PUSH FOR THE PLAYOFFS BEGINS NOW!
Brooklyn Nets: Caris LeVert Provides Flatbush With a Little Elbow Room.
A week after making his NBA All-Star Game debut at Charlotte, D'Angelo Russell returned to North Carolina where on Saturday the fourth year point guard celebrated his 23rd birthday by smoking the Hornets nest with a career tying 40-point, and game high seven assist effort.
However, it was Caris LeVert who in the end stepped in to create the requisite elbow room needed for nudging the Nets through to a much needed team victory over one of the Eastern Conference's top eight contenders. To the Hornets dismay, LeVert's flailing elbow block of Kemba Walker's last second attempt at a three earned no whistle. Walker tried selling an infraction, but the refs weren't buying.
Brooklyn entered Saturday's action with an even 30-30 record. Their 117-115 victory at Charlotte helps stabilize their sixth place standing after going just 3-6 in their previous nine games. Brooklyn is presently one of just six Eastern Conference teams playing above the .500 mark. The Hornets loss drops them to eighth, while Detroit now slips into seventh just 1.5 games behind the Nets.
D'ANGELO RUSSELL CONTINUES NEW YEAR SURGE
With Spencer Dinwiddie out since Jan. 23, D'Angelo Russell continues elevating his game. Saturday marks the second time this season D'Angelo Russell has hit the 40-point mark. No coincidence both have occurred during the new year (he scored 40-points at Orlando, Jan. 8). He has scored 25-points or better in 20 games this season; eight times from October through December:
- OCT: once.
- NOV: three times.
- DEC: four times.
- JAN: eight times.
- FEB: four times.