Caris LeVert nets game-winner as Brooklyn continues winning streak

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Final: 11/09/2018

W 112 – 110

Allen 2

Three in a row! All hail Caris! The Nets beat the Nuggets!

Ok, before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s recap how we got here. 

The deciding moments came with under a minute left and the Nets down by two. Caris LeVert drove and dished to a rolling Jarrett Allen who slammed it through the hoop for a quick two points.

With the game tied, the Nets needed another chance, and they got it on the other end of the floor. Nikola Jokic took the matchup against Allen, who played strong defense, to force a travel. With 22 seconds left, the Nets found themselves with the ball again. 

On the final possession, LeVert dribbled as he watched the clock tick down. He drove past his defender and floated it up, a game-winner! That shot gave Denver its first home loss of the season and third loss overall. More importantly, it brought the Nets to .500 (6-6) on the season.

Tonight, the Brooklyn Nets played the first of what is likely to be the hardest two games they will play this entire season. A back-to-back on the road against the two top teams of the Western Conference. 

With that said, the Nets came ready to battle. While the Denver Nuggets play at a high elevation, the Nets were shooting at one, hitting 7-of-13 in the first quarter, mainly from three. While the Nets did not continue to shoot above 50 percent from three, it was enough to give them a double-digit lead early in the contest.

The intense defense that was played during the past two blowouts carried over against the Nuggets. 

The starters played tenacious defense, particularly D’Angelo Russell and Jarrett, who both came up with multiple deflections and takeaways. But the defense wasn’t as tight when the bench came in, and the Nuggets threatened to come back and take the lead during an extended 13-4 run.

Yet, Jarrett had something to say about that. 

The Nets’ increased defensive focus is perhaps the most encouraging facet of their current win streak. This manifested itself tonight in the form of six steals and seven blocks in the first half alone. 

The Nuggets stormed out of the half to make the game tight as the Nets struggled to find the same success from beyond-the-arc as they did in the first half. With over three minutes left in the third quarter, the Nuggets took the lead for the first time. However, with Jokic on the bench due to foul trouble, the Nets were able to come back and retake the lead going into the fourth.

Jokic still made his presence felt this game, dropping 37 points and grabbing 21 rebounds. He was the primary reason the Nuggets had the advantage in both total rebounds and points scored in the paint. He was especially difficult to contain after Ed Davis fouled out early in the fourth quarter, as well.

The lead was constantly changing in the fourth quarter, and the tempo was affected by constant trips to the free throw line. 

As Brooklyn battled for the lead, it took advantage of the chances the team got, and LeVert is continuing to grow his star.

Golden State, you’re next.

D'Angelo Russell

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The stats: 23 PTS, 7-14 FG, 3-5 3PT, 4 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 2 TO

I wish we could see this D’Angelo Russell every night.

He started the game, quite literally the first possession, with a three. While he makes the team better when his offense is flowing, his positive contribution early on was made by being engaged defensively. His steals and deflections were crucial in giving the Nets the lead that they rode for most of the night.

Jarrett Allen

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The stats: 18 PTS, 7-14 FG, 9 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 5 BLK, 0 TO

Jarrett Allen was an absolute monster tonight.

Jokic is going to wake up in a cold sweat tonight with only the fleeting memory of a looming Fro hovering over him in the paint. This game was a great example of how stout the Nets’ defense can be when Jarrett is locked in and feeling himself.

DeMarre Carroll

C+

The stats: 9 PTS, 2-6 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2 REB, 1 TO

DeMarre Carroll had his season debut tonight in Denver.

He displayed the same grit and toughness that Nets fans became accustomed to last season. While he will still need more minutes to become fully integrated within the offense, he still made his mark tonight through good screens and free throws. 

His veteran presence is vital to this young team’s ability to close out these close games.

Spencer Dinwiddie

C+

The stats: 12 PTS, 3-11 FG, 1-5 3PT, 6 REB, 6 AST, 1 BLK, 0 TO

Spencer Dinwiddie struggled to produce his own offense tonight.

That was, until, Dinwiddie does what he usually does and proves people wrong. 

While he personally had some offensive struggles tonight, he never faltered in running the offense. When he realized that his shot wasn’t falling, he instead drove the ball to the basket, earning layups and free throws. If his passes that ended in free throws were counted as assists, Dinwiddie would have had a double-double tonight. 

Caris LeVert

B+

The stats: 17 PTS, 6-14 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 0 TO

Caris LeVert had a quiet night by his standard so far this season.

Of course, a quiet night from LeVert is still incredible. The team’s faith in him also never wavered, as his teammates were not afraid to give him the last shot of the game. 

As this young stud has done this entire season, he delivered. 

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