- Benjamin Gerstel
Brooklyn comes back from 18-point deficit, and defeats Portland 128-123
In the first half, the Nets played sloppy basketball, turning the ball over a ton and failing to stop Portland in any way. The Nets are a much better team than Portland, who was also without their best player, Anfernee Simmons. The Nets gave up 75 points in the first half, and were flaunting lazy passes that turned into easy fast break points for Portland. Those 75 first half points were the second most Brooklyn has gave up all season. Brooklyn trailed by as many as 18 in the game, but was able to cut it into a one possession game by the end of the third quarter.
However, at the end of the third quarter, the Nets went on an 11-0 run and an emphatic Bruce Brown and-one gave the Nets a ton of momentum. Durant led the way offensively, with a masterful performance. He was getting to the line, knocking down threes, and hitting a barrage of buckets to bring Brooklyn back. Kevin Durant wasn’t the only one knocking down free throws as well for the Nets. As a team, they shot a cool 84% from the line, and were able to make up for the early turnovers through the charity strike. Compared to Portland, who was shooting 10-17 (58.8%), the Nets performance at the line was much better,
With Seth Curry back, Goran Dragic’s role shifted a bit as well. Dragic was able to facilitate more, and Curry was able to knock down five of his sixth three point attempts. Curry was 7-9 from downtown, and hit a huge three pointer after a nice pump fake to bring the Nets within five. He responded with another deep bomb down the stretch, bringing Brooklyn’s crowd to its feet. Curry’s seven threes were just one shy of his career high. Dragic’s 10 assists were double any other Net and was a wonderful compliment to Curry tonight. It was an all around performance from Brooklyn, and other guys besides KD and Curry were able to contribute. Drummond had his usual monster game off the glass, with 6 offensive rebounds to go along with 17 points, Bruce Brown had another effective performance, acting as an Energizer bunny for Steve Nash, and Cam Thomas had an offensive burst off the bench with 11 points on 5-8 shooting. Bruce Brown and Cam Thomas hit some clutch shots for Brooklyn that helped lift them over Portland.
With three minutes left, a missed Bruce Brown three opened up a window for Portland to cut into Brooklyn’s six point lead, but Brooklyn forced two straight turnovers to turn the tide their way. Bruce Brown finished off a double-clutch on a fast break and made a huge highlight play to give Brooklyn the momentum. The bucket the Nets to 29 fast break points, which was a season high for them.
After a tough loss at home to Dallas, the Nets responded, with a 128-123 win tonight in comeback fashion. Portland came out and played with heart, guided by Brandon Williams and Josh Hart (combined 49 points), but KD, (38-6-6), Bruce Brown (17-7-3), and Seth Curry (7-11 from three), were just too much for Portland to handle. Curry’s 27 points cap off an impressive performance in his first game back and they will certainly need him for their tough upcoming schedule. Brooklyn faces Utah, Memphis, and Miami in a grueling three game stretch.