In the absence of their major players, the Blazers continue somehow to believe in their dreams of the playoffs. That night, they had to do without four holders (Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Norman Powell and Larry Nance Jr) to push back the Nets who were playing with Kyrie Irving but without James Harden (knee).
Each team had the right to its quarter in the first period. The premises took advantage of many passages on the line of free throws to widen a first gap (33-26). Carried by their tandem Kevin Durant – Kyrie Irving, the visitors were able to react in the second quarter to take the lead at the break (55-62).
The tide clearly turned in the Blazers’ favor in the following period. They took advantage of a resurgence of skill behind the arc of Nassir Little and a Robert Covington also happy at this distance to return to the score. And even go ahead, clearly showing more willpower on the balloons that were lying around.
With a Kevin Durant more struggling to finish, hampered by the Little – Covington pair precisely, Brooklyn started the last period with two possessions behind (87-81). An improbable 3-point basket from CJ Elleby, an offensive rebound snatched by Dennis Smith Jr. in front of Patty Mills, a lost ball of “KD” caused by Trendon Watford… The men of the bench of the Blazers did not show any complex.
This delay of two or three possessions was thus maintained until the end despite the efforts of Cam Thomas or Day’Ron Sharpe to relieve the two stars of the Nets in attack. And in the last two minutes, they were sanctioned by Ben McLemore, author of two award-winning baskets.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– Anfernee Simons’ career record. At the moment, he’s really the boss of the Blazers. Last night, he suffered a lot from his 3-point clumsiness (2/11) but he made up for it by his activity near the circle, with many converted “floaters”, and in other areas of the game. 11 assists, his new career record. It was simply his second double-double since joining the big league.
– The fighting spirit of the Blazers. This is not necessarily true in the figures but the premises gave the feeling of wanting more in this part, especially in the third quarter where they limited the Nets to only 19 points scored. Amputee of four major players, Chauncey Billups saw all of his players (except Tony Snell…) bring something to this match.
TOPS / FLOPS
✅ Robert Covington and Ben McLemore. 10/15 at 3-point and 41 points between them, who could say better? Both men were excellent in terms of skill while putting a lot of effort into defense. We remember the big end of the game of the second, who planted two award-winning baskets in the last two minutes, one of which was very contested, and who also blocked a shot from Kevin Durant near the circle.
✅ Cam Thomas and Day’Ron Sharpe. The two substitutes were the only two offensive supporters for the Kevin Durant – Kyrie Irving duo. Beyond their lost balls, the rookies were clean when it comes to finishing. To the point of establishing each their respective record of their young career.
⛔ Blake griffin. We do not want to go after him but the interior is really in pain. He especially shone by his difficulties to finish under the circle, in situations where the former Clippers outfielder would have crushed everything. He finished with a +/- of -11 even though he only played 11 minutes, his two passages on the field having coincided with the “runs” of the Blazers to take the advantage.
Blazers (16-24) : start of a “road trip” in Denver, Thursday.
Nets (25-14) : trip to Chicago, Wednesday.