A complete and utter collapse in what should’ve been an inspirational win over a good team to kick off the road trip.
This looked like an easy win early, with the Nets scripting a damn-near-perfect flex offense en route to 70 percent shooting in the first half. But the Nets completely shied away from their principles in the third and fourth quarter, and after a series of mid-range shots and isolations, the Nets turned a 19-point lead into a loss.
You can’t fail the Nets for their effort here — they did dominate for the first half against a legitimate playoff team in the West in their home court. It wasn’t an end-to-end blowout. But the Nets had this game. They should’ve won this game. They played the exact game they should’ve played in the first 24 minutes that would’ve given them a victory. With a back-to-back against the Warriors and then a game in Portland looming, they needed to pull this one off. And then they threw it away.
The stats: 16 PTS (ALL IN 1ST HALF), 6-13 FG, 3 REB
Lopez averaged 4.5 field goal attempts in the first quarter over the first four games. He took zero field goal attempts in the first six minutes of the game, and his first attempt was a tip-in on an offensive rebound.
Though Lopez took more kindly to passing in the first quarter, he morphed into his requisite wrecking-ball-post-up-machine, getting into the paint and abusing Miles Plumlee.
But after those flashes of greatness, Lopez didn’t hit a shot in the second half, and wasn’t looking to pass.
Some guys can succeed when they’re not scoring. Kevin Garnett’s one of them. Brook Lopez isn’t. Even if you don’t consider him sitting out the final 4:08 an indictment of his play, it’s an indictment of how he matches up against teams like this when he’s not hitting shots.