The Brooklyn Nets caught fire early and broke the spirit of the Sacramento Kings. They had chances to get back in this one, but in the end, the Nets were just too strong, coming away with victory by the final score of 113-93 at the Barclays Center.
Notes and Analysis
- The story of this game was the red-hot shooting of the Nets. The home team shot an incredible 67.5 percent in the first half as they built their 18-point lead. They cooled off in the second half, but still finished the game shooting a stellar 51.8-percent.
- DeMarcus Cousins continued his incredible play, finishing with a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds. Whatever was said during his suspension last month seems to have taken root as the Kings center is playing at an All-Star level over the last six games.
- John Salmons scored an impressive 13 points in the first quarter on 5-for-6 from the floor and 3-for-3 from 3-point land. Unfortunately, he never hit another bucket, finishing with the game with 13 points on 5-for-13 shooting.
- Jason Thompson always plays well in front of his parents who were in the stands tonight in New York. Like Salmons, Thompson came out hot early, scoring 12 of his 15 points in the first half. In the second half, Keith Smart tried a few different lineups, limiting Thompson to just 26 minutes.
- Aaron Brooks was the lone bright spot off the Kings bench. The speedy guard finished with 13 points on 4-for-7 shooting and handed out a team-high four assists and chipped in five rebounds in 26 minutes.
- James Johnson reverted back to a lot of the one-on-one basketball that we saw from him early in the season, but defensively, he was a bright spot. The veteran wing scored four points, grabbed six rebounds and finished with a game-high five blocks.
- For the second game in a row, guard Jimmer Fredette seemed out of sorts. The BYU product shot 0-for-4 from the field and went scoreless in 12 minutes. With Tyreke Evans on his way back from injury, Jimmer has chosen the wrong time to slip into a slump.
- Stat of the Night: The Nets shooting was impressive in the first half, but the Kings had opportunities in the second half and couldn’t cash in. It didn’t help that the Nets bench outscored the Kings bench 50-25 on the night.
Three answers to three questions to ponder
1. How will the Kings’ guard handle the size of the Nets’ backcourt?
The Kings had no answer for the Nets backcourt. While Deron Williams and Joe Johnson were solid, it was the unorthodox MarShon Brooks who slinked his way to 15 points on 7-for-14 shooting. It seemed like every time the Kings thought they had solved the Nets’ offense in the first half, Brooks would throw up some off-balance fall away that found the bottom of the net.
2. Which team wins the battle of the bigs?
No one could stop Cousins in the post, but the Nets big men played well overall. Brook Lopez finished with 18 points and five rebounds in just 16 minutes. Andray Blatche scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds off the bench and Reggie Evans pestered his way to seven points and 12 rebounds. Cousins and Thompson combined with 43 points and 15 rebounds, but the Kings got very little off the bench and what they did get came in trash time.
3. Will John Salmons have another standout performance?
It sure did look like Salmons was going to have a huge game, but the veteran fell apart after a hot start in the first quarter. The Kings needed more and unfortunately, Salmons looked like a player who was playing in his fourth game in five nights. While Salmons was effective early, he went into hero mode in the second quarter when Smart went primarily to the bench. The result wasn’t pretty and Salmons’ two assists on the night speaks volumes about his overall performance.