Nets Scorch the Kings with Franchise-Record Performance

A

Final: 02/15/2021

W 136 – 125

Screenshot via YES Network

The Nets had an absolute feast against the Kings’ defense.

On a record-setting night, Brooklyn rode 57.3% shooting to a 136-125 win over Sacramento on Monday night. The Nets poured in 27 three-pointers, a new franchise record (the previous was 25).

It was clear from the start that this game was going to be a high-scoring night. The teams combined for 73 points in the first quarter as little defense was played on either end. 

The Nets clamped down on defense in the second and third quarters as they went on a 20-0 run that blew the game open. Brooklyn scored 21 points off 13 Sacramento turnovers and took care of the ball themselves with 15 giveaways.

Brooklyn’s lead grew to as large as 28 points in the second half thanks to hot hands throughout the lineup. The Kings cut the deficit to as little as 11 points in the fourth quarter but the Nets avoided total collapse with their offense. 

Kyrie Irving, official shooting guard, set the tone for the night with back-to-back three-pointers to start the game and finished with a season-high 40 points. James Harden, official point guard, had a triple-double through three quarters and finished with 29 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds. The ball movement was a strength in the team’s offense with 31 assists recorded on 51 field goals. 

Brooklyn put on a scoring clinic behind 27-of-47 shooting from distance, falling two short of the NBA-record 29 three-pointers in a game — and that was without Kevin Durant as he sits out two games with a hamstring strain. All the Nets needed to gain some distance was a string of defensive stops and that came when they held the Kings to 20 points in the third quarter. 

The Kings ended up scoring 68 points in the paint as Hassan Whiteside tallied 26 points and 16 rebounds off the bench. Brooklyn again went small with Jeff Green starting in place of DeAndre Jordan. 

The Nets have pulled away in similar fashion over their three-game win streak with a balanced offense and their defense kicking in at the right moments. Put the NBA’s top offense against the league’s second-to-worst defense, and they will figure it out — this time with a franchise record.

Next up: the Suns. 

Kyrie Irving

A+

The stats: 40 PTS, 15-22 FG, 9-11 3PT, 1-4 FT, 4 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 3 TO, 31 MIN

Have a night, Kyrie. 

It was just one of those nights where Kyrie could do no wrong. He had his bounce from the opening tip and ended up making an incredible 9-of-11 three-pointers. Talk about fun to watch.

Irving and Harden combined to shoot 15-of-21 from distance on the night. The chemistry between the two was at its best as the offense ran through them and was extremely efficient all night. 

Kyrie is loving life as a shooting guard, and his teammates are benefitting all the same. 

James Harden

A

The stats: 29 PTS, 10-18 FG, 6-10 3PT, 3-3 FT, 13 REB, 14 AST, 1 BLK, 7 TO, 35 MIN

A triple-double through 25 minutes? That is becoming the norm for James Harden. 

Harden had a big chunk of Brooklyn’s turnovers, which never seemed to put the Nets in danger thanks to their lethal offense. The Beard is continuing to distribute at an elite level, finding good looks for his teammates while remaining aggressive himself. 

Harden has five triple-doubles through 15 Nets games played. He is finding heightened chemistry with his teammates, as evidenced by his plus-33 (!) on the night. That is bad news for opponents, and a great sign for Brooklyn. 

Jeff Green

B+

The stats: 13 PTS, 5-10 FG, 3-7 3PT, 2 AST, 1 BLK, 24 MIN

Uncle Jeff!

Green ended up as a team-worst minus-14 after spending a lot of time on the court during Sacramento’s 37-point quarter. That aside, Green has provided the Nets great minutes in their small-ball lineup and has let them space the court as he got in on the three-pointer fun. 

Green also managed to get zero rebounds even though he logged starting minutes at center. Green’s role adapts with the lineup, though, and his physicality was front and center as Brooklyn locked down against the Kings.

 

Landry Shamet

A-

The stats: 13 PTS, 5-10 FG, 3-7 3PT, 3 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 28 MIN

Landry Shamet is bringing a consistent effort and presence each night as his playing time continues to grow.

All of Shamet’s points came in the first half, but he is emerging as a reliable weapon for the Nets in their latest stretch. It is great to see Shamet come into his own and be a threat off the bench in recent games. 

Brooklyn’s bench kept up the pace against Sacramento, and Shamet was at the head of that. Tyler Johnson also stepped up in providing good minutes off the bench. 

DeAndre Jordan

A-

The stats: 10 PTS, 4-6 FG, 2-3 FT, 8 REB, 4 AST, 1 TO, 27 MIN

DeAndre played well off the bench, including this acrobatic finish. 

Offensive rebounds have been lacking for Brooklyn this season, but DJ came down with four of them on Monday. He also continues to connect with his teammates passing out of the post. 

Steve Nash may continue to bring DJ off the bench until this rotation falls short, but DeAndre benefitted from it in his first game back since missing last game for personal reasons. 

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