photo credit: Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post; Getty Images
Brooklyn Nets basketball. Electric comebacks and big wins over the best teams in basketball. Without their best player (Kevin Durant) on Thursday night in Los Angeles, James Harden and Kyrie Irving had to step up. The Nets needed all their passengers to beat the defending NBA champions. The Lakers were without center Anthony Davis, but that does not take away from the fact that this Nets team played a fantastic basketball game. Just like they have done since they’ve been together, “The Big 3” step up for each other and get the job done. Beating the Lakers is a monumental task in general, let alone without your best player so far this season. Kyrie Irving and James Harden rose to the occasion. From tip-off, Brooklyn owned this game. It was a matter of time before they would run away with it.
Out of the gate, the Nets outplayed the Lakers. Dropping 31 points in the first quarter compared to LA’s 24. With a dominant second quarter, Steve Nash and his guys could go to the locker room with a comfortable cushion for the second half. They did exactly that. They outscored the Lakers 33-29 and led by 11 points at halftime (64-53).
Continuing to push the play, Brooklyn once again outscored LA in the third quarter, leading 90-74 heading into the fourth. Brooklyn got the job done, rested their key players, and won the game 109-98. A team widely criticized for their lack of defensive effort kept an offensive juggernaut short of 100 points. Bruce Brown is a name all Nets fans love to hear now, locking it down defensively and doing his part offensively.
Irving and Harden weren’t the only contributors with Durant’s absence, though. Joe Harris had 21 points, 5 rebounds, and an assist in 30 minutes of play. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot was hot from the three-point line and recorded 15 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists. Landry Shamet has found his game and continues to improve, scoring 10 points and 2 rebounds. The Nets continue to live by the next-man-up mentality. The superstars and role players know their job, embrace it, and continually do it successfully. The comeback just a game ago was an overall team effort. When they click, they are nothing short of scary and likely the best team in basketball. The brand of basketball played by Brooklyn is something very rare and likely never seen before.
Harden and Irving didn’t have quiet nights either. Harden looked dominant, dropping 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 11 assists. Irving had 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. On national television, with the basketball world watching, the Brooklyn Nets once again did not disappoint.
A thrilling team to watch, and an evident brotherhood on the court, the Nets are unstoppable. This is the longest win streak for Brooklyn since January of 2019 and the longest road win streak since 2007-2008 when they won four straight. The Nets are now tied with the Philadelphia 76ers for the most wins in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers have played two fewer games.
The Nets look to build off this thrilling victory against the other basketball team from LA, the Clippers, in the same arena. The game will take place on Sunday at the Staples Center. Tip-off is set for 8:00 PM Eastern Time. This game will be nationally televised on ESPN.