Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Brooklyn Nets [Print without images]

Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Blatche stars despite off-court issues

By Mike Mazzeo

PHILADELPHIA -- Brooklyn Nets backup center Andray Blatche had quite an eventful day.

Hours after he was questioned by police as part of an ongoing investigation of sexual assault at a Philadelphia hotel, Blatche had his third straight dominant game off the bench, posting 20 points and seven rebounds in his team’s 109-89 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center. Blatche left the locker room before he could be interviewed by reporters.

Andray Blatche
Andray Blatche had 20 points and seven rebounds against the 76ers.
"Players are very, very resilient," Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "They come at 7 or 7:30 [p.m.] and they play. They really don’t bring any outside interference into the game, normally."

In his past three games, Blatche has averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds. On Friday night, in his highly anticipated return to D.C., he drowned out the vociferous boos from the crowd to score 13 points, grab 12 rebounds and amass a season-high four steals in his team’s double-overtime win over his former team.

On Tuesday night, it was more of the same. When Blatche checked in late in the first quarter, he heard some faint boos. Minutes later, he used a nice up-and-under move to get on the board after bricking his first shot. Blatche had eight points in both the second and fourth quarters.

"I think the things he’s done really well, especially the last three games, is taking the ball to the basket," Carlesimo said of Blatche. "He’s taking 5- or- 6-foot shots, dunks -- and he’s making them. He’s playing with a lot of purpose offensively. He’s not settling. … And I think he’s capable of what I was talking about before, putting whatever distractions there are behind him and playing basketball."

Blatche’s one-year non-guaranteed contract became fully guaranteed on Monday at 5 p.m. ET. Police commissioner Charles H. Ramsey told the New York Times that Blatche is not being accused of a crime.

"He was huge," point guard Deron Williams said. "He came out and played great for us. He stayed focused. … He’s been great all season. In the face of adversity, he’s [come] and battled and played well. This was one of his best games."