|Brook obliterated a Utah frontcourt sorely missing Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, who are playing in Charlotte and Atlanta respectively|
After an extremely disappointing loss to the Magic two days ago, the Brooklyn Nets finally got an easy win as they blew out the Utah Jazz at Barclays tonight.
Severely handicapped by injuries, the Jazz were simply no match for a Nets team which hit 51% of its field goals (compared to just 38% for Utah). Former Nets Richard Jefferson and Derrick Favors combined for just eight points on 3-15 shooting as Gordon Hayward (22 points) and Enes Kanter (21) led the way for coach Tyrone Corbin's team. Long Frenchman Rudy Gobert, a rookie, grabbed 11 rebounds but missed all four shots he took and went scoreless.
Brook Lopez was the star of the game, though, scoring a game-high 27 points on 10-13 to go with seven rebounds in 25 minutes. The Nets looked to Brook early and often, as he deeply outplayed Favors and Kanter down low. The young forward-center combo had no answer for the huge Lopez, who sorely had his way with them, hitting layups and drawing fouls left and right. D-Will, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, Andray, and Shaun Livingston contributed with double-digit points as Brooklyn exhibited balanced scoring.
The outcome of this one was really never in doubt, as the Nets scored the game's first seven points and quickly built a double-digit lead that was whittled down to five at one point, but was held throughout by a Brooklyn team that played with intensity after a lackluster performance in Orlando.
The Nets scored 58 points in the paint tonight compared to just 26 for the Jazz, which, interestingly enough, is how many paint points the Nets had versus the Magic. Brooklyn controlled the paint the whole game, establishing an interior presence in the opening minutes. Clearly, this team is much more dangerous when it attacks the hoop, even with its horde of accomplished three-point shooters.
Some other observations I had from the game: #ReggieEvansReboundCount: A measly three. One of Reggie's most incomplete outings as he only played 14 minutes and committed five fouls. Scored five points on 2-4 shooting, but missed three of the four free throws he attempted……The Nets were outrebounded by eight (47-39) and gave up a staggering 19 offensive boards, but they won the assists battle (23-17) and committed five less turnovers than their opponent. Not a great showing on the glass, but when you shoot as well as the Nets did, it doesn't really matter…..This game represents the first time Deron and/or Andrei Kirilenko has beaten their former team, so you know they played with an extra hop in their step…..The Nets are now 0-2 on the road and 2-0 at home so far this season. It's great to take care of business in Brooklyn, but when the two road losses are in Cleveland and Orlando, it's a little troubling but not cause for concern just yet…..Mirza played 12 minutes but was scoreless again, missing all five of the shots he took (three of which were three-pointers). Good ol' Mirza is on a pretty big cold spell at the moment.
The Nets have a two-day break, as they next play Friday night in Washington against the Wizards. A win would push Brooklyn above .500 for the first time this season.