Monday, November 18, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Blazers 108, Nets 98
By Mike Mazzeo
NEW YORK -- The short-handed Brooklyn Nets got off to a great start in the first quarter but couldn’t carry that momentum over in the final three quarters of their 108-98 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night at Barclays Center.
The Nets (3-7) were frequently booed by the crowd in the fourth quarter. Fans clearly aren’t happy with the start of this $190 million team 10 games in.
WHAT IT MEANS: You can’t play only 12 minutes of solid basketball and expect to beat one of the most surprising teams in the NBA -- yet the Nets did just that against the Blazers (9-2). After exploding for a season-high 40 points in the first quarter, Brooklyn’s offense went in the tank the rest of the way. On defense, well, in the words of ex-Jet Bart Scott, the Nets couldn’t stop a nosebleed.
Led by LaMarcus Aldridge (27 points, eight rebounds), Damian Lillard (19 points, nine assists) and Wesley Matthews (24 points, 5-for-8 3-point range), the Blazers shot a blistering 53.9 percent from the field and went 8-for-18 from beyond the arc. The Nets, who led by as many as 11, then trailed by as many as 14, shot 36.5 percent from the field. Paul Pierce went 2-for-12 from the field and scored 11 points. Joe Johnson went 4-for-12 from the field and scored 13 points.
INJURY REPORT: Deron Williams (left ankle sprain), Brook Lopez (left ankle sprain) and Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms) all sat out again due to injuries. Coach Jason Kidd said there’s “no timetable” for their returns.
THIRD IS THE BAD WORD: The Nets went just 3-for-18 from the field in the third quarter and were outscored 27-15. No surprise, of course. They are 0-7 when losing the third and 3-0 when winning it. Trends! The Blazers shot 55 percent in the frame.
BE AGGRESSIVE: Kevin Garnett has been preaching aggressiveness. The Nets went to him on their first five possessions, and he scored on each one of them. It took KG all of 2 minutes, 54 seconds to score in double figures for the first time as a Net. He finished with 12 first-quarter points on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting. It got worse from there. Garnett hit just two of his next 12 shots and ended up with a season-high 16 points, along with eight rebounds.
POSTERIZATION: Shaun Livingston posterized Brook’s twin brother, Robin Lopez, with a left-handed dunk in the first quarter. In terms of salary and on-court value, Livingston is arguably the best offseason acquisition by any team. He scored a season-high 23 points on 8-for-14 shooting.
SMOOTH START: The Nets shot 73.7 percent in the first quarter. They failed to score on only two possessions. Two! They scored a season-high 63 points in the first half and had one turnover. One!
UP NEXT: The Nets will practice Tuesday before heading to Charlotte to face the Bobcats Wednesday night.