Caris LeVert owns Mexico City in win over Thunder

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Final: 12/07/2017

W 100 95

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Photo courtesy YES Network

Caris LeVert es muy bueno en el baloncesto. He put up his first career double-double, had career-highs in points (21) and assists (10) all while filling in for Spencer Dinwiddie and his foul trouble and shutting down Russell Westbrook. What a performance

Led by LeVert, the newly undermanned Brooklyn Nets (Trevor Booker and Sean Kilpatrick were on the next flight home) went toe-to-toe with the Oklahoma City Thunder to grab the international come-from-behind win, 100-95. The Nets are now 4-2 in their last six games. 

The game was by no means a thriller at the start. The Nets missed their first five shots, and the Thunder made just two of their first nine. The Nets even missed their first six threes.

Brooklyn picked up its shooting a bit in the second quarter, outscoring the Thunder 29-25 in the frame after going down 32-20 after the first quarter. 

The Nets took a lot of threes, but they started draining them when they needed them the most. Dinwiddie, despite garnering five fouls before the halfway point of the third quarter, hit a thrilling four-point play in the fourth quarter to help the Nets to start to pull ahead. He even had a two-handed slam with under two minutes left to lift the crowd and bring the bench to its feet. 

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was also a big factor in the game alongside LeVert, making the hustle plays and recording 17 points. 

The Nets, who once trailed by as many as 16 points in the first quarter, retook the lead early in the third quarter, thanks to a 10-2 run to start the second half. The rest of the quarter went back and forth between Brooklyn and Oklahoma, but the Nets won the scoring battle 25-21.

Brooklyn’s lead rose to as high as eight in the fourth quarter where at times it felt like the win was securely in Nets’ hands, but Oklahoma put the foot on the gas with under three minutes remaining to come within three. LeVert’s defense on Westbrook was suffocating and impressive, and some steals and scoring plays shot Brooklyn ahead. 

The Nets held the Thunder to 16 fourth-quarter points and 38.8 shooting overall. Game over, Brooklyn wins. 

LeVert and Acy stepped up off the bench, leading Brooklyn’s dominating 45-29 advantage in bench points. While the team struggled from three (11-37), LeVert was all over the game and helped lead Brooklyn to victory. The altitude was no match for Brooklyn Grit. 

How do you say consecutive wins in Spanish? Brooklyn will go for tres on Saturday in Mexico City. Bring on el baloncesto.

Caris LeVert

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The stats: 21 PTS, 6-10 FG, 1-4 3FG, 8-9 FT, 10 AST, 0 TOV, 2 STL, 2 BLK, 30 MIN

Let’s list the numbers:

  • Career-high 21 points
  • Career-high 10 assists (no turnovers)
  • First-career double-double
  • Only player to record 20+ points, 10+ assists, 5+ rebounds and no turnovers off the bench in a game (since 1963-64) besides Larry Bird on 4/11/85 at Cleveland
     

Bow down to the man. He was dominant with Dinwiddie on the bench and looked better than ever. He played with complete confidence and shut down Westbrook. This was a breakthrough performance. 

VIVA LEVERT!

Allen Crabbe

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The stats: 15 PTS, 5-12 FG, 4-9 3FG, 0-1 FT, 6 REB, 1 AST, 4 TOV, 32 MIN

Not his cleanest game, but those four threes kept Brooklyn in this game at key turning points. Besides Quincy Acy, Crabbe was the only Net to get his shot going from the outside. The Nets don’t win tonight without Allen Crabbe. 

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

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The stats: 17 PTS, 7-15 FG, 1-2 3FG, 2-5 FT, 4 REB, 3 AST, 1 TOV, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 35 MIN

After overcoming an injury scare, RHJ gave his all on the court. Hustling for his plays, making his shots, working to get the extra possession, Rondae brought it. His shots down the stretch were key in Brooklyn’s end-of-game momentum, and he stepped up alongside LeVert tonight.

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