Rapid Reaction: Nets 93, Mavericks 92
February, 28, 2012
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
WHAT IT MEANS: Hello? Otis, it's Billy King. Did you see what our center did on Tuesday?
In just his third game of the season, Brook Lopez poured in a game-high 38 points -- one short of his career-high -- hit two decisive free throws in the final minute and helped the Nets snap an 11-game losing streak in Dallas, beating the defending NBA champion Mavericks, 93-92. The Nets (11-25) have now won three of their last five games. The last time they had won in Dallas was March 2, 2000.
TURNING POINT: The Mavericks missed their first 13 shots of the fourth quarter -- covering a span of 8:35 -- allowing the Nets to regain a 10-point lead. Dallas countered with a 13-2 run to go ahead 92-91 on Jason Kidd's first field goal of the game -- a 3-pointer -- with 48.9 seconds left. Lopez connected on a pair of free throws on the other end 6.5 seconds later. The Mavericks had a chance to win after Jason Terry picked Anthony Morrow's pocket -- one of 12 Nets turnovers in the second half -- but Kidd missed a long jumper from the left wing at the buzzer, allowing the Nets to prevail.
BROOK'S BACK! Lopez gave the Nets something they haven't had all season: a dominant finisher in the low post. At one point, he scored 13 straight points for his team in the second quarter, and had 21 points in the first half. The Mavericks tried to use a matchup zone to try to slow the Nets offense, but had to abandon it because Lopez was wreaking havoc on the interior.
Lopez had 24 points combined in his first two games back after missing the first 32 games of the season with a broken right foot. Lopez now has 15 30-plus point games in his career. In 36 minutes on Tuesday night, he shot 17-for-28 and added six rebounds. If he keeps playing like this, maybe Magic GM Smith will be more willing to trade Dwight Howard to the Nets.
GOOD: Gerald Green looks like a keeper. In his Nets debut after signing a 10-day contract Monday, the 26-year-old looked like the best small forward the team has had all season. He was quick, aggressive and showed an ability to knock down the 3 and finish at the rim. His final stat line read 10 points in 18 minutes. The Nets' small forward position earned the worst "BAD" rating of any position in the NBA from ESPN.com’s John Hollinger.
D-WILL: Deron Williams had 10 points in the first quarter, but didn't have a field goal after that. So much for that great shooting background at American Airlines Arena. D-Will shot 3-for-15 and finished with 12 points, 12 assists and four rebounds. He had scored 20-plus points in his previous seven games.
SUPPORTING CAST: Morrow added 15 points, while Kris Humphries chipped in 10 points and 15 rebounds.
MAKING CONNECTIONS: Kidd, Vince Carter, Yi Jianlian, Brandan Wright and D-Leaguer Sean Williams all used to play for the Nets. Ex-Maverick DeShawn Stevenson received his championship ring from the 2011 title team. Humphries, Green and Shawne Williams all used to play in Dallas. Avery Johnson used to coach the Mavericks. D-Will grew up near Dallas. His younger brother is going to attend prep school in New Jersey. Let the conspiracy theories begin.
STATS OF THE NIGHT: The Nets -- the worst transition scoring team in the NBA -- had 25 fast-break points and outscored the Mavericks 42-36 in the paint. The worst team in the league in terms of defensive efficiency, New Jersey held Dallas to 36 percent shooting -- the lowest any team has shot against the Nets. The Mavericks shot 14 more free throws than the Nets.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Hump's emphatic one-handed alley-oop slam from MarShon Brooks, which gave the Nets a 17-11 lead in the first quarter.
FARMAR OUT: Jordan Farmar sat out with a groin injury.
UP NEXT: Nets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. Friday.