Thursday, February 27, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Blazers 124, Nets 80
By Mike Mazzeo
At least most Brooklyn Nets fans got to bed a little earlier than expected.
OK, maybe that’s not such a good thing.
The Nets failed to show up Wednesday night, and got pummeled by the Portland Trail Blazers 124-80 at Moda Center.
What it means: This looked like a great opportunity for the Nets to get a win, especially since the Blazers were without LaMarcus Aldridge. But games aren’t played on paper, and Brooklyn was outclassed by Portland in all facets of the game.
Nets coach Jason Kidd put up the white flag with 6:16 remaining in the third quarter, removing his starters with the team trailing 69-40. Not a bad move, by any means, given Brooklyn (26-29) has a flight and another game in less than 24 hours.
Things started off badly when both Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston, back after missing Sunday’s game due to a bruised tailbone, got into early foul trouble. And it only got worse from there, as the Nets looked disjointed on both ends of the floor.
Brooklyn scored a season-low 34 points in the first half, trailed by as many as 45 and missed its first nine 3-point attempts. The Nets, looking like their old selves from 2013, lost the rebounding battle 53-29 and ended up going 4-for-22 from downtown.
While his line -- 12 points, three assists, three steals in 24 minutes -- might not show it, Williams looked really good again, getting to the basket with ease. It was mostly the rest of the team that was the problem. Andray Blatche had arguably his worst game of the season, going 1-for-6 from the field and missing several defensive assignments. The Nets were outscored by 25 points in Joe Johnson's 26 minutes on the court.
The Blazers (40-18) didn’t miss a beat without Aldridge, exploiting the Nets with their quickness and athleticism. Six different Portland players scored in double digits, led by Mo Williams (21 points), Will Barton (20 points, 11 rebounds) and Nicolas Batum (19 points).
Decisions, decisions: It’ll be interesting to see if Kidd decides to play Kevin Garnett Thursday night in Denver after he played 14 minutes Wednesday. Jason Collins, wearing jersey No. 98, checked into the game at the start of the fourth quarter with the outcome already decided. He played seven minutes and missed his only shot attempt, making him 0-for-2 for the season.
Feeling good: Marcus Thornton, who had been battling food poisoning, finally made his Brooklyn debut, scoring nine points in 18 minutes.
Up next: Nets-Nuggets on Thursday night at Pepsi Center.