photo credit: Paul Kitagaki JR.
The Brooklyn Nets playing down to opponents? No longer an issue?
The Nets displayed just how great they can be on Monday night in Sacramento. Needless to say, Brooklyn has struggled mightily this season with motivation. Against teams with winning records, the Nets are one of the best teams in basketball. However, against teams with losing records, it seems as if they would be an average basketball team.
Against the 12-4 Sacramento Kings in California on Monday night, the Nets proved why every single person in the basketball world should be excited or scared to watch this team come playoff time. Coming into this game, Nets fans cringed at the fact that 1. Kevin Durant is out for at least two games with hamstring issues and 2. The Kings have a losing record. Without arguably their best player and the best player in basketball this year, the Nets still put on a display.
Brooklyn scored on each of their first four possessions and looked strong out of the gate. Sacramento would not go away, though. At the end of the first quarter, Sacramento even led by a point. Brooklyn dominated the second quarter, posting 38 points compared to Sacramento’s 31. The score at halftime was 74-68 Nets. It wasn’t a blowout by any means in the first half, and the Nets didn’t start dominating until the third quarter, where they outscored the Kings 33-20. Going into the fourth quarter with a nineteen-point lead, the Nets did not sit back. Sacramento played a decent half, but there was no stopping Steve Nash’s Nets tonight. Eventually, Nash removed his top players, and the Kings outscored the Nets in the fourth quarter 37-29. Regardless, the Nets won the basketball game 136-125 and improve to 17-12 on the season.
After coming just shy of it for multiple straight games, James Harden has finally recorded his 51st career triple-double, dropping 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 14 assists. Kyrie Irving recorded 40 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Jeff Green and Landry Shamet both had 13 points. Shamet also tallied 3 rebounds and assists. Green had 2 assists. Joe Harris had 10 points, 3 rebounds, and an assist.
“The Big 3” have not even played 10 games together due to injuries, COVID-19 protocols, and rest. But as James Harden continues getting into shape and they find their game, it only gets better, and the sky is the limit.
The Nets look to improve to 3-0 on this West Coast road trip and take on the Phoenix Suns at Phoenix Suns Arena on Tuesday at 10:30 PM Eastern Time.