Randy Foye was 8-9 from three-point range tonight, scoring 26 points. Yep, D-Will's return to Utah didn't go very well for the Nets
Eventually, the seven-game, 13-night nature of the Western United States portion of the Nets' circus road trip would catch up to the game. Tonight in Utah, it looks like it finally did. Missing Joe Johnson for the fourth-straight game, the Nets were able to stay close through the first half of the game (taking a 54-52 lead after the game's first 24 minutes) but completely fell apart in the second half, highlighted by an unconscious stretch of three-point shooting from Utah's Randy Foye, who hit five treys in the third quarter alone. Off the momentum of Foye's effort, the Jazz were able to build a double-digit lead that they would hold until the final buzzer sounded.
Brooklyn got off to a rough start, allowing its opponent to score 33 first-quarter points on 15-22 shooting, good for 68 percent. The Nets were only able to keep pace due to 17 combined points from Brook Lopez and Deron Williams, who led the way throughout the losing effort. The bench then fought the Nets right back into the game, spreading the ball around on offense while simultaneously holding Utah to just 38 percent shooting in the second period. Brooklyn also won the rebounding battle during that time span by a margin of 16 to 11, another fact which helps to explain just how well the Nets' reserves played to bail out the starters.
However, all the good will and faith the Nets built up in the first 24 minutes dissipated immediately in the second 24 minutes, as Randy Foye unleashed his three-point barrage on a stunned Brooklyn squad that saw a lead turn into a massive deficit very quickly. In the second half alone, Foye hit seven threes, missing just one as he scored 21 points in the third and fourth quarters en route to 26 for the whole game. Anything else the Nets did in that part of the game had little impact, as every basket scored would be negated by a Foye three, Al Jefferson lay-in, or even off-balanced Marvin Williams jumper.
Some other observations I had from the game: It was nice to see some fight in the Nets, as they were able to cut the double-figure Jazz lead to as low as seven at the end of the fourth quarter, but were never able to break through and actually regain the lead. As close to a moral victory as a team could get in this kind of situation……#ReggieEvansReboundWatch: 16. Not sure he's human anymore……Keith Bogans and Gerald Wallace both started the game for Brooklyn, totaling 49 minutes of play. Combining for five points on 2-7 shooting and 1-6 three-point shooting, Bogans and Wallace just didn't give the Nets enough production from the starting 2 and 3 in order to truly have a shot at winning this game. Joe Johnson is sorely missed……D-Will was pretty sharp in his old home arena where he was booed pretty loudly, tallying up 21 points and 11 assists as he showed great aggression in driving to the hoop for a basket whenever the team needed it…..Brook Lopez had a big scoring night, hitting 11 of 16 to earn 27 points along with seven boards. However, his play wasn't all that great as he committed five turnovers on the night, all of which came from Utah pressuring him while he was holding the ball during a post-up, a position in which he is always vulnerable to turnover from. For some reason, Brook holds the ball WAYYY long near his body (as opposed to up high in a safer place) which allows a defender to come in and either strip the ball from him or force him into a bad decision…..Big games all around from C.J. Watson (30 mins, 20 points, 8-13 shooting), MarShon Brooks (30 mins, 12 points), and Andray Blatche (10 points, four blocks) to name a few. The common thread between these guys: they all came off the bench, displaying just another example of how much the Nets' starters let them down tonight vs the Jazz.
The Nets head back to the East Coast to finish out their road trip Wednesday night in Cleveland vs the Cavaliers.