Run the court. Make the shot. Run the court. Make the shot.
This was the pace set early in Tuesday night’s matchup between the Rockets and Nets, two teams have very similar styles. Both squads like to push the pace, take advantage and shoot threes, but the Rockets were more successful on Tuesday in a 123-113 defeat of the Nets.
Both teams’ shooting was off the charts. The Rockets finished the game with 55.6 percent shooting from the field, while the Nets had a very respectable (and probably would have won on any other night) 48.2 percent.
The game also did not disappoint when it comes to the three ball. There were “just” 68 attempts between the two teams, but both Houston and Brooklyn had 16 threes apiece. DeMarre Carroll and Spencer Dinwiddie had five three-pointers each to earn the “unconscious shooters of the night” awards.
Sometimes it was breathtaking at the speeds these teams were scoring. The Rockets had four players in double digits not even halfway through the second quarter. When James Harden and Chris Paul go for 36 and 25 points, respectively, it is hard to beat.
Even with that production, the Nets played Houston pretty evenly through the first half of the game. The Nets entered halftime down two and went on 22-15 run to start the third quarter to take the lead. The Rockets finished the quarter on a strong note though on a 16-2 run and did not look back, holding as large as a 16-point lead in the game.
Caris LeVert took a tough hit on a screen and left the game bloodied for concussion protocol at the end of the third quarter, sucking some life out of the Nets. No word on those results yet, so get better soon Caris. Jahlil Okafor did say on YES Network’s postgame that LeVert said he is feeling alright but does not remember what happened.
Both teams had strengths down low, recording 50 points apiece in the paint, but the Nets were stellar in distributing the ball. The team recorded 24 assists on 41 made field goals, with Dinwiddie leading the way with nine.
The starting lineup shined for the Nets, even as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson continues to sit out with a groin injury and Tyler Zeller is off to Milwaukee. Still, the glaring stat is that the Nets have dropped seven of their last eight games. The effort against the Rockets was a step in the right direction, but the star power on Tuesday was too much.
Brooklyn could not have played Houston much better. The question is if that carries over into Wednesday’s game against the Pistons
The stats: 16 PTS, 6-11 FG, 0-1 3FG, 4-4 FT, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 23 MIN
Jarrett Allen had another great night offensively but was not attracting the rebounds. He had some nifty moves in the paint to create his own shot and dodge his competition.
Like Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel said on the YES broadcast, a lot of what Allen is doing now would not have been possible in his first month of the NBA. The rookie continues to grow (do I sound like a broken record?).
The stats: 18 PTS, 5-7 FG, 5-7 3FG, 3-3 FT, 3 REB, 9 AST, 3 TOV, 3 STL, 25 MIN
All Spencer took tonight were threes – that’s it. No one was complaining though, because he was lights-out, making five of seven attempts. He also set up teammates well all night after giving the ball away a few times to start the game. Add in his three steals, and Dinwiddie was a one-man spark plug, especially during Brooklyn’s run in the third quarter.
Three after laser assist after deep three. Dinwiddie can be a lot of fun.
The stats: 6 PTS, 2-7 FG, 2-5 3FG, 3 REB, 31 MIN
Allen Crabbe added strong minutes today. Even though he was not the spotlight, he made two of his threes and helped power Brooklyn in its runs. He also supplied some solid defense to keep Houston off the three-point line.