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Here’s a roundup of last night’s Nets festivities.
What happened: The Nets held off a few late runs by the Philadelphia 76ers, hitting a few big plays and free throws down the stretch to pull off the 108-102 victory at home.
That was… A game of runs! The Nets led by 15 in the first quarter, trailed by 7 in the second, led by 19 in the third, and let the game come down to the final seconds. The Nets played a solid offensive game for the final 26 minutes, with four players in double figures and three (Paul Pierce, Deron Williams, Mirza Teletovic) with at least 20 points.
Where they stand: At 21-25, the Nets hold onto the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. They’re four games behind the Toronto Raptors for the Atlantic Division lead.
Game Grades: Read ’em here.
Shaun Livingston, Doin’ Terrible Things To Evan Turner’s Trade Value:
It’s no secret that the 76ers are shopping Turner. But after that, 76ers GM Sam Hinkie may not even get a first-rounder for the former second overall pick.
Shaun Livingston, Doin’ Terrible Things To The Philadelphia 76ers:
Livingston had another career night in a Nets uniform, putting up an all-around game that would make Andrei Kirilenko do a double-take. He finished with 13 points, eight assists, six rebounds, and a career-high seven steals — the last one picking off Michael Carter-Williams with under ten seconds left to seal the game for Brooklyn.
13 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, 7 steals, 0 pants: Livingston was late to his media availability because he couldn’t find his pants. It was quite the scene: he ran around the back area searching for them, called in some of the ballboys to help him find them, and ended up putting on some old sweatpants to do his post-game interview. Livingston is 6’7″ and 175 pounds with a wiry frame, so there’s not a lot of people that would fit into his clothes. This brings up an important question: who stole Shaun Livingston’s pants? And why?
Kevin Durant’s agent, wife in attendance:
Okay, so that’s not why he was there. For some reason, Jay-Z and Beyonce decided a Monday night game against the 15-33 Philadelphia 76ers during a snowstorm was the right time to make an appearance. Jay-Z sold his shares earlier this season to coach Jason Kidd so that he could legally represent athletes for Roc Nation Sports, but still kept his season tickets.
Mirza Makin’ Money: Mirza Teletovic had a hell of an offensive game, hitting five three-pointers and bringing the crowd back into the game during the fourth quarter with a rush of points, punctuated by an and-one layup off a dizzyingly perfect feed from Deron Williams right between two defenders. Teletovic finished with 20 points on 7-12 shooting.
Mirza Teletovic’s face is a mudpile:
H/T to Deadspin for finding that one. If you’ve ever played any of the Fight Night video games, that’s a knockout punch face.
Brett Brown, you’re not allowed to do that:
Brown grabbed the ball as Shaun Livingston tried to save it from out-of-bounds and quickly dropped it, which is an automatic delay-of-game penalty. It was Philadelphia’s second delay-of-game, giving the Nets a free throw and thus a free point. If anything, you’d expect former player and current Nets coach Jason Kidd to show those kind of game-playing reflexes.
Solid weekend for Russell Wilson:
Win the Super Bowl on Sunday, hang out with Jay-Z courtside at a Nets game Monday. I don’t know who Russell Wilson’s agent is — wait, let me rephrase that. I don’t know who Russell Wilson’s agent was before today, because it will clearly be Roc Nation Sports soon. Jay-Z letting Beyonce sit in between them is a shrewd move worthy of Hova.
Mason Plumlee Fouls A Lot: Plumlee picked up five fouls in under 12 minutes, the fourth time he’s racked up five or more fouls in 20 or fewer minutes. He’s averaging 4.9 fouls per 36 minutes, second on the team behind Reggie Evans. So that’s not good.
My Thoughts At The Half: This game was so bad until the last two minutes of the half. Keep that momentum and this could be salvaged.
Was it salvaged? Yes.
Jason Kidd Suit Update: No tie as usual, but a surprisingly bold striped shirt. I approve.
Hey, Michael J. Fox was also there!
Yes, Michael J. Fox attended the game with his wife, Tracy Pollan. Something about Hollis Thompson on a Monday night really brought the stars out.
Weird Math: The Nets hit five fewer field goals, were out-rebounded 38-30, and still won.
Silence of the Nets: Kevin Garnett and Deron Williams left without speaking to reporters. Williams later Instagrammed a happy birthday to his daughter Denae, who turned 11.
Happy 11th Birthday to my little d_swagg8! You mean the world to me and it has been such a joy to… http://t.co/9Gi97htkiO
— Deron Williams (@DeronWilliams) February 4, 2014
Across the river: The New York Knicks lost 101-98 to the Milwaukee Bucks, the team with the worst record in basketball.
Next up: The Nets have two days off before taking on the reigning Western Conference champions, the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs are 34-13, second in the Western Conference, but like the Nets they’re battling the injury bug. They’re without Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, and Kawhi Leonard, one future Hall of Famer and two key rotation players.