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Folks, I present to you the Brooklyn Nets. That basketball team with three generational talents and a Hall of Fame head coach. After struggling against teams with losing records, the Nets need to find their wins against teams with winning records, teams that motivate Steve Nash’s crew. What better team to motivate Brooklyn than Kevin Durant’s former team, the Golden State Warriors? After a seven-day COVID-19 quarantine, Kevin Durant didn’t seem to miss a beat. “The Big 3” consisting of Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden dominated once again tonight, taking away any hopes Stephen Curry and the Warriors may have had at coming out of this game with a win.
In the first quarter, the Nets dropped 37 points. Outscoring their opponent by 9. The second quarter was a bit different. The defense was tighter, and scoring was down. Either way, Brooklyn outscored Golden state 29-23. Although it wasn’t their greatest quarter ever, the Nets went into their dressing room for halftime with a 15-point lead. With the widely known defensive and rim-protecting struggles this Nets team has, they knew what they needed to do in the third quarter. They came out and sent a message loud and clear - outscoring Golden State 42-31 and heading into the fourth quarter with a now very comfortable 108-82 lead. Though the Warriors outscored the Nets 35-26 in the fourth and final quarter, the Nets did not have many of their regulars in the game because of rest. Brooklyn ended up winning the game 134-117.
Overall, tonight was a performance that will be needed later down the road to have playoff success. Golden State was without 2020 second overall pick, James Wiseman, who suffered a wrist injury on January 30th against the Detroit Pistons. Wiseman is out for at least another 7-10 days. Durant recorded 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists in his long-awaited return to where he won two NBA titles. James Harden recorded 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 16 assists, falling just short of a triple-double yet again. Kyrie Irving had 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Bruce Brown had a fantastic night. Brown had 18 points, 7 rebounds, and an assist. Joe Harris had 15 points and 4 rebounds.
As we advance, Sean Marks looks to add some defense to back this offensive juggernaut.
The Nets can’t be nearly satisfied yet. Improvements still need to be made on the defensive side of things, but tonight was a massive step in the right direction for Nash’s Nets, who will take on the Sacramento Kings on Monday at 10:00 Eastern Time. Brooklyn looks to keep improving and ultimately move up in the tight Eastern Conference standings. They will improve to 9-1 against teams with a record .500 or better and remain 7-11 against teams with losing records. The road ahead is not easy, but the Nets have the best of the best on the court, on the sidelines, and in the front office. The skill is there, and it’s just time to find the right mentality and execute.