Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Nets 102, Warriors 98
By Mike Mazzeo
NEW YORK -- Jason Kidd might as well give away his ties. Ever since he got rid of his neckwear and the calendar turned to 2014, his Brooklyn Nets are playing hard. They won their season-high fourth straight game, snapping the Golden State Warriors’ 10-game winning streak 102-98 Wednesday night at Barclays Center.
What it means: That was flat-out gutsy. The Nets (14-21) aren’t just stringing together W's -- they’re stringing together signature W's at that. Oklahoma City. Cleveland. Atlanta. And now Golden State. The Warriors (24-14) were playing the second half of a back-to-back and looking to wrap up a 7-0 road trip. Didn’t happen. But take nothing away from the Nets. They got it done on the defensive end, rebounding from a bad first quarter. Golden State was held to just one field goal in the final 4:05. A 9-0 Nets run brought them from down 93-89 to ahead 98-93.
The Warriors (46.2 percent shooting from the field overall) hit six of their first seven shots from 3-point range but went just 3-for-19 the rest of the way. Yes, the Nets came in as the NBA’s worst team in terms of 3-point defense. So, yes, this was quite impressive.
Stephen Curry had a ridiculous line: 34 points, seven assists and five rebounds in 45 minutes.
Not this (Father) time: Who knows what it was, but something got into Kevin Garnett. He looked every bit of 27 years old and nothing like 37, especially in the fourth quarter, when he went 4-for-6 and scored 11 points. KG finished in double figures for just the sixth time this season (13 points in 23 minutes). He cemented his performance by coming up with a deflected ball in the final seconds and then knocking down a pair of free throws.
"Joe Jesus": Joe Johnson followed up a 23-point performance Monday with a team-high 27 points two nights later. He went 8-for-17 from the field and 9-for-11 from the free throw line. Can’t forget about Andray Blatche, who had 17 big points, or Shaun Livingston (13 points, four assists).
The impact of AK-47: Andrei Kirilenko came in and wreaked havoc in the second quarter, scoring seven straight points. He then put in more work in the fourth quarter and was all over the floor, coming through with a crucial defensive play in crunch time. We can’t repeat it enough: The Nets are a much better team when Kirilenko is healthy.
First-half turnaround: In the first quarter, the Nets were outscored 32-22. They trailed by as many as 16. But their reserves enabled them to rally back in the second quarter, and they ended up outscoring the Warriors 37-20. It was pretty incredible. Mirza Teletovic (eight points, 10 rebounds) even banked in a 30-footer as the first half expired.
Fashion faux pas?: Spike Lee sat on the floor. He wore a black-and-white hat with the logo of his favorite team, the New York Knicks. Is that allowed in Brooklyn? (We kid, of course.)
Up next: The Nets return to the practice court Thursday. Friday night’s matchup against the defending champion Miami Heat at Barclays Center looms.