Thursday, January 9, 2014
Nets' defensive effort keys win vs. Warriors
By Mike Mazzeo
NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko wants a new slogan plastered all over Barclays Center.
" 'Burn that tie,' " Kirilenko said. "We should have that quote around the arena. That should be our thing."
The Nets are 4-0 since the calendar turned to 2014 and coach Jason Kidd stopped wearing ties all together.
Sounds like a marketing campaign CEO Brett Yormark could get behind, no?
But seriously, just as much of the Nets' success has to do with how they've played defensively.
During the streak, they have given up only 97.4 points per 100 possessions -- fifth-lowest in the NBA.
In the second halves of wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks, they yielded a season-low 34 points.
On Wednesday night, they held the Golden State Warriors to just 40.4 percent shooting in the final three quarters of a 102-98 win. After Golden State made six of its first seven 3-pointers, Brooklyn, the NBA's worst team in terms of defending the triple, held the Warriors to just 3-for-19 from deep the rest of the way.
Stephen Curry got his -- needing 25 shots to score a game-high 34 points. So did David Lee (20 points on 9-for-14 shooting). But otherwise, the Nets were sound on that end of the floor. The Warriors had 18 turnovers.
After Klay Thompson hit a 3-pointer to give the Warriors a 93-89 lead, Golden State was held without a field goal for the next four minutes as the Nets ripped off a 9-0 run to take command.
"I think communication, effort and trust," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "I can't name just one guy. It's been team defense."
He isn't kidding (no pun intended).
• The Nets' bench outscored the Warriors' bench, 36-17. ... Paul Pierce became the seventh active player to register his 8,000th career field goal. ... Curry set Brooklyn opponent highs for points and field-goal attempts.