The Brooklyn Nets fall to a Dwight-less, Metta World Peace-less and a Jordan Hill-less Los Angeles Lakers 92-83.
I think it’s safe to say that the Nets had all their star players playing in tonight’s game, but they were still unable to capitalize on a Lakers team that is still trying to “figure” things out. Kobe was playing like he just bought a pair of new knees and Brook Lopez was putting a whooping on Pau Gasol like he owed him money. Steve Nash spent the whole night chasing Deron Williams around the court, and all you could do is bite your finger nails hoping Nash doesn’t tear any ligaments trying to keep up.
Brooklyn came out with a lot of intensity and energy which in turn made Los Angeles turn things up a bit. Kobe Bryant had 21 pts, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 assist. Steve Nash had 17 pts and 8 assists, Earl Clark added 14 pts and 12 rebounds for the Lakers. The Lakers are now 3-0 on the road in February and seem to be getting better with each game with or without Dwight’s Howards presence on the floor. Most people have counted the Lakers out of the playoff hunt but have failed to realize that this year it looks like any team in the west with at least 43 wins will be able to tango in this yrs playoffs.
Brook Lopez lead the Nets with 30 pts, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks. Deron Williams chipped in 15 pts, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Joe Johnson had 11 pts, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. When reporters interviewed Lopez after the game he said said scoring 30 pts was not enough, he could’ve did more, more of the intangibles. I hear what Lopez is saying but unfortunately he can’t play every position on the floor, that’s why it’s called 5 on 5 basketball. The Nets fought a good battle but they like to keep things too close for comfort. Instead of building on a 24-18 lead in the first quarter they let L.A. breeze pass them and keep a 6-8 point lead the entire game. We could easily put the blame on the Nets failed efforts to keep a lead but I’d rather put the blame on the Deron Williams who scored 11 of his 15 points in that first quarter and then took a permanent lunch break. Williams gets paid like one of the elite players in the NBA, his decisions and opinions are obviously taken very seriously by the Nets organization and fellow players. So why isn’t he taking control of close games like this? The blame doesn’t fall on him alone but he’s the start!