Brooklyn Nets vs. Utah Jazz Takeaways and Player Grades
The Brooklyn Nets were led by Trevor Booker and Brook Lopez early on Monday, as they each scored nine points to account for Brooklyn’s first 18 points. The Jazz and Nets traded buckets in back-and-forth fashion for much of the quarter, but Brooklyn closed the quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 26-24 lead into the second quarter.
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Booker played excellent in the first quarter, as he pulled down seven rebounds to go with nine points. On multiple occasions, Booker used brute strength and determination to pull down offensive rebounds among multiple Utah players.
The Nets built on their lead in the second quarter, but turnovers started to pile up, which allowed Utah to quickly close the gap. Four turnovers in the first six minutes of the second quarter hurt the Nets, as their lead was cut to one, 41-40 with 5:30 left in the half.
Brooklyn ended the half with eight turnovers, but still held a two point lead over Utah at halftime, thanks to Trevor Booker’s 11 points and 10 rebounds. Lopez scored nine first half points, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored eight off the bench. Brooklyn led 52-50 at half.
Both teams got off to a slow start in the second half, as Brooklyn and Utah made a combined one of their first 14 shots in the third quarter. The Nets led 60-53 midway through the quarter. The Nets then took a 62-53 lead with 5:20 left in the third quarter after a Booker layup, giving Brooklyn their largest lead of the game to that point.
Utah made just one of their first 15 shots in the third quarter. But led by Gordon Hayward, the Jazz were able to find a rhythm late in the quarter, as Brooklyn saw their once-nine point lead disappear thanks to an 8-0 Utah run. Hayward scored 13 points in the third quarter to bring Utah all the way back. As a result, the Nets and Jazz were tied at 70 heading to the fourth quarter.
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The Jazz, looking to pull ahead, took a 78-74 lead with nine minutes to play. Brooklyn found themselves in yet another close game, as they have so many times this season. Methodically, Utah pulled away. The Jazz pushed the lead up to 11 with six minutes remaining, thanks to a 9-0 run.
Joe Johnson, back in Brooklyn, came through in the clutch for Utah. With the Jazz up eight, Shelvin Mack missed a three-pointer. However, the Nets couldn’t rebound the ball, giving Utah a second possession. Johnson then hit a three to push Utah’s lead to 11.
The lead proved to be insurmountable, as Brooklyn would lose by a final score of 101-89.
1. The Nets were flat in the second half
After scoring 52 points in the first half, the Nets scored just 37 points in the entire second half. Brooklyn scored 18 points in the third quarter, and 19 points in the fourth quarter. Not surprisingly, they lost both quarters, as Utah scored 20 points and 31 points, respectively. The Jazz had offensive struggles of their own in the second half, but not to the degree of Brooklyn’s. The Nets seemingly couldn’t get much of anything going after halftime. As for the Jazz, Gordon Hayward scored 30 points in a great performance that put Utah over the top.
2. Brook Lopez struggled compared to his usual standards
Brook Lopez played 31 minutes, and scored 14 points on just 6-of-16 shooting. Lopez was 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. Lopez didn’t play terribly by any means. But for the type of player Lopez is, and the type of numbers he usually puts up, he had a bit of an off night. Lopez wasn’t the only Net to struggle, as the team as a whole struggled to score for the most part. However, Lopez is Brooklyn’s leader. When this game was hanging in the balance in the fourth quarter, the Nets weren’t able to take advantage. To reiterate, that isn’t solely on Lopez, but on most nights he will shoot better than 37 percent.
3. Overall, the Nets shot poorly from three-point range
The Nets have placed an emphasis on shooting three-pointers this season. Brooklyn shot 27 three’s on Monday. While they have certainly shot more than that on numerous occasions, the Nets were not efficient from beyond the arc. Brooklyn made just six of their 27 three point attempts, equaling 22 percent. In fact, while Brook Lopez, Trevor Booker, Isaiah Whitehead, Sean Kilpatrick, Joe Harris and Justin Hamilton made three’s, no Nets player made more than one against Utah. The three-pointer clearly wasn’t falling for the Nets for much of Monday night, and when that’s the case, it’s detrimental to the flow and production of the offense.
Player of the Game:
PF, Brooklyn Nets
SF, Brooklyn Nets
Up your game, please…
SG, Brooklyn Nets
With the loss, the Brooklyn Nets fall to 8-25 on the season. The Nets will have two days off, before taking on the Indiana Pacers in Indiana, which is the first half of a back-to-back, which also includes the Cleveland Cavaliers.
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