GAME ONE FINAL
BROOKLYN NETS: Flatbush Hoops Stumble Out Of The Gate And Get Crushed On The Boards.
The Nets 2013-2014 regular season starts with a loss. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the overall battle of the glass handily by a 48-37 margin, seemed to be just a little faster than their opponent, and gained their first victory of the season over Brooklyn Wednesday night.
A one point half-time deficit for Brooklyn turned into a nine point deficit after three quarters. That eight point lapse came back to haunt them, as the Nets clamped down defensively and outscored the Cavaliers 24-19 in the final quarter. In the end however, the Cavs had six players in double-digit scoring versus four players for Brooklyn.
Brook Lopez tied the score at 91-91 off a Garnett feed with 1:04 left. But Cleveland's Anderson Varejao dropped five points down the stretch and Kyrie Irvin made four free-throws in the final 0:13 to keep Cleveland on pace for a 98-94 final. Although Paul Pierce hit a 3-pointer with :03 left to make it a 97-94 game, a previously missed jumper by Pierce at 0:16, and misses Joe Johnson by Jason Terry failed to close the gap.
On the bright side, Nets fans got to find out how adept Kevin Garnett is at passing the rock. Three assists for the game didn't exactly tell the whole story. Garnett also pulled down 10 rebounds, with 8 coming on the defensive glass. In fact, he led all players in rebounds, yet, as previously mentioned, the Nets were beaten on the glass, which, entering the season is supposed to be a major strength of the club.
Brook Lopez led the Nets with thirty-five minutes, led all scorers with 21 points and had a game high 4 blocks. But I'd like to see him get to the line more than 5 times. If Garnett is going to feed him the way he did Wednesday, and with Brook's size (yes, an old argument), the time has come then for him to exert himself more. He should be drawing fouls at a prolific rate.
Paul Pierce scored the Nets first field goal of the season. He was second behind Brook Lopez with 30 minutes and 17 points. He was 4/4 from the line, pulled down 4 rebounds and issued 2 assists. He hit a 3-pointer with 1:35 left to make it a 89-91 game, then dropped another in the final seconds to no avail.
Deron Williams played the least minutes out of the Nets starting five, and tied with Kyrie Irvin with a game high 9 assists. But he also committed a game high 4 turnovers. He was 2/2 from the line, made one 3-pointer, and scored 7 points overall. His last points of the evening came on a pair of free throws with 5:26 left in the third quarter.
Jason Terry scored 14 points off the bench, and dropped consecutive 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
Something happened to Andray Blatche on the way to the forum though. In twenty minutes, he posted a (+/-) minus-10, was 0/5 from the field, never got to the line, and committed three turnovers.
The Nets will have Thursday to get over Wednesday's first loss of the season. Friday night, the Miami Heat are coming to Barclays Center for Brooklyn's home opener. The Heat are coming off a resounding victory over the Chicago Bulls.