The Nets sweep Houston in the season series, win 110-105.
After poor showings against the Knicks and the smokin’-hot Warriors this past week, the Nets took on the Houston Rockets in Brooklyn today. Their earlier match-up against the Rockets this season ended with the Nets’ very first win after a 0-7 start, but the Rockets were still favoured. Yet another “Brooklyn Blue Night” served to honour Joe Johnson’s game winners over his years with the Nets, and those in attendance received a neat little JJ bobble head to celebrate him.
The game began with fairly lackadaisical play by the Rockets, who have disappeared into the abyss after coming 2nd in the Western Conference last year. This was met with relatively good play by the Nets, who looked fresh and willing to pass the ball – and had fun while doing it.
Thad Young to Brook on the first play of the game.
No-look pass from Jack to Bogdanovic in transition.
Lob from Thad Young to bobble-head Joe.
The Nets ended the first quarter with 31 points to the Rockets’ 24, and did so shooting 58.3% from the field and holding Houston to 40.9% shooting. Through the second quarter, however, the Nets began to regress to their usual mean. Both teams turned the ball over at a staggering rate, but the Nets still seemed in control, making sure to capatilize in transition and pulling off some truly impressive moves – a rarity for this slow and often stagnant team.
The highlight of the night: Thomas Robinson POSTERIZES Clint Capela.
While the Rockets continued to shoot poorly in the third quarter, ex-Net Marcus Thornton decided to show UP, and posted a ridiculous 32 points on 12-for-18 shooting. This was a follow-up to his performance against the Nets earlier this season, where he earned 21 points. This makes me particularly sad, as I have always been a defender of both Marcus Thornton and Alan Anderson – two Nets who have since been “replaced” by the (in my opinion) massively inferior Bogdanovic and Ellington.
However, Bojan did redeem himself somewhat in this game – scoring 19 points and ending with the best +/- on the team. I am not holding my breath though – Bojan is horrendous on defense, so his scoring is his only chance at redemption. He must simply score enough when he’s out there to counter for his miscues defensively. That is what he did tonight, but for the 11 games prior, he was averaging just 5.8 points a game as a sixth-man. Here’s hoping this is the beginning of the turn-around.
Ball movement leads to an easy Bogdanovic three.
The stand out performance was that of Thaddeus Young, who is quickly but quietly turning into a star with the Nets. He scored 20 points off 10-of-13 from the field, and also had 5 assists and 12 rebounds. His soft touch around the basket and ability to play the role of “point forward” are simply outstanding. If you haven’t watched much of him this year, I urge you to.
Critically for the Nets, James Harden had an off-night, and the heroic efforts by the bench to pull the Rockets into the lead never came to fruition. The Nets did almost cough up the game at several moments, including a missed Jack travel in the final seconds, but all-in-all this was a very good offensive showing with plenty of fun highlights for a Nets fan to sink their teeth into. The Nets have now won five of their last six games played at home, which is a positive sign as they attempt to dig their way out of the 6-15 deficit.
This post also appears on Jasmine’s blog, nbarambler.com.