The Nets like to attract chaos, and Thursday night was no different.
With the Nets struggling on the road and the Kings struggling at home, something had to give. After a game of runs, the Kings ended up victorious, defeating the Nets 116-111 in overtime.
The Nets initially held a grasp on the game through a 31-point first quarter, but it swayed sporadically in the Kings’ favor due to Brooklyn’s turnovers. The mistakes gave Sacramento chances, as it went on a 13-0 run in the second quarter and an 11-0 run in the fourth to take command on a wavering Nets team.
Still, the Nets answered late with a 10-2 run. Russell, after a cold start, starting knocking down three after three. He wanted the ball, and he buried it to get his team neck-and-neck with the Kings with two minutes to go.
Down three with 37 seconds left, DeMarre Carroll pulled the Nets together in one motion — a three-pointer to tie the game at 98. It was his third of the game and the start of something good for Brooklyn.
Sacramento had the ball with 29 seconds left. That was when the rookie stepped up.
Jarrett Allen rose and blocked a driving De’Aaron Fox. The rebound went to the Nets, and Brooklyn had the ball with nine seconds left.
Dinwiddie drove the basket with a purpose and miraculously timed his gather to the rim when the Kings chose to foul. Sacramento had one foul to give, but committing the foul on the shot, the Nets held a 100-98 edge with 6.1 remaining.
For the Nets, that was too much time. Fox hit a baseline floater to send the game to OT. Brooklyn has yet to win a game in OT this season.
The teams traded threes. Allen Crabbe was hot, but the Kings were fearless.
Russell decided to be fearless in response. After dribbling out a possession, D-Lo decided to throw up a shot from three in the final seconds of the shot clock, and it clanged around to the bottom of the net. The see-saw did not stop.
Dinwiddie found an open lane on the following possession to take the one-point lead, but the Nets could not get a stop. Dinwiddie’s deep-three chops were not there after Russell dribbled out another possession. The wasted time hurt.
Buddy Hield then hit two free throws to put Sacramento up three with 13.4 seconds left, and that was the end of that.
Brooklyn’s greatest strength in the game led to its greatest weakness. The admirable 27 assists on 36 made field goals, led by D’Angelo Russell’s team-high 11 assists, led to 23 team turnovers and 24 points off them.
Brooklyn’s largest lead in the game was nine, which occurred in the third quarter, while Sacramento’s was eight, occurring in the fourth. With neither team leading by more than double-digits, it was a matter of who could take care of the ball. The Nets continued their sloppy tendencies to the end, not getting clean passes off and throwing the ball to the bench. The Nets lessened the turnovers in overtime, but the ball did not get in the right hands.
Besides turnovers, another weakness for the Nets was paint defense, and this was a big deal. The Kings thrived there all night, cutting through and gaining a 56-32 interior advantage. The Nets had no answer for Willey Cauley-Stein, who started the game with 12 quick points and finished with 17.
The Nets had a shot to get an elusive road win, but instead, they have now dropped eight straight outside Barclays. The Nets had their chances and could not execute. But we’ve been here before.
The stats: 21 PTS, 7-11 FG, 4-7 3FG, 3-3 FT, 7 REB, 4 AST, 2 TOV, 29 MIN
I wish Carroll got the ball more in overtime after he made multiple big shots to get the Nets there in the first place. His three-ball to tie the game with less than a minute to go was a true momentum swing, as were all his threes.
Also with his 21 points, he dished the ball four times and was active on the boards. If only he got an extra shot or two off in OT.
The stats: 6 PTS, 2-6 FG, 0-4 3FG, 5 REB, 5 AST, 1 TOV, 2 STL, 31 MIN
While Russell had the hot hand, Dinwiddie was Brooklyn’s leader during the team’s big runs. If only his shot was on tonight.
The stats: 15 PTS, 5-14 FG, 5-11 3FG, 2 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 30 MIN
It’s great to see that hot-shot Crabbe is here to stay. He was a threat throughout the game and stepped up to close regulation. Still, he was not as involved in overtime as I would have liked him to be. With five threes under his belt, he may have been a better person to kick out to than Dinwiddie, who was 0-of-3. Dinwiddie can make those shots, but it was Crabbe’s night.
The stats: 14 PTS, 6-9 FG, 2-2 FG, 11 REB, 4 TOV, 2 BLK, 29 MIN
The blocks were great, but the turnovers hurt. It’s still fun to watch Allen finish at the rim, no matter the dish. Notching his fourth double-double of the season, in 18 minutes no less, Allen continues to extend his consistency.
Oh, and the five offensive rebounds were huge for Brooklyn to get to overtime. Difference-maker.