Slow starts. Silly turnovers. Wretched defense. All the flaws that person plagued the Nets successful their uninspired aboriginal stages of the play got fixed — astatine slightest for a night.
The Nets got good with a 104-90 rout of Washington earlier 14,487 astatine Barclays Center, including Jay-Z seated courtside.
After 3 consecutive horrible opening quarters — combined with an inability to defender the ball, oregon clasp onto it — the Nets had been conscionable a miraculous rally successful Philadelphia distant from being 0-3. But Monday they posted a triumph that was some broad and convincing.
Kevin Durant (game-high 25 points) and Patty Mills (21 points) led 5 Nets successful double-figures. But much germane was smothering Washington to 34.7 percent shooting, including 9-of-39 from down the arc.
And for a change, the Nets didn’t sabotage their ain defence with ill-timed turnovers. After having handed Charlotte 29 points connected 17 turnovers connected Sunday — 8 by James Harden unsocial — they played a overmuch cleaner game. They committed conscionable 9 miscues Monday.
“It was an contented past year, too. We’ve conscionable got to instrumentality attraction of the ball,” said Bruce Brown, who had 14 points and had a affirmative power connected some ends. “Usually teams person much changeable attempts for america and we’re inactive successful the crippled truthful if we support the shot successful our hands and deed those shots we’ll stroke radical out.”
That’s what happened. After going an awesome 29-8 arsenic a starter past season, Brown got the motion for the archetypal clip this play and instantly rewarded manager Steve Nash. The defensive-minded defender did his accustomed bully enactment connected that extremity close retired of the gross to assistance debar different dilatory start.
After falling down by 19 successful Milwaukee, 14 successful Philadelphia and 7 against Charlotte, this clip Brown had six speedy points to assistance spot the Nets to a 17-12 lead. They ne'er trailed from there.
“They came to maine and said I was retired of the rotation and said they were trying to fig things out. It’s not thing that I did,” Brown said. “I was conscionable staying ready. I was successful this presumption earlier past year; I didn’t play similar the archetypal 10, 15 games. It’s thing new. I’ll beryllium acceptable erstwhile my time’s called. Then time if it goes backmost to what it was, I’ll beryllium good.”
Clinging to a 17-14 borderline aft a Daniel Gafford layup, the Nets tightened the antiaircraft screws and blew the crippled unfastened with an 18-4 tally implicit the adjacent 5 minutes.
They harassed Washington into 1-of-9 shooting, and Mills’ 3 made it 35-18 with 1:30 near successful the first. His nasty step-back 3 with 8.7 2nd remaining near Aaron Holiday stumbling and Brooklyn up 38-20.
Harden’s driving layup with 7:29 successful the fractional was auspicious successful aggregate ways, partially due to the fact that it padded the cushion to 47-22 but much due to the fact that helium repeatedly flashed an quality to get to the handbasket erstwhile needed.
Hamstring issues person fundamentally kept Harden from playing consistently astatine afloat velocity since March, and that’s shown successful an inability to get to his spots.
After averaging 4.3 attempts astatine the rim past season, Harden entered Monday’s crippled managing conscionable 2 this season. And adjacent erstwhile he’s managed to get layup attempts, his percent had dipped from 59 percent to 33.3 percent.
The extremity result? A superstar who got 3.1 layups each crippled past play had averaged 1 truthful far.
“I’m gonna get to the basket,” said Harden, who had 14 points, 9 assists and six boards. “That’s my game. Get to the basket, finish, make opportunities for my teammates. Nothing changes.”