While the third quarter was the time where Brooklyn thrived in last night’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers, the second quarter was the team’s demise in a 114-106 loss to the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.
The result marks an end to Brooklyn’s west coast trip, in which the team heads back to Brooklyn with a 2-3 trip record, and 5-8 overall.
The Nets played catch-up to Utah all game, but Brooklyn came as close as four points to the lead with one minute to go in the fourth quarter. After the Jazz won a jump ball and made two free throws, along with the Nets turning it over once more, the game grew out of Brooklyn’s reach.
After tieing in the first quarter, Utah out-scored Brooklyn 36-20 in the second. The Nets then outscored Utah both in the third and fourth quarters, but the 16-point hole at halftime proved too much to overcome.
Brooklyn got a lot of its work done in the paint tonight, at least offensively. Since the jumper was not always falling, the Nets looked to drive and take it to the rim.
On the other side of the court, the team could not stop Utah from getting to the paint either. With Timofey Mozgov playing all of 11 (unproductive) minutes, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had to spend some time at center. Even though Trevor Booker had a promising return tonight, Brooklyn is still sorely missing (or in need of) a stronger frontcourt presence.
With Spencer Dinwiddie out of the game due to right hamstring tightness, Isaiah Whitehead got nearly 13 minutes of playing time tonight. D’Angelo Russell had a solid game, scoring 26 points, but left in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. The latest update is that he will be examined tomorrow once back in Brooklyn.
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) November 12, 2017
Derrick Favors (24 points) and Donovan Mitchell (26 points) led the way for the Jazz, with Favors adding 12 rebounds. Brooklyn had no one to match him. Nets fans continue to hope Jarrett Allen is close to a return.
Next, the Nets have two days off to head home and prepare for a home crowd at Barclays Center against the red-hot Boston Celtics on Nov. 14. D’Angelo Russell against Kyrie Irving should be a fun match-up, as long as both are healthy. Nets fans now wait for good news on Russell’s knee.
Timofey Mozgov Center
3 PTS, 1-1 FG, 1-2 FT, 1 REB, 3 TOV, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 11 MIN
Mozgov is big, but he’s not reliable enough to keep at center throughout a game. The Nets really need him to be reliable, though, as they continue to get attacked in the paint. RHJ acting as center just isn’t cutting it, especially as Jarrett Allen continues to be out with a foot injury.
Isaiah Whitehead Point Guard
8 PTS, 3-6 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-4 FT, 2 REB, 1 AST, 2 TOV, 13 MIN
Whitehead filled some of Dinwiddie’s minutes tonight, but he was not so successful with getting his teammates involved. He took the game into his own hands, driving the lane and making some nifty layups.
No Net did a great job distributing the ball tonight, with the team recording 13 assists on 35 field goals. Whitehead still has games where he is too ball-happy, and this was one.
DeMarre Carroll Small Forward
15 PTS, 4-10 FG, 3-7 3FG, 4-6 FT, 7 REB, 2 TOV, 1 STL, 32 MIN
DeMarre Carroll and Russell were the most efficient Nets from three-point land tonight, and that threat mattered. Carroll was also the strongest player on the glass and worked to provide some defensive pressure inside. The vet gave his team good minutes tonight, and energy in the second half, so kudos to him.
D’Angelo Russell Point Guard
26 PTS, 10-17 FG, 2-3 3FG, 4-6 FT, 6 REB, 3 AST, 3 TOV, 33 MIN
Before he left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury, Russell was the clear Brooklyn leader tonight. He looked fresh off the second night of a back-to-back, pulling up to cut into Utah’s lead. Russell is just starting to show consistency in his game, so this injury would be coming at a bad time if it turns to keep him out of Tuesday night’s game.