On Saturday night, the Nets defeated the Sacramento Kings by a final score of 113-93.
The Skinny: Each Nets’ starter scored two of the team’s first 10 points, with Brooklyn showing great ball movement. The Kings kept it close, led by three three-pointers and 13 first quarter points by John Salmons. The Nets set a new season-high with 36 points on 71 percent shooting in the first quarter and led by five after one.
The Nets’ second unit looked like the “Bench Mob” of old to start the second quarter, as Brooklyn opened a 16-point lead. As part of a 15-2 Nets’ run, Mirza Teletovic scored 10 points in his first five minutes of action, including hitting two three-pointers and blocking a shot. MarShon Brooks added eight points in the quarter. The Nets closed out the first half with an 18-point lead and set another new season-high with 65 points at the break. They also set a new high mark by shooting 67.5 percent from the field, which is the highest shooting percentage of any Eastern Conference team in a first half this season.
The Nets increased the lead to 23 to open the third quarter. It was so bad for the Kings that former Net Travis Outlaw, who was a victim of the Nets’ amnesty provision in December, 2011, saw action in just his 14th game this season. Sacramento gained some momentum late in the third, led by DeMarcus Cousins, but Brooklyn still led by 16 after three. Once again, the Nets set a new high mark with 88 points after three quarters.
The “Bench Mob” again played quality minutes in the fourth quarter, which allowed the Nets to maintain their lead and empty their bench. Teletovic threw down an emphatic dunk in garbage time, putting the exclamation point on the Nets’ victory.
High Scorers: Cousins led all scorers with 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds for a double-double. For the Nets, Brook Lopez led the way with 18 points on 7-of-12 from the floor.
Key Stats: The “Bench Mob” outscored the Kings’ bench, 50-25.
Who Was Hot: Deron Williams had a strong game with 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Andray Blatche shot 7-of-11 from the field for 15 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for a double-double. Reggie Evans grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and scored seven points. Teletovic and Brooks combined to score 29 points on 12-of-24 off the bench. For the Kings, Jason Thompson scored 15 points on 7-of-16 shooting.
Who Was Not: The Kings bench other than Aaron Brooks (13 points on 4-of-7 shooting) combined for just 12 points on 6-of-27 from the field.
Fun Fact: The Nets broke a tie in the all-time series (27-26) against the Sacramento Kings. However, the Kings franchise, which previously played in Kansas City, is 44-32 all-time against the Nets.
Jim MancariA double overtime contest the previous night didn’t faze the Nets this time around, as the team showed no fatigue.
It certainly helped that the “Bench Mob” gave P.J. Carlesimo great minutes in the second quarter to establish the lead. In the victory over Sacramento earlier this season, the Nets’ bench outscored the Kings’ bench, 52-26, and followed that up with another dominant performance in this one.
Six Nets finished the game in double figures, which was key since the strong games by Brooks, Blatche and Teletovic allowed Lopez and Williams to get some rest.
The Nets finished 5-1 during the recent stretch of six games in nine days. They’ve won five of their last six games and are still undefeated in 2013 (3-0).
It took him a half to get going, but Cousins is a fine athlete. In six games since serving a team-issued two-game suspension, he’s recorded six straight doubles averaging 20.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and five assists per game.
Brooklyn (19-15) heads to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Tuesday to take on the division-rival 76ers. The 7 p.m. game will be televised on the YES Network.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.