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Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Nets 104, Jazz 88

By Mike Mazzeo

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets got back on track, rebounding from Sunday night’s 21-point loss in Orlando with a 104-88 blowout victory over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday at Barclays Center. It was Jason Kidd’s first win as a head coach (while on the bench).

What it means: The Nets (2-2) did exactly what they set out to accomplish, protecting their home court and dominating an inferior opponent. While this win over a likely lottery-bound team means very little, it’s another step in the right direction for the Nets, a team still trying to figure itself out.

After a setback against the Magic, the Nets’ offense wasn’t stagnant. They moved the ball and had excellent spacing, which allowed them to get several easy baskets. The Nets wound up shooting a sizzling 51.3 percent from the field and easily outscoring the Jazz in the paint (58-26) and in transition (25-6).

For Deron Williams (1-4) and Andrei Kirilenko (1-3), it was their first victory over their former team. Brooklyn had lost four straight to Utah by an average of 11.2 points.

The Nets were able to sit their starters in the fourth quarter.

Brook-lyn: Brook Lopez dominated the Jazz's front line, finishing with a season-high 27 points on 10-for-13 shooting in 26 minutes. Lopez came in averaging 18.3 points per game. He also collected seven rebounds. Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, who Utah ended up acquiring in the D-Will blockbuster trade, were simply no match for the 25-year-old All-Star center. Lopez was clearly not hampered by the sprained right ankle injury he suffered in Orlando.

Supporting cast: D-Will (sprained right ankle) continues to progress. He had more life in his legs, driving to the bucket for a layup with 4:41 remaining in the third quarter. He finished with 10 points and eight assists in 25 minutes. Joe Johnson (12 points), Paul Pierce (11 points), Shaun Livingston (11 points), and Andray Blatche (10 points) also finished in double figures. Kirilenko (six points, five rebounds) logged a season-high 16 minutes as he continues to progress after dealing with back spasms.

Mr. Aggressive: Kevin Garnett said he wanted to be more aggressive Tuesday night, and he was. While his stat line (four points, four rebounds, one assist in 14 minutes) may not indicate it, KG made some nice, aggressive plays. He hit AK-47 with a pretty backdoor pass for an easy dunk, and even made his first shot inside the restricted area this season with 9:45 left in the third quarter.

Up next: After a day off and a practice, the Nets head to D.C. to face John Wall and the Washington Wizards on Friday.