Collapse: Pelicans 109, Nets 104 (GAME GRADES)

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The Brooklyn Nets TEAM

It’s hard to be too critical of the Nets about this game, considering the circumstances — they played their second consecutive overtime game on a back-to-back on the road without two of their best players. But it’s hard to look at a 22-point third-quarter lead and a nine-points fourth-quarter lead and think “The Nets should’ve lost this one.”

The Nets had all the ingredients for a win — they were containing everyone but Anthony Davis, bench players were contributing, Brooklyn’s backcourt looked aggressive — but Brooklyn came out flat-footed in the second half, letting one too many attempts from Tyreke Evans into the lane and one too many open three-pointers fly. Mistakes were made on both ends, notably bad turnovers, sloppy fouls, and crucial missed layups.

The Nets have a day off tomorrow before another road game, but they’ll probably spend tomorrow wondering just what happened tonight.

Deron Williams POINT GUARD

Aggressive when it mattered most, deftly changing speeds between attacking the lane, pulling up for the jumper, and swinging the ball around. You have to like how he took on the challenge when his number was called, hitting big three-pointers and attacking Austin Rivers after Rivers beat him off the dribble.

Yes, Williams missed those two threes as time nearly expired in overtime, but the way Williams played tonight, it’s impossible to hang this loss on him. It shouldn’t have gotten to overtime in the first place.

Shaun Livingston POINT GUARD

That mid-range jumper is golden, but he played absolutely awful down the stretch in the fourth quarter, missing two layups (the second of the bottom of the backboard after a picture-perfect Joe Johnson feed) and turning the ball over. In a game that eventually went to overtime, watching your star “glue guy” miss two of the easiest shots in basketball is not a good sign.

Made up for it somewhat by hitting a layup with a little more than two minutes left in overtime, but it wasn’t enough, especially with poor defense and little help coming from his teammates on Tyreke Evans.


So much for robotic crunch-time Joe Johnson. Played smart if ineffective throughout. Hit one big shot in the third quarter to extend a third-quarter lead in the middle of one of New Orleans’s two third quarter runs, but dribbled away a careless turnover in overtime that just fell out of bounds.



Pierce nailed the game-tying three-pointer with under 30 seconds left, a shot that eventually sent the game to overtime, and hit the team’s only bucket in the first half of overtime. He also got into a bit of a skirmish with Alexis Ajinca, which is one of my favorite moments in NBA history, because Alexis Ajinca has no business trashing with Paul Pierce. He is this team’s emotional glue, doubly so with Kevin Garnett out.

Andray Blatche POWER FORWARD

Played aggressive offense, if sloppy at times, and offered no help on Tyreke Evans after Evans sliced past the Nets defense time and time again.

Mirza Teletovic POWER FORWARD

The way he shot that one three-pointer with his feet three feet apart like he was bowling underhand was just fantastic. Liked his layup in the fourth quarter, too.

Marcus Thornton SHOOTING GUARD

Thornton came out in front of his hometown crowd (he was born in Baton Rouge) and clearly wanted to put on a show, but he took too many shots a tick too fast and finished the game just 1-6 from the floor. After hitting the ground hard on a layup attempt, he didn’t return in the second half.

Mason Plumlee CENTER

Really appreciated how he ran in the first half and did pretty much what you’d expect him to do against Anthony Davis, but like Blatche, offered very little help against Tyreke Evans’s drives.

Jorge Gutierrez POINT GUARD

Got some meaningful first-half minutes and didn’t do bad things with them. A lot of guys in his situation might react poorly under the pressure of a ten-day contract and try to create too much to prove they belong, but Gutierrez’s passes are crisp and his shots are open. Not much else you can ask for from your end-of-the-bench point guard.