BOUNCING BACK: The Nets had the Lakers on the ropes Tuesday night. They held Kobe Bryant to just 3-for-10 from the field after he made his first five shots in the first quarter. They gave up just 39 second-half points. The Lakers missed 18 free throws.
But the Nets could not hold an 84-78 fourth-quarter lead. They ended up going 2-for-10 from the field in the final 5:22 as the Lakers closed the game on a 17-6 run. The Nets scored just 33 second-half points (1-for-13 from 3-point range). Deron Williams and Joe Johnson went a combined 5-for-21 in the final 24 minutes.
The Nets (6-3), who saw their five-game winning streak come to an end have to forget this one and focus on the Warriors. According to STATS LLC, a Nets’ win would equal their best start through 10 games in franchise history (2001-02, 2002-03; both NBA Finals seasons)
WE ARE THE WARRIORS: Golden State (6-5) has won three of its last four games. Stephen Curry (18.7 ppg) and David Lee (15.6 ppg, 11 rpg) are its stars, while Carl Landry, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes are also averaging more than 10 points per contest. The Warriors rank 12th in points per game, but just 25th in points allowed. The Nets have beaten the Warriors three straight times dating back to March 9, 2011.
CRASH: Tuesday night, Gerald Wallace became just the fifth Net in at least the last 28 seasons to record five steals and three blocks in a game, and first since Kenyon Martin on Jan. 2, 2004 against Cleveland. The Nets are a much better team with Wallace back in the lineup. That much is certain.
JOE’S WOES: A pair of big fourth quarters aside (against Cleveland and Boston), Joe Johnson has been a major disappointment through the first 11 percent of the season. He is shooting just 36.2 percent and not deserving of his hefty $19.75 million salary. He has to pick it up. The Nets are expecting more -- more much.
OF NOTE: Tuesday night’s Nets-Lakers game (10:30 p.m. ET start) was the most-watched (125,000 average TV households) and highest-rated (1.69) regular-season Nets’ telecast on YES in almost seven years (Feb. 1, 2006 Nets-Cavaliers). It was the third-most watched and third highest-rated Nets’ telecast on YES ever (Feb. 29, 2004 Nets-Lakers is first).