ALLEN. CRABBE. Never has a bobblehead night gone so well for an NBA player.
But after making his eighth three, he did not get many more looks in Brooklyn’s 138-128 double-overtime loss to the Pelicans. It was a game with the highest highs and the lowest lows.
A 28-point deficit can only mean a Nets comeback is in the works. We have been watching this team for too long to expect anything else.
It all started with D’Angelo Russell in the third quarter. The point guard revved up his game by scoring seven straight points, and the team followed suit. A 13-3 run became a 19-6 run to get the Nets within 15 points of the Pelicans.
That was the first run of many. Allen Crabbe scored 14 points in the third quarter alone to cut the deficit to 12. A 33-point third quarter had the Nets down 15 with a quarter left to go.
The heavy momentum carried over into the fourth quarter. Russell cut the deficit to 10 on a triple, just one of his season-best five on the game. Another 11-3 run then cut the deficit to seven, and DeMarre Carroll later hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to five.
The court was alive with Nets three-pointers. The team finished with 21 on 59 (!) attempts in the game, the first time in franchise history the Nets made 17+ three-pointers in back-to-back games. The Nets also tied a franchise record of 21 three-pointers made in a game.
Spencer Dinwiddie was next in line to step up down the stretch. His perfect 12-of-12 shooting from the free throw line was clutch, and his 24-point, 10-assist double-double did not hurt, either. His dominant play got the Nets within two of the Pelicans, and then within one with under two minutes to go.
New Orleans gave the Nets chances. The team failed to build more than a one-possession lead, giving the Nets an opportunity to tie the game down three with 20 seconds to go.
And that they did. Crabbe made a ridiculous three-pointer while falling in the corner, and the game went to overtime after the Nets went down by as many as 28.
Crabbe was anything but done. He went on to overtime to knock down ridiculous three-pointers, those “no, no, no, YES” shots that only someone who is absolutely on fire could make. Crabbe was just that.
Looking for their first overtime win of the season, the Nets felt like they controlled the momentum. Still, they found themselves tied at 122 with the Pelicans with one minute left to play.
Joe Harris stepped up as the next clutch player. He got himself wide open in the paint off an inbounds pass by Crabbe to bring the Nets up two with 54 seconds to go. The team was pumped.
A no-call on Rajon Rondo and a good defensive set by Brooklyn led the game to double-overtime.
That’s when Brooklyn’s momentum started to fade. Carroll struggled with a put-back and the Pelicans got out to a six-point lead. The Nets relied on Dinwiddie a lot, and Crabbe did not get many more chances. New Orleans then took over completely, going on an 11-2 run to take a nine-point lead.
Anthony Davis finished with 44 points and 17 rebounds, Mirotic had a double-double and Rondo had a triple-double. Brooklyn’s bench outscored New Orleans’ 44-14, but the starters put up enough for the win.
The first overtime was Brooklyn’s time to make its move. The Nets had a four-point lead and the crowd fueling them. By second overtime, the Nets ran out of gas. A disappointing result for a team that held New Orleans to 16 fourth-quarter points and earned a shot at the win.
But that’s just another day in the life of the Nets. The twentieth win still awaits.
The stats: 12 PTS, 4-8 FG, 2-4 3FG, 2-2 FT, 10 REB, 3 AST, 1 TOV, 2 STL, 2 BLK, 34 MIN
What a game from Joe Harris. His constant movement gave the Nets the clutch basket that brought the game to double overtime off Crabbe’s inbounds pass. His double-double shows how active he is, and he was the only Net to grab double-digit rebounds.
The Nets can’t win without Joe Harris. He’s that important.
The stats: 28 PTS, 10-24 FG, 8-18 3FG, 6 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 44 MIN
After dropping a career-high 34 points on Wednesday against the Pistons, Crabbe was fearless. He was shooting heat checks that showed he could pick any spot on the floor because he was that locked in. The Nets don’t go to overtime, or double-overtime, without him.
It’s a shame Crabbe did not get many looks in double-overtime, though. The result could have been different if he ended up with the ball some more. Still, promising back-to-back performances from Crabbe.
The stats: 21 PTS, 7-18 FG, 5-13 3FG, 2-2 FT, 9 REB, 5 AST, 5 TOV, 1 STL, 32 MIN
He still struggled, but this was Russell’s biggest game in terms of rallying his team to a comeback. His seven straight points in the third quarter ignited what turned into a double-overtime effort. Even though his turnover near the end of regulation almost blew the game, Russell started clicking in a way his teammates did not. That’s what his team missed of him when he was injured.
The stats: 24 PTS, 5-22 FG, 2-9 3FG, 12-12 FT, 4 REB, 10 AST, 4 TOV, 3 STL, 43 MIN
Dinwiddie made the shots needed to get the Nets to overtime, and his free throws gave the team a boost all game (the Nets went 21-of-22 from the charity stripe). His play in overtime, though, left some to be desired. His shots were not falling and many were forced. I would have liked to see him move the ball a bit more at that point. He was Brooklyn’s go-to point guard down the stretch, and did a better job to start than he did to finish.