For the first time in nearly a month, the Nets have won a game! Monday’s 104-87 victory over the Bulls ended Brooklyn’s eight-game losing streak and matched last season’s win total of 20 in the process.
The game also marked the return of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert, who were both a bit rusty. LeVert had the stronger performance with six points, four assists, two steals and a turnover, while RHJ had seven points and four rebounds, along with a team-high three turnovers.
Brooklyn’s strongest point came in the third quarter, where it out-scored Chicago 35-19 overall. The 9-0 run out of the break was key to giving the Nets momentum after the Bulls took the halftime lead late in the second quarter.
The lead grew to as large as 22 points for Brooklyn as they progressed through the fourth quarter, building on their lead rather than letting it dwindle as has been common in the past.
Allen Crabbe and Jarrett Allen both got hot in the third quarter, scoring 10 points each. Crabbe continued his hot streak with 21 points on the game and Allen had 18 points and a monster dunk highlight (more on that below).
The win was all about teamwork. The Nets recorded 31 assists on 40 field goals, an encouraging trend for a team that has improved its consistency in sharing the ball. The ball movement was “ooh” and “ahh” worthy at times, so that’s a good sign.
The combination of Spencer Dinwiddie (nine assists) and D’Angelo Russell (eight assists) tied the Bulls for total assists as a team (17). They were clicking.
Chicago was also held to 35.5 percent shooting from the field, the fourth-lowest number the Nets have allowed this season.
In a night where the Nets honored the late, great Drazen Petrovic, the Nets improved to 12-1 this season when holding their opponent to under 100 points, according to Nets PR. Brooklyn also held the Bulls to an opponent-season-low-tying 36 second-half points.
The Nets attacked the rim, hit their threes (38.1 percent), got stops and production from the bench (36 points), all good signs for a possible win streak to come Tuesday night when visiting the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The stats: 5 PTS, 2-6 FG, 1-5 3FG, 5 REB, 9 AST, 1 TOV, 1 STL, 29 MIN
He did not have it on offense tonight, but Dinwiddie was the team’s clear court leader. His assist numbers continue to average around nine in February, and tonight they helped contribute to a win.
Dinwiddie also had went against Lauri Markkanen for the first time since beating him in the Skills Challenge, and of course he wore the same shoes he wore when he beat him. It’s all about mind games.
The stats: 18 PTS, 6-11 FG, 4-7 3FG, 2-2 FT, 6 REB, 5 AST, 2 TOV, 1 BLK, 27 MIN
Carroll can draw four-point plays, he can do it all. After a poor performance from three last game, he stepped it up and contributed impressively across the board. Even though the Nets like having LeVert and RHJ back, what Carroll brings to the court every night is irreplaceable.
The stats: 18 PTS, 8-11 FG, 2-2 FT, 9 REB, 2 AST, 1 TOV, 3 BLK, 23 MIN
Before we even get to the dunk, Jarrett had an awesome game. He was all over the paint against fellow rookie Markkanen and had three blocks while he was at it. I don’t think the Nets expected to be getting 18 points this consistently from Jarrett at this stage, but here he is.
Now, we give you the dunk:
"THAT'S A GROWN MAN'S MOVE!" pic.twitter.com/ueAlsmePpU
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) February 27, 2018
The stats: 21 PTS, 7013 FG, 4-9 3FG, 3-3 FT, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 23 MIN
Crabbe continues to flat out bring it. When he gets the ball at the top of the key, I fully expect that ball to go in no matter how far out he is, and it seemingly always does. Scoring at least 20 points in his last six games, Crabbe is on a roll, and becoming more reliable by the day.