The Nets usually don’t use the third quarter as a breakout frame, but after scoring just 43 points in the first half, they had no choice but to.
A 36-point third quarter brought promise, led by Spencer Dinwiddie’s 14 straight to end the quarter. Brooklyn had momentum and an eight-point lead to use towards ending a three-game losing streak and four-game skid at home.
But after that, everything fell flat.
Really, the Nets were flat for nearly the entire game, with Utah’s defense forcing Brooklyn into isolation plays, turnovers and squandered opportunities. It was a game largely up for grabs, and the Jazz had the players who got hot when it mattered.
To start the game, poor shooting was a theme for both teams. In a first quarter that saw just 33 combined points, the Nets could not buy a bucket while the Jazz could not hold onto the ball.
Turnovers were an issue for both teams, with Brooklyn tallying 20 on the evening, seven of those coming in the fourth quarter. The Jazz scored 14 points off those seven giveaways, which alone outscored Brooklyn in the frame, 14-13.
While Dinwiddie came alive with an offensive burst in the third quarter, Donovan Mitchell stepped up and scored nine straight in the fourth quarter and 14 overall in the frame to give Utah a two-possession lead in the closing minutes.
Free throws kept Brooklyn in this one when no one could make a shot. The Nets did not make their second field goal of the fourth quarter until there were two minutes left, and by that time, the Jazz had their plan figured out.
Rudy Gobert was a monster for Utah, who gave his team a six-point lead in the final minute of the game after the Nets led by as many as 11 in the third. Gobert feasted inside, grabbing 16 rebounds and scoring 23 points.
Utah’s physicality forced Brooklyn into mistakes and stopped ball movement, shown in Brooklyn’s mere 11 assists on 30 field goals. A Jared Dudley inbounds pass in the final minute that went over the Nets’ heads and out of bounds across the court was the icing on the cake.
Dinwiddie tried to light the team on fire to end the third quarter, but no one else managed to contribute. The Jazz broke away enough for the Nets to not even be in reach in the final moments of the game.
Now, Brooklyn may go 0-for-4 on their current homestand. Even with the Jazz defending tightly, the Nets still have a lot to figure out to finish fourth quarters.
The stats: 18 PTS, 5-11 FG, 2-6 3FG, 6-7 FT, 3 REB, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 22 MIN
Spencer Dinwiddie is Mr. Reliable for Brooklyn. He posted double figures tonight for the 18th straight game, which matches a Nets record in contributions off the bench.
Without Dinwiddie’s 16 straight points spanning the third and fourth quarters, where would the Nets have been? The team struggled to find looks, but Dinwiddie made his own.
It just continues not to be enough.
The stats: 2 PTS, 10 REB, 1-5 FG, 0-2 FT, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 17 MIN
Ed Davis had a big night rebounding and a BIG block. He gave Brooklyn important minutes off the bench, but the Nets could use more offensive contribution from him.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) November 29, 2018
A big ask, but it would make a world’s difference in the bench crew.
The stats: 14 PTS, 3-6 FG, 8-11 FT, 10 REB, 1 AST, 1 TO, 29 MIN
Jarrett Allen was lucky (mainly unlucky) enough to get matched up with Rudy Gobert tonight. Against Gobert, Jarrett struggled to get shots up, attempting just six of them.
He had a strong night getting to the free throw line, but Gobert won the matchup in the paint, as expected. The Nets needed Jarrett to get one to go down in the fourth quarter, but the openings just were not there.
The stats: 8 PTS, 2-4 3PT, 2 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 29 MIN
The steals were great, but the Nets need more than four shot attempts per game from Joe. It will be difficult for Brooklyn to win if that stays a constant.