Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Nets 101, Magic 90
By Mike Mazzeo
NEW YORK -- After their blowout victory over the rival New York Knicks on Monday afternoon, Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd made sure to let his team know they hadn’t won both legs of a back-to-back set all season.
The Nets, who came in with a 1-6 record in the second half of back-to-backs, did what they were supposed to do Tuesday night, beating up on the struggling Orlando Magic 101-90 at Barclays Center.
A nice crowd (15,482) showed up -- in spite of a blizzard -- to support the team. And they were certainly rewarded.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Nets (18-22) are 8-1 this year, coinciding with Kidd no longer wearing ties. They are 6-0 when starting Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
Orlando had beaten Brooklyn by 21 in Kidd’s regular-season coaching debut Nov. 3.
The Nets used their tenacious defense to take command Tuesday. Offensively, they shot 49.4 percent from the field and outscored the Magic 40-34 in the paint. Brooklyn led by 21 at one point.
DRAY LIVE: Andray Blatche's rim-rocking dunk in the fourth quarter got the fans on their feet. Blatche drove by Kyle O'Quinn, cocked the ball back with his right hand and stuffed it through the hoop. Blatche finished with 18 points. In his past three games, he’s averaging 19 points.
D-WILL IN RESERVE: Deron Williams (ankle injuries) came off the bench for a second straight game. He put up nine points and nine assists in 28 minutes. Williams had 13 points and three assists in 27 minutes Monday afternoon in his return to the lineup.
BALANCED ATTACK: Aside from Blatche, Mirza Teletovic (14), Johnson (13) and Pierce (13) all scored in double figures. Garnett also played well, with eight points and five rebounds in 18 minutes.
WAKE UP: After slogging through the first half and leading by just four, the Nets kicked it into high gear in the third quarter, displaying the same dominant brand of basketball they’ve played since the start of the calendar year. They wound up outscoring the Magic 27-14 in the quarter to take a 73-56 lead into the fourth. Orlando shot just 14.3 percent in the third, going 3-for-21 from the field. Remember when you used to dread the third?
UP NEXT: The Nets don’t play again until Friday night, when they host the Dallas Mavericks.