This darn losing streak for the Brooklyn Nets must be everlasting. Still, it was an intriguing game filled with many, many lead changes.
The Allen’s (Jarrett Allen and Allen Crabbe) led the way for the Nets for much of the first quarter, putting up the Nets’ first 10 points. Crabbe also nonchalantly scored 10 of his 24 points in the first period.
Despite this, it was still quite a low-scoring first quarter for both teams. At the horn, Allen kissed it off the glass to push the Nets slightly ahead, 23-22.
The pace picked up in the second quarter, with the Pacers and Nets matching one another on shot after shot. D’Angelo Russell carried Brooklyn, posting eight points and dishing out four assists in this period.
Indiana’s Al Jefferson showed Brooklyn no mercy, however, as he viciously slammed the ball down and schooled the Nets’ rook on a layup. Jefferson had 13 points at halftime, shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the field.
Neither team could really move far ahead though, and at halftime, the game was fittingly tied at 54.
Finally, in the third quarter, the game’s momentum began to shift. It started with a 13-2 run for Indiana, spearheaded by four consecutive buckets from Victor Oladipo. The Pacers’ lead had ballooned to 71-63 before Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson called a timeout.
Brooklyn regained its rhythm immediately afterwards, responding with a 16-2 run of its own. DeMarre Carroll was absolutely lethal for the Nets in this stretch, canning three triples. After three quarters, Brooklyn held a 79-73 advantage.
A three-pointer from Lance Stephenson and mid-range pull-up from Thaddeus Young to start the fourth, bridged the gap for the Pacers. As a result, the first few minutes of the quarter remained a tight matchup.
With 6:13 remaining, Crabbe converted on a driving layup, plus a foul. This seemed to light a fire in the Nets, and the team held the lead for the next three minutes.
Failure to execute on the next few possessions would prove to be costly for Brooklyn, as the Nets fell behind 99-95 with 2:17 to go. A couple of made free throws from Spencer Dinwiddie brought the Nets back within two, but Oladipo answered with a layup. The final minute was marked by a stagnant Nets offense, and the team just could not be revived.
The stats: 18 PTS, 7-14 FG, 0-2 3FG, 4-4 FT, 3 REB, 9 AST, 1 TOV, 29 MIN
D’Angelo Russell’s contributions were instrumental, marked by his near double-double. He made some of his shots look super smooth, too.
The stats: 21 PTS, 6-13 FG, 5-8 3FG, 4-6 FT, 10 REB, 4 AST, 2 TOV, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 35 MIN
Somebody would’ve needed to pour a bucket of cold water on DeMarre Carroll in order for him to cool down in the third quarter. That Nets comeback would’ve been impossible without him. Heat. Check.
The stats: 24 PTS, 9-16 FG, 5-11 3FG, 1-1 FT, 8 REB, 1 AST, 4 TOV, 36 MIN
Much of Allen Crabbe’s impact was felt in the first half, but he still had a couple of moments in the fourth quarter. And, he still finished as the Nets’ leading scorer tonight. (That’s his third 20+ point performance in the last four games.)