The Nets didn’t exactly put the Kings away for good and keep them laughably at bay, but they still pulled out a solid victory against a legitimately good Western Conference team. (Don’t let the record fool you — they were 9-6 before DeMarcus Cousins went down in early December.)
The Nets got contributions from all across the board, getting decent games from all five of their starters and their bench. Other than letting Cousins & Rudy Gay cook, kept the Kings as a whole from getting too many good looks.
Impressive defense by the Nets, who only allowed Sacramento’s “Big 2” to get to the free throw line. This is a game they can build on. They’ve got a tough test tomorrow night in Chicago. Can they?
The stats: 11 PTS, 5-10 FG, 6 REB, 5 PF
It was an odd progression for Lopez, who spent the majority of his first stint focused on defense and rebounding, hardly involved in the offense at all. Then, near the end of his stint, the Nets went to Lopez twice, and he hit a nice jumper and an and-one layup around DeMarcus Cousins.
Lopez followed up that stretch with some more encouraging play in the fourth quarter, opening his stint with a pick-and-roll dive to the rim and a nice floater in traffic, later getting an alley-oop layup, both created by Williams.
An encouraging fourth game for Lopez, who’s biggest issue tonight was his foul trouble (he picked up five) and that he looked a bit slow — the latter he’s dealt with his entire career. The next step is to get him diving to the rim over and over again.