This is how the nets defend themselves when they focus. And so they dominate when defending.
The nets rolled into a 104-94 laugh over the Pacers on Wednesday that was nowhere near as close. The nets ran at one point by 36 and crossed at the Barclays Center.
Whether it was just a one-off reaction to having her pride stabbed the night before, or whether she actually learned a lesson from her loss in Detroit learned it was cheap.
Kyrie Irving shook a sore finger to a game high of 35 points while hitting a career high of 17 against 17 off the line – the second-best perfect night on the streak in the Story of nets. DeAndre Jordan, whose defense has come under fire, had a double-double with 12 points and a season high of 13 boards, outpacing Indiana’s Myles Turner (three points, three rebounds).
The Nets (14-12) held Indiana 39.1 percent shooting for a worst three-game skid of the season, and they positively embark on a five-game western road swing.
« Win or lose, I want to See a lot more competition and strength and toughness and togetherness, honestly, « said Nets coach Steve Nash earlier. “I want us to form a closer entity and a more competitive spirit and the results will come. But that’s the first step.
“Defense is a sacrifice. … It takes a willingness to do extra work, either being extremely hardworking and physical, and / or being totally mentally locked in to keep you one step ahead. At the moment we are too far removed from these two concepts. We have to be much closer, more physical, more competitive and more connected. “
The problem with the networks – even if Kevin Durant fails – is not talent, but concentration. The 7-11 mark against lost squads – compared to an NBA best 7-1 record against teams scoring 0.500 or better – on Wednesday shows that.
They kept Jazz, Celtics and Heat below 100 points and 40 percent shoot and defend well enough to beat the Clippers, Bucks, and 76ers. With Indiana at .500, it’s no shock that the Nets were busy from the start.
The Nets led 27-18 after an opening quarter in which their poorly done defense kept the Pacers down to just 7 of 22 shots. It was the second-smallest points the Nets gave up in an opening phase of the entire season, but they pale in comparison to the defense they played in the second quarter.
James Harden (19 points, 11 assists) popped up on the Ground for a loose ball to get some time out. And Irving, the smallest net on the court, battles three bigger pacers for an offensive rebound and foul.
« We have to do it. We have to commit ourselves to this end of the floor, » said Irving. « We have to. We will. «
After Aaron Net’s raised 3-pointer had a lead of 32 to 25 in the half with 8:39, the nets blew the game wide open. The nets forced six misses and went 15-0 in the lead.
Irving hit a patented turnaround dissolve, and then Jordan had a tip for 47-25, and when Indiana broke the drought at 4:36 in the half, the nets had kept the Pacers goalless for over four minutes .
Even at 24 the nets were like sharks seeing blood. At 53-29 the nets closed on a 9-1 run. Irving’s free throws sent them into the locker room between 62 and 30.
It was The largest halftime lead in the Brooklyn-era franchise and the third largest in team history, the second-smallest thing the Nets had given up since moving to the Barclays Center prior to the 2012/13 season.
Even the Nets couldn’t find a way to blow it up, even though they tried, and they coughed ten a longer run of 30-14 in the third quarter when their edge on Domantas Sabonis’ jumper dipped to 76-60. But Nash quickly called for time off to contain the tide and stabilize his team.
The nets rose by 20 to close the third quarter and crisscrossed through the fourth.
« Steve is right: It it takes pride, it takes effort, it takes a will night after night to stand up for the guys you play with, « said Irving. « Until then, we’ll just look like great guys who look good on paper and haven’t figured it out yet. But I’m confident. »
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