, on both ends. His play has sparked the debate of whether he should be taking teammate, Joe Harris’s minutes and head coach Kenny Atkinson acknowledged that it is something that he has to mull over going forward.

“He’s getting more confidence,” Atkinson said regarding LeVert’s play. “He’s got the athleticism at that position that we need and the size and the quickness. I think, again, once the game slows down a little more, he’s even going to get better.”

The Nets are now 8-33 on the season, and haven’t won since last year in late December against the Charlotte Hornets.

Trevor Booker high scorer for the Nets; Brook Lopez and Jeremy Lin were both inactive; Atkinson left no stone left unturned, but still could not contain the Rockets

Last night, the Brooklyn Nets celebrated Taiwanese Heritage and its most celebrated player, Jeremy Lin, who is Taiwanese, still, could not play because of a left hamstring injury. Also on the Nets inactive list was Brook Lopez, not because he was injured, but to allow Lopez to rest.

Despite the lopsided final score, the Nets were competitive up until the fourth quarter. At the end of the first stanza, the Rockets led by one 37-36. The end of the half, saw the Nets trailing by eight (74-66), and at the close of the third, 104-90. The fourth quarter, the Rocket kicked it into high gear to close out the game 137-112.

“We just could never stop them,” said Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “I don’t think we stopped them the whole night. I think we tried a lot of different things, tried changing coverages and couldn’t find a solution. Potent, powerful, offensive team that we couldn’t find the defensive switch.”

With every active Nets player seeing action at some point during the night, Atkinson tried every combination he thought made sense to get a stop, but to no avail.

“We started Justin (Hamilton) at the five, and I think they scored pretty good against that group,” Atkinson stated.

Justin Hamilton, in for Lopez, scored 11 points, three rebounds, and two assists.

“Then we went small to match their (lineup) and switch, do a lot of switching and try to keep them in front of us,” Atkinson continued. “But when you switch they have good one-on-one players, and I felt like when we switch we weren’t containing them off the dribble and they hit some threes. Eric Gordon again came off the bench and really good, he was excellent. Again, they dominated us and there is just no way around it. We can talk all night.”

In the win, Gordon came off the bench for the Rockets and led all scorers with 24 points, three rebounds, and three assists. Trevor Ariza had 23 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. James Harden contributed 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists in 31:31 minutes.

Nets forward Trevor Booker led the Nets in scoring with 18 points and five rebounds in 26:28 minutes. The next two high scorers came off the bench: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson with 14 points and seven rebounds; and guard Randy Foye contributed 13 points. The entire Nets bench contributed 63 points.

Up next for the Brooklyn Nets is another tough team, the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday at the Barclays Center at 7:30 p.m.

Nets win game but lose Jeremy Lin to a reinjured left hamstring

Check out the Nets vs. Hornets Video Highlights

With the Brooklyn Nets, you never know what the outcome of the game is going to be. On Monday night, the Nets (7-22) met up with the (17-13) Charlotte Hornets at home at the Barclays Center. The Nets are fourth in the Atlantic Division and the Hornets are leading the Southeast Division. In fact, every team in the Southeast Division has a better record than the Nets. So to think that the Nets might lose this one wouldn’t be too far-fetched.

The Nets trailed the Hornets by nine points (40-31) at the closing of the first quarter, and then again the same point spread at the closing of the first half, Hornets 63 – Nets 54. Given the way that the Nets have been losing steam in the third quarter, it was amazing to see the team keep its composure and close the gap, ending the third stanza with only a five-point deficit 88-83. Equally important was that Nets guard Jeremy Lin re-injured his left hamstring during the third quarter; he abruptly left the game, and the Nets didn’t seem to miss a beat.

It was the fourth quarter where things got very interesting. The Nets showed their Brooklyn Grit; they kept the game close and went back and forth with the lead. Brook Lopez even scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth. Sean Kilpatrick added 10 of his 23 points in the fourth.

As the minutes wound down, and with just under two minutes left in regulation, the score was tied at 111-111. Kilpatrick hit a three, then Hornets center Cody Zeller dropped a cutting dunk to bring the score to 114-113, and then at the 1:06 mark, Nets shooting guard Bojan Bogdanovich hit a three to bring the score to 117-113. With 32 seconds left, Hornets guard Nicolas Batum posted up a three-pointer bringing Charlotte within one at 117-116. Now, at the four-second mark, the home crowd audibly engaged holds their collective breath as Hornets point guard Kemba Walker drives for a layup, but it is blocked by Nets power forward Trevor Booker. However, Zeller grabs the rebound and makes a putback layup putting the Hornets ahead by one point (118-117). Brooklyn calls a timeout to regroup with two seconds remaining on the clock.

When Zeller grabbed the rebound and then made the putback, Nets backup guard Randy Foye, listed at 6-foot-4, was right there; but Foye, no match for the 7-foot center, couldn’t get the block.

But when the timeout was over, Foye redeemed himself.

Foye stationed behind the arc received an inbound pass from Bogdanovich. With just .9 seconds left in regulation, Foye pushed up, released the ball just before the buzzer and drained a three to seal the deal. And, just like that, the Nets stung the Hornets with a 120-118 win.

Making that buzzer beater and winning the game, didn’t stop Foye from feeling a little bit guilty that Zeller got that putback layup to put Charlotte up by one.

“It was my fault,” said Foye, diagramming the team’s defensive scheme. “It’s my fault he got the layup. Trevor [Booker] switched and blocked the shot. I was supposed to block out Zeller.”

“You know, Zeller put that basket down with a few seconds left, but the way our team maintained focus, and our mental strength, was fantastic,” said Lopez. “It was a great validation for our guys.”

It sure was.

Foye’s buzzer-beating three marked his first points in 21 minutes off the bench on Monday night.

In the win, Bogdanovic led all scorers with 26 points. In fact, this was the second game this season that Bogdanovic, Kilpatrick (23 points) and Lopez (21 points) all scored 20 plus points in the same game. The last time was against the Lakers on December 14, 2016.

Booker posted 12 rebounds, Lin scored 17 points before his departure in the third quarter, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson chipped in 10 points.

Brooklyn shot .533 from the field (40-of-75 FG) and .484 from 3-point range (15-of-31 3FG) in the win. The Nets’ .484 shooting from 3-point range marked a season high (previous high: .481 vs. Detroit on 11/2).

In the loss, Charlotte had six players in double digits; Batum had 24 points, five rebounds, five assists, and three steals; Jeremy Lamb scored 17 points, and Walker and Zeller each had 15 points.

Next, up, the Nets are on the road to play Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, Washington Wizards on Friday, and then back home to play the Utah Jazz in the New Year on Monday, January 2nd, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

Brooklyn Nets Sign Anthony Bennett, Joe Harris, Randy Foye, Caris Levert, Luis Scola, Greivis Vasquez, and Justin Hamilton

It is NBA free agency signing season and the Brooklyn Nets have signed free agent forwards Anthony Bennett and Luis Scola, and guards Greivis Vasquez and Randy Foye. Additionally, the Nets have signed to multi-year contracts, guard/forward Caris LeVert, and free agents guard Joe Harris and center Justin Hamilton.

“Justin is an energetic big with the ability to stretch the floor,” said Nets’ General Manager Sean Marks. “He is coming off a successful season in one of Europe’s most competitive leagues and will add depth to our frontcourt rotation.”

“We are pleased to welcome Joe to the Nets family,” said Marks. “We are confident that Kenny and his staff will continue to create an environment in which Joe and our other young players will develop and thrive.”

Regarding Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Marks stated, "We have been excited to watch Anthony's progress this summer with his national team, and look forward to the opportunity of having Kenny (Nets head coach) and his staff work with him to continue his development.”

In consideration of Randy Foye who has been with the NBA for 10 seasons, Marks is focused on backcourt depth, “He is a veteran guard who will provide us with additional scoring and depth in our backcourt.”

Marks is also big on culture and leadership, which is demonstrated with his selection of Luis Scola and Greivis Vasquez.

“Luis and Greivis are ideal fits for the team culture we are building in Brooklyn,” Marks asserted. “Both are terrific competitors who will provide leadership and veteran experience to our locker room. Luis adds toughness, scoring and passing ability to our frontline, while Greivis is effective from either backcourt position, both as a facilitator and a scorer.”

PLAYER BACKGROUNDS

Justin Hamilton

Hamilton (7’0, 260) joins the Nets after spending last season with Valencia in Liga ACB, Spain’s top division, where he earned All-ACB first-team honors after averaging 14.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game in 40 games with the club. Prior to heading to Spain, the 26-year-old appeared in 49 games in parts of two NBA seasons with Charlotte, Miami and Minnesota (2013-15), registering averages of 5.0 points and 2.9 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per game. In the 2014-15 season, Hamilton appeared in 41 games split between Miami and Minnesota, averaging 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 17.4 minutes per game. He also saw action in 39 games with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA D-League during the 2013-14 season, posting averages of 19.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks in 35.6 minutes per game en route to D-League All-Star, All-NBA D-League first-team, and NBA D-League All-Defensive first-team recognition. Hamilton began his professional career with stints in Croatia and Latvia during the 2012-13 season. The Alpine, Utah native was originally selected with the 45th overall pick in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and was traded to Miami on draft night before being waived by the Heat in advance of the 2012-13 season. Prior to beginning his pro career, Hamilton spent his first two collegiate seasons at Iowa State and his third and final season at LSU, where he earned All-SEC second-team honors.

Joe Harris

Harris (6’6”, 219) has appeared in 56 games in two seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2014-16), averaging 2.5 points in 9.1 minutes per game. He also appeared in six games during the 2015 postseason. This past season, Harris saw action in five games with the Cavs and 10 games with Cleveland’s D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, registering averages of 16.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 33.1 minutes per game with Canton. The 24-year-old underwent right foot surgery in January before being traded to Orlando and waived by the Magic. Harris was originally selected with the 33rd pick (second round) in the 2014 NBA Draft by Cleveland after a four-year career at the University of Virginia. At UVA, the Chelan, Wash. native earned All-ACC first-team honors as a junior and helped lead Virginia to two NCAA Tournament appearances. As a senior, Harris garnered All-ACC third-team recognition while leading the Cavaliers to their first ACC tournament title since 1976, first outright ACC regular season title since 1981 and first Sweet 16 appearance since 1995. He finished his collegiate career second in school history in three-pointers made (263) and three-point percentage (.407)

Anthony Bennett

Bennett joins the Nets after spending the 2015-16 season with the Toronto Raptors. In 19 games, Bennett recorded averages of 1.5 points and 1.2 rebounds in 4.4 minutes per game. In 128 games in three NBA seasons split between Toronto, Minnesota (2014-15) and Cleveland (2013-14), the 23-year-old holds career averages of 4.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game. The Toronto native was originally selected with the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by Cleveland, becoming the first Canadian ever selected with the top pick in the draft. Prior to the NBA, Bennett spent one season at UNLV, registering averages of 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds in 27.1 minutes per game in 35 games (32 starts) en route to Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year honors, as well as Associated Press honorable mention All-American recognition. Bennett is a member of the Canadian national team.

Randy Foye

Foye (6’4”, 213) joins the Nets after splitting the 2015-16 season with the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder. In 81 games, Foye averaged 5.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 20.3 minutes per game. He also appeared in 16 games in the Thunder’s run to the Western Conference Finals. The 32-year-old has seen action in 683 career games (393 starts) in 10 seasons with Minnesota (2006-09), Washington (2009-10), Los Angeles Clippers (2010-12), Utah (2012-13), Denver (2013-16) and Oklahoma City (2016), owning averages of 10.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 26.3 minutes per game. He’s also seen action in 27 postseason games. Foye finished in the top 10 in the league in three-pointers made in three consecutive seasons (2011-14) and is a career .369 shooter from three-point range. The Newark, N.J. native was originally selected with the seventh pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by Boston and began his career with the Timberwolves after a draft-night trade. Foye garnered All-Rookie First Team honors after he posted averages of 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 22.9 minutes per game in his debut professional season. Prior to the NBA, Foye spent four years at Villanova (2002-06), leading the Wildcats to a Sweet 16 appearance in 2005 and an Elite Eight berth in 2006. In his senior season, Foye was named a consensus first-team All-American and the 2006 Big East Player of the Year.

Luis Scola

Scola (6’9”, 241) joins the Nets after spending the 2015-16 season with the Toronto Raptors. Scola appeared in and started 76 games, averaging 8.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in 21.5 minutes per game. In nine NBA seasons split between Houston (2007-12), Phoenix (2012-13), Indiana (2013-15) and Toronto, Scola owns career averages of 12.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 26.2 minutes per game in 707 games (504 starts). He has also appeared in 48 career postseason games, recording averages of 8.5 points and 4.7 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game. The 36-year-old was originally selected with the 56th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft by San Antonio but did not make his NBA debut until the 2007-08 season after his draft rights were traded to Houston. As a rookie, Scola earned All-Rookie First Team honors with averages of 10.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 24.7 minutes per game. Prior to the NBA, the Buenos Aries, Argentina native began his professional career in his home country with Ferro Carril Oeste in 1995-96 at the age of 15. He played three years in Argentina before moving to Spain, where he played nine seasons with three clubs, including seven seasons with Tau Ceramica (2000-07). Scola earned Euroleague First Team honors in 2005-06 and 2006-07, was named the MVP of the Spanish League in 2004-05 and 2006-07 and garnered Rookie of the Year honors in 2000. Scola is also a decorated player on the international stage. Representing his native Argentina, Scola will become a four-time Olympian when he competes at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. He earned a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, as well as a bronze at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Greivis Vasquez

Vasquez (6’6”, 217) has appeared in 398 games (157 starts) in six NBA seasons with Memphis (2010-11), New Orleans (2011-13), Sacramento (2013), Toronto (2013-15) and Milwaukee (2015-16), recording averages of 9.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 23.8 minutes per game. He has also appeared in 24 career postseason games, averaging 6.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in 18.0 minutes per game. This past season with the Bucks, the 29-year-old saw action in just 23 games due to right ankle surgery, registering averages of 5.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in 20.0 minutes per game. The native of Caracas, Venezuela was originally selected with the 28th pick in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft by the Grizzlies, becoming the first Venezuelan-born player drafted in the NBA. Prior to the NBA, Vasquez spent four years at the University of Maryland, helping to lead the Terrapins to three NCAA Tournament appearances. Vasquez earned All-ACC second-team honors as a sophomore and junior before completing his standout collegiate career by garnering ACC Player of the Year, All-ACC first-team and consensus second-team All-American recognition as a senior. Vasquez is a member of the Venezuelan team that will compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

Caris LeVert

LeVert (6’7”, 205) played four seasons at Michigan and helped the team to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including trips to the National Championship game in 2013 and the Elite Eight in 2014. In 103 career games (70 starts) for the Wolverines, LeVert averaged 10.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in 26.4 minutes per game. As a senior, the Pickerington, Ohio, native posted averages of 16.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 30.9 minutes per game while shooting .506 from the field and .446 from 3-point range in 15 games (14 starts) during an injury-shortened season. He earned 2014 All-Big Ten second-team and 2014 NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament team honors following his sophomore season when he averaged 12.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 34.0 minutes per game in 37 games.

 

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