On Sunday night, the Nets defeated the Phoenix Suns by a final score of 102-100.
The Skinny: Joe Johnson sat out the game with a quad contusion. Brook Lopez scored six points in the first three minutes of the game and helped the Nets out to an early 10-4 lead. The Suns tied the game up at 25 by the end of the first quarter, though. Kris Humphries dropped in nine first quarter points and Deron Williams dished out six early assists.
Andray Blatche helped the Nets spark a 13-4 run to begin the second quarter and Goran Dragic and Michael Beasley combined to scored 14 of the team’s 18 second quarter points. Humphries and Lopez led the way for the Nets, helping them out to a 55-43 halftime lead.
In the third, the Nets were outscored 33-20 after Wesley Johnson caught fire and made five 3-pointers in the quarter. The Nets shot 1-13 over a five minute span in the third and allowed the Suns to take a one point lead into the fourth quarter.
C.J. Watson made one of the game’s bigger shots, tying the score up at 78 early in the fourth. The Suns captured the game’s momentum and traded the lead back and forth with the Nets down the stretch. Watson hit a four free-throws at the midpoint of the quarter and Williams hit a 3-pointer to give the Nets the lead for good with 5:08 remaining. The Suns kept coming and nearly tied the game on Hamed Haddai’s offensive rebound off of a Dragic’s intentionally missed free-throw. The Suns trailed by two with 3.9 seconds remaining, but Haddadi was unable to score the tip-in and the Nets took home the victory.
High Scorers: Goran Dragic torched the Nets all night, finishing up with 31 points (10-of-19 FG), nine rebounds and 12 assists. Brook Lopez dropped in 21 points for the Nets, but shot just 6-of-16 from the field. He turned the ball over three times and grabbed just five rebounds.
Key Stats: As a team, the Nets shot 90 percent from the free-throw line, converting 28-of-31 attempts. The Suns were just 12-of-17.
Who Was Hot: Kris Humphries. Humphries played against tonight and gave P.J. Carlesimo 28 solid minutes. Without Joe Johnson, Humphries came up with a season-high 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Wesley Johnson gave the Suns 21 points on 7-of-18 shooting, including 5-of-9 from behind the arc.
Who Was Not: Keith Bogans. Though Bogans brings intensity on the defensive end, he managed to hit just 1-of-5 from the field in 31 minutes.
Fun Fact: With the victory, P.J. Carlesimo’s personal record improves to 27-15 and that’s the the best 42-game start by any coach in Nets franchise history.
Moke Hamilton, NBA AnalystThe Nets are now a very impressive 3-1 halfway through their 8-game road trip. Though they struggled a bit to close the Suns out at the end here, a win is a win.
Next up for the Brooklyn gang is a Wednesday night showdown at the Portland Trailblazers. The Rose Garden is not the easiest place to score a road win, but a win there would make the Nets 4-1 and guarantee the team of at least a .500 trip.
Better yet, the Nets will have two full days off before Wednesday’s game, so they should be well rested.