On Saturday night, the Nets were defeated by the Houston Rockets by a final score of 119-106.
The Skinny: Deron Williams scored the first nine Nets’ points of the contest on 3-of-3 shooting. But the rest of the team managed to hit just one of its first 10 from the floor. Williams did not miss a shot in the first quarter and finished with 20 points. James Harden though was active all over the floor with 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Brooklyn led by one after one.
Houston took the lead on a 7-0 run to start the second quarter. Williams limped off early in the second quarter after appearing to roll his ankle. Once he went off, the Nets could not muster anything offensively, allowing the Rockets to open a 13-point lead. Even with D-Will back, the Rockets increased their lead to 18 points as part of a 25-6 extended run. Brooklyn cut the lead back to nine, but Houston closed out the half leading by 13.
The offensive pace to start the third quarter was furious on both sides. But as a result, the Nets had trouble cutting into the Rockets’ double-digit lead. An 8-0 Houston run put the Rockets up 20. Brooklyn again chipped away to get within nine as the third quarter ended.
The Nets got to within eight, but again the Rockets kept up the intensity. The Nets had no answer defensively in the quarter as frustrations mounted. Williams was ejected at the 1:07 mark for arguing with a referee after he was fouled. This one was over long before that however.
High Scorers: Harden led all scorers with 29 points on 7-of-15 from the field and had seven assists. For the Nets, Williams led the way with 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting and dished out 11 assists for the double-double.
Key Stats: The Rockets had 31 assists on 43 field goals. Houston also outrebounded the Nets, 50-31. The Rockets held the advantage, 60-24, in points in the paint.
Who Was Hot: Chandler Parsons recorded a double-double with 16 points and a career-high 11 assists. Omer Asik also had a double-double with 20 points and 16 rebounds. Jeremy Lin added 14 points and nine assists.
Who Was Not: Brook Lopez scored 21 points, but he got to that total mostly through free-throws (9-of-10 from the line). He was just 6-of-13 from the field, and several of those buckets came during garbage time.
Fun Fact: Nets’ assistant coach Mario Elie played for the Rockets from 1993-1998. In five seasons with the Rockets, Elie averaged 9.9 points, 3.1 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game.
Jim Mancari, ContributorThe Nets just couldn’t keep up with the fast-paced Rockets in this one. Brooklyn made a few runs, but Houston never really broke a sweat.
For the second straight game, the Nets just couldn’t get consecutive stops at the defensive end. They also got beat up in the paint, with Asik having a huge game.
Williams looked like he would be off the charts in this one after 20 points in the first quarter without missing a shot, but he hit on just three of his final eight shots before being ejected. The 20 points in the first set a new Nets’ season-high for points in a quarter this season.
Brooklyn also set a season-high with 16 three-pointers made. But the Rockets answered with 12 three-pointers of their own.
Houston has now defeated the Nets in 12 straight games and has averaged 108.6 in those games.
The Nets ended their four-game road trip 2-2. The first two were quality wins, but these last two against the Grizzlies and Rockets were ugly losses.
This is the first two-game losing streak under P.J. Carlesimo.
Brooklyn (26-18) returns to Barclays Center Monday night to play host to the Orlando Magic. The 7:30 p.m. game will be televised on the YES Network and NBA TV.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.