Nets Survive Scare in the Valley of the Sun

Here’s a game clip from NBA.com:

For the second straight game on this eight-game road trip, the Nets found themselves in a competitive battle against a Western conference foe. Only this time, the final score was in favor of the Nets. Brooklyn held on to a 102-100 win over the Phoenix Suns, who could have sent the game into overtime if reserve forward Hamed Haddadi had connected on a putback at the end of regulation. Continue reading

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Clippers Clip Nets

Brooklyn had no answer for Clippers guard Chris Paul and his pick-and-rolls in the second half. Paul scored 17 of his game-high 29 points to lead Los Angeles to a 101-95 win over the Nets at the Staples Center Saturday night. Brooklyn held its own against one of the Western conference’s best teams. Up to the closing seconds in regulation, the game was in doubt for the Clippers. After a timeout, Deron Williams hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 99-95 with less than a minute to play in the fourth quarter. But that was the closest Brooklyn got because the Clippers iced the game at the free throw line. Williams and Lopez each scored 18 in the loss for the Nets, who will look to rebound when they take on the lowly Suns in Phoenix on Sunday.

Chris Paul

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Nets Clinch Playoff Berth

P.J. Carlesimo | Brooklyn Nets

P.J. Carlesimo | Brooklyn Nets (Photo credit: Basketball Schedule)

Brooks Lopez | Brooklyn Nets

Brooks Lopez | Brooklyn Nets (Photo credit: Basketball Schedule)

When the Philadelphia 76ers lost 101-100 to the streaking Denver Nuggets– winners of 14 straight–Brooklyn clinched a playoff berth for the first time in five years.  The Nets (40-28) are vastly improved from last year’s team (then the New Jersey Nets) that won only 12 games. Two factors have been instrumental to the Nets success this season: the productivity of Brook Lopez and the firing of Avery Johnson.  Lopez has been nothing short of spectacular when he’s been healthy (he missed some games earlier in the season because of an ankle injury). He’s averaging 19 points and 7.0 rebounds per game and was named to his first All-Star team. As for the firing of Coach Avery Johnson, it was a decision that I did not agree with. But it’s easier to dispose of a coach than it is with players for underperformance. Since the firing, Brooklyn’s record is 26-14. Unfortunately for Johnson, the Nets’ recent success speaks to how desperately they needed a new voice to salvage a promising season.