The Nets are getting into the yr 2023 like few others in franchise historical past. Brooklyn got here to Charlotte with a 10-game successful streak and left it for the New Yr’s Eve festivities with an 11-game successful streak. The ultimate rating: 123-106.
The streak is now the third longest in Nets historical past, three wins in need of the franchise document, set twice through the Jason Kidd period. December was additionally the Nets’ finest month ever: 12 wins and 1 loss. And Jack Vaughn is 22-7, a 75.9% clip, since Steve Nash took over.
The sport was simply what followers have been craving: a wire-to-wire win over a mediocre group led by heros Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving plus a stable protection, enjoying off the bench. Tonight, the Hornets outlasted the Hornets, 42-31 led by Yuta Watanabe with 11 and a T. J Warren with a rating of 10.
The Nets by no means trailed and led by 10 factors within the first quarter, 15 within the second, 18 within the third and 22 within the fourth quarter to enhance to 24-12, the second-best document within the NBA. There was only a second when Nets followers had an additional sip of their eggnog. After Charlotte minimize the rating to 71-65 early within the third, Irving and Durant mixed to attain 11 of the Nets’ subsequent 13 factors and sparked a 28-14 Brooklyn rally for a 97-79 lead getting into the fourth quarter. And it was it.
Durant, who collected 23 factors in simply half-hour, didn’t play within the fourth quarter, with the Nets main between 18 and 20 for many of the section. Irving, who saved pushing the Hornets again after they threatened to shut in, was the sport’s main scorer with 28 factors from 11 of 19, together with 4 of 9 from three.
As soon as once more, Nick Claxton confirmed off his credentials to the NBA’s All-Protection Crew. Claxton completed with 14 factors, lacking simply one in every of his seven pictures, in addition to six rebounds and three assists and for a second straight recreation with six blocks. Royce O’Neal had one other stable outing, ending with 14 factors as properly.
Ben Simmons, who had been in dangerous climate the previous two days and was a game-time choice, began and performed 19 minutes, scored simply 2 factors, grabbed 2 rebounds and recorded three assists.
Vaughn, who now has the most effective win-loss document of any Nets coach (29-10 together with “the bubble”), spoke about what he informed the group earlier than the sport.
“Actually, my message to the group earlier than the sport is that we end the yr in the best manner. And that takes care of him [this] Vaughn stated. “I will flip the web page as soon as we get to 2023 and fill it in [New Year’s] The choice might be, but it surely actually retains this group in the intervening time, we play right now’s recreation, and let’s simply win right now’s recreation.”
After the sport, he stated he believed the Nets did.
“We obtained them as much as 22 factors within the first quarter, so we rapidly put our stamp on the sport,” stated Vaughn. “I feel we have been ready to make use of or spin and depth to broaden our leads a little bit bit. We wished to return out with the best mindset, which we did.”
D.Ok. stated His group expects Charlotte to place up a problem.
“We knew this group might get fascinating,” Durant stated of Charlotte. “They hit about 3s there within the first half, so we knew it might get scorching on the market within the third quarter. They usually did. Reduce it to 6.”
“We have been on this scenario earlier than so we knew what to do. And the primary stage out time-out, we ran out and we ended up successful.”
LaMelo Ball had 23 factors, seven rebounds and 11 assists for Charlotte. Former Nett Mason Plumley added 22. The Hornets fell to 10-27.
Opposition view of the coach
Are they now a contender for the championship? Charlotte coach Steve Clifford, a Nets teaching advisor final season, thinks so.
“Durant and Irving,” Clifford stated earlier than the sport. “They’ve a bunch of very expert veteran gamers round them, in order that they play very sensible; but it surely all begins with these two guys. And you’ll’t guard both of them with no second defender, which is what NBA basketball is all about: creating gamers on the ball. They seem to be a group. Prime quality ISO.They play one-on-one loads.They’re nice at it.
“Kyrie pick-and-rolls, you double-team him, squash it. So although that might be a wise factor to do, it’s truly extra environment friendly in opposition to double-teams in a number of methods than it’s whenever you play conventional covers. Therefore They’ve good gamers round them, skilled guys, excessive IQs, they usually play with nice intention.So it’s important to do the whole lot.
“You possibly can’t allow them to rating quick break factors, you possibly can’t allow them to have second pictures, they can not rating slicing baskets. As a result of they’re so good at the whole lot else, after they get it, it is over. So no. There’s one thing they don’t seem to be good at. They’re good at each degree. No different group within the league proper now offensively comes near what they do.”
Applicable followers tribute
A 12-year-old woman in Nets gear had the advantage of assembly Kevin Durant, thought of by many (together with us) to be the most effective participant on the planet, enjoying in opposition to a group owned by Michael Jordan. Who many (together with us) see as the most effective participant on the planet ever. I held up an indication saying that KD is the goat, not MJ.
Was on the lookout for a response and obtained one…
- The Nets completed December with a document of 12-1. It was the winningest month in franchise historical past in addition to the most effective document within the league that month. Brooklyn has now received 15 of its final 16 video games and 18 of its final 21 video games total.
- Kevin Durant’s 1,831 3-pointer hits put him twentieth all-time. Go to this menu as properly.
- Nick Claxton blocked six consecutive pictures in his profession for the second straight recreation. He’s the primary participant to document six blocks in consecutive video games since Brook Lopez did it for the Bucks in January 2020. He’s the primary participant to take action since Sean Bradley in November 1996.
- Yuta Watanabe had a profession excessive 5 steals.
Completely happy birthday, Edmund.
Being born on New Yr’s Eve is not as distinctive as being born on Leap Day, February twenty ninth. Identical factor with a birthday that falls on Christmas. It makes for a sublime transition from yr to yr. Edmund Sumner had a stable recreation on his twenty seventh birthday on Saturday, scoring eight factors on 4-of-5 taking pictures in 19 minutes. Afterwards it was sung by his colleagues and employees.
Emotions are good.
Joe Harris is feeling higher
Joe Harris has by no means performed on a Triple Nets street journey with knee soreness. He was receiving therapy again in Brooklyn. Earlier than the sport, Jack Vaughn had some hope that Harris might play Monday in Brooklyn, saying the Nets winger was “feeling higher.”
Brooklyn returns house for the primary recreation of 2023 on Monday in opposition to San Antonio. Protection of the sport in opposition to San Antonio begins at 7:00 PM EST on the YES Community.
For a unique perspective on tonight’s match, head over to within the cellHornets’ sister web site.