Dec 5, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) dribbles the ball while being defended by Washington Wizards forward Andrew Nicholson (44) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
The Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards got off to a quick start on Monday night as the Wizards came out hot, and the Nets responded. For the first half of the first quarter, the two teams traded buckets. Washington’s offensive prowess was on full display, but the Nets weren’t deterred early on.
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The Nets took their first lead of the night when Bojan Bogdanovic nailed a three to give Brooklyn a 28-27 lead. Bogdanovic then hit another three-pointer with seven seconds left in the quarter to give the Nets a 32-29 lead heading into the second quarter.
Brooklyn came out confident on offense, which helped the Nets build a seven point lead in the second quarter. Four minutes into the second quarter, the Nets went on an extended 25-10 run. The Wizards quickly regained composure. A 9-0 run, capped off by a Trey Burke three-pointer, tied the game at 44 midway through the second quarter.
However, the Nets’ offense would not be slowed in the first half. At the two-minute mark of the first half, Brooklyn was on an 18-2 run. Brooklyn’s offense exploded for 66 points in the first half, taking a 66-51 lead into the halftime break. Brook Lopez led the Nets with 16 first half points, while Bojan Bogdanovic poured in 11, and Sean Kilpatrick and Trevor Booker each added 10. John Wall led the Wizards with 10 first half points, but the Nets controlled the first half thanks to their potent offense.
Washington opened the third quarter on a 13-0 run, as the Wizards came out of halftime with all of the momentum. The Nets couldn’t buy a bucket early in the third quarter, as their once-hot offense had gone cold. Brooklyn went over three minutes without their first bucket in the third quarter. What was once a 16 point lead for the Nets disappeared at the 5:40 mark, as Washington took a two point lead. As they have many times this year, the Nets struggled in the mightily in the third quarter.
The Nets battled to make it close at the end of the third quarter, as Washington led 83-81 at the end of three quarters. But Brooklyn was outscored 32-15 in the third quarter, as Washington took momentum into the fourth quarter.
To the Nets’ credit, Brooklyn did not quit in the fourth quarter. The Nets took a 100-98 lead with 5:40 left in the game John Wall quickly tied the game at 100, but it was clear the Nets hadn’t given up. However, the Wizards went on a 5-0 run after a Bradley Beal three pointer and a John Wall dunk in transition. The sequence gave Washington a 109-106 lead. Wall then hit a three to push Washington’s lead to six.
The final minute was filled with drama, as Brooklyn had a chance to tie the game at 116 with 10 seconds left. However, a turnover ensued when Trevor Booker tried to complete a pass to Joe Harris. Bradley Beal knocked the ball away, and the Wizards were able to seal the victory, 118-113.
Dec 5, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Trevor Booker (35) takes a shot while being defended by Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris (5) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
1. The Nets’ offense was a tale of two halves
After putting up 66 points in the first half, the Nets came out of the halftime break ice cold. The Wizards, on the other hand, seized the momentum quickly. The Nets, thanks in part to a tough third quarter, scored just 47 points in the second half, compared to Washington’s 67. The Wizards were led by John Wall, who scored 25 points to go along with 13 assists. The Nets were led by Brook Lopez‘s 25 points, but Brooklyn ultimately couldn’t overcome their offensive drought in the second half.
Turnovers have been one of the Nets’ problems this season, and Brooklyn committed a total of 21 turnovers on Monday. Trevor Booker committed the most among starters, with four, and Randy Foye had four, as well. By comparison, the Wizards turned the ball over just nine times as a team. The turnovers — combined with Brooklyn’s tendency to go cold on offense at times, which isn’t unrelated — has become detrimental. The Nets, at times, have shown how capable their offense is, such as in the first half on Monday. But turnovers can deter even the best of teams when they’re committed at an astounding rate.
3. The third quarter woes continue
The Nets played extremely well in both the first and second quarters. However, as has happened many times this season, Brooklyn unraveled in the third quarter. This allowed Washington to grab all of the momentum, and, eventually, the lead. The Wizards opened the quarter on a 10-0 run, and ultimately outscored the Nets by 17 points in the third quarter. Brooklyn’s third quarter woes have often caused them to trail entering the fourth quarter, and that was the case on Monday night.
Dec 5, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Trevor Booker (35) dribbles the ball while being defended by Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Player of the Game:
Brook Lopez led the Nets with 25 points on Monday night. He also had five assists, and six rebounds. Speaking of rebounds, with his first of the night, Lopez moved into second place in rebounds in Nets history, with 3,691. Lopez is the centerpiece of the Nets’ franchise, and he continues to make progress in the Nets’ record books. Unfortunately, Lopez and the Nets couldn’t complete the comeback after falling behind in the third quarter, but Lopez did his part, as he led the Nets in scoring.
Sean Kilpatrick played 32 minutes, and scored 21 points. He also dished out four assists, and pulled down six rebounds. Also, Kilpatrick, who has struggled with turnovers at times this season, turned the ball over just twice on Monday. The Nets needed big performances, and got just that from Kilpatrick. While Nets fans are quite familiar with Kilpatrick, it shouldn’t be long until the NBA as a whole has a working knowledge of one of Brooklyn’s best scorers.
Up your game, please…
Isaiah Whitehead did have some positives on Monday, as he dished out five assists and grabbed four rebounds. But Whitehead scored just six points. The Nets don’t generally call Whitehead’s number too much, as he shot the ball just eight times. The Nets don’t need Whitehead to lead the team in scoring, but nevertheless, he has shown potential in the past which suggests he’s better offensively than his output on Monday night.