The Nets had a terrible month of November, and they were injured all across the board. Now, they have Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, and Brook Lopez back, so they could see the wins start to add up.
They beat the Celtics on Wednesday night, and Deron Williams has made this team look like they should have looked all season long. Jason Kidd has a new defensive approach, and they are now pressuring more on the pick and roll, and they would face a tough test in the Clippers on Thursday.
Coming in, the Nets had won two games in a row, and they looked like a team with a lot more confidence. This game brought us a match up between two of the game’s best point guards in Deron Williams and Chris Paul, and it would deliver. Paul crossed Deron Williams up early in the game, but Williams would get him back with two nasty crossovers of his own. The Nets took control early, and never looked back.
In the first quarter, the Clippers actually held the lead for a while, and would head into the second quarter up 25-20, but that would be the last time they enjoyed a lead. The Nets came out and outscored the Clippers 36-19, and they looked potent on the offensive end, and the Clippers missed a lot of looks that could have easily fallen.
The Nets would continue to roll in the third, and they outscored the Clippers 27-18. Deron Williams finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, and the Nets had 5 players in double figures. They held a 20 point lead in this one, but when the bench players came in, the Clippers made a run.
Chris Paul had 20 points, but he finished with just 2 assists, and that showed how cold the Clippers were tonight. Paul was making the right passes, but they couldn’t hit a shot to save their lives. They shot just 26 of 70 from the field (37%), and just 6-24 from beyond the arc (25%). This is a game that could have been different had they made their free throws, as the Clippers attempted an insane 52 shots from the line, but made just 35 of them (67.3%).
The Nets have now won 3 in a row, and 6 of their next 7 opponents are currently under .500 on the season. This could be a surge for Brooklyn, and they can thank Deron Williams for that. Brook Lopez left this game with an ankle injury, and that’s not good.
The Nets won 102-93, but it wasn’t as close as the final score indicates. Los Angeles has a lot to improve on defensively if they want to contend this season.