In a great team effort, the Brooklyn Nets notched a statement win over the Orlando Magic. All five of Brooklyn’s starters scored in double digits, and the Nets as a team finished with 28 assists.
From the get-go, Brooklyn was clicking. The Nets’ quick 8-0 start prompted Frank Vogel to call a timeout only one minute and 37 seconds into the game. DeMarre Carroll, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Jarrett Allen all contributed to Brooklyn’s hot start.
Shortly thereafter, however, the Nets’ lack of defense allowed the Magic to respond. Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic made things look easy, knocking down shots from all over the floor — whether it be a dunk, midrange jumper or three-pointer. Gordon and Vucevic helped pull the Magic back within three.
The rest of the first period saw the Nets pulling away just a bit, only for the Magic to answer back. At the end of the first, the Nets held a slight 36-33 edge. This marked Brooklyn’s eighth consecutive game with at least 30 points in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Nets made more progress in building their lead. Early on, Brooklyn dominated the paint, with LeVert, Allen, Carroll and Joe Harris Allen converting on a combination of layups, dunks and shots.
A D’Angelo Russell three midway into the second extended the Nets’ lead to 49-40. As Ian Eagle said, “The scrunchie is working.” (See Russell’s hair below.)
It's time for @BrooklynNets hoops!
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) March 28, 2018
Just over a minute later, a trey by Caris LeVert brought Brooklyn’s advantage to double digits. That kept the Nets relatively comfortable for the rest of the first half, though Vucevic, Mario Hezonja and D.J. Augustin made some headway in cutting into Brooklyn’s lead. At halftime, Brooklyn led 58-51.
The opening minutes of the third quarter mirrored much of the first half’s teeter-tottering, with the Nets pulling away, only for the Magic to respond.
Allen Crabbe, who struggled from downtown in the first half, knocked down two consecutive triples, bringing Brooklyn to a 78-63 lead with 5:41 to go in the third.
About a minute later, Crabbe hit another three, prompting Eagle to comment, “Hot, buttered crab.”
Still, Brooklyn’s poor defensive efforts let Orlando remain within striking distance. Vucevic led the way for the Magic’s 10-2 run, shaving the Nets’ advantage to 83-78.
With 33.2 seconds remaining, the Nets finally stemmed the tide, with LeVert finishing on a crafty layup. However, Khem Birch answered with a tip shot of his own, cutting Orlando’s deficit to only four, 85-81, at the end of the third.
Early in the fourth, the Nets finally . Dinwiddie’s triple to open up the quarter ignited a 11-1 Nets run. At the 9:12 mark, a three by Joe Harris brought Brooklyn back up by double digits, 93-82. The Magic did not hit their first field goal of the quarter until the 5:55 mark.
This Dante Cunningham jam also sparked some energy from the team:
Oh BABY what a pass 😱 pic.twitter.com/TXgePTEJig
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) March 29, 2018
With 6:12 to go, Brooklyn surpassed the 100-point mark. (Yes, with over half of the fourth quarter still left, the Nets already had 102 points.) On an Allen and-one, should I mention.
While the Magic showed some signs of life, it was just not enough, and Brooklyn hung on for a 111-104 win. The Nets’ victory in Orlando ends their three-game losing streak.
D’Angelo Russell Point Guard
16 PTS, 5-9 FG, 2-5 3-PT, 4-4 FT, 5 REB, 12 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 2 TOV, 30 MIN
The “scrunchie” was definitely workin’ tonight. A double-double in the form of points and assists for him, too. Many of the assists were highlight reel-worthy — we could really get used to D’Angelo Russell to Jarrett Allen finishes.
Caris LeVert Shooting Guard
16 PTS, 6-14 FG, 2-6 3PT, 2-2 FT, 3 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 1 TOV, 25 MIN
A lot of LeVert’s baskets came at crucial points of the game, when the Nets were really struggling to buy a basket. And, as usual, he was his crafty self.
Allen Crabbe Shooting Guard
13 PTS, 5-14 FG, 3-8 3PT, 2 REB, 30 MIN
“Hot, buttered crab” was cookin’ tonight, especially in the third quarter.