Harden's 44-Point Double-Double Too Much For Nets To Overcome

Eric Webb

After fighting back from being down 22 and starting the fourth quarter on a 10-1 run the Nets still fall 108-98 to the Houston Rockets Saturday night at the Toyota Center. This splits the season series and is the second loss in a row for Brooklyn.

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Quite honestly the Nets just shot themselves in the foot last night with their execution. What’s even worse is that their struggles were the usual suspects too.

First and foremost it was three-point shooting. The Nets only made 11 of their 39 attempts from behind the arc. All season they have struggled with the deep ball and are averaging 33.2% 3FG. In the month of December they have struggled even more with it. Coming into last night the Nets averaged 27% 3FG in all six of their losses this month.

“I don’t feel like we’re playing very well. That’s the second game in a row where I feel like we’re out of sync,” said Head Coach Kenny Atkinson. “We’re not in rhythm right now especially offensively. After the first quarter overall our defense looked pretty good, but our offense is just not carrying the weight.”

Honestly having such a diverse roster when it comes to players with different skill sets perhaps the Nets should try a different offensive approach than shooting so many threes. They average making 12 three-pointers a game on 37 attempts per game.

Secondly, Brooklyn didn’t take advantage of being fouled 15 times. They hit 13 of their 21 free throws, totaling 61.9%. As it is the Nets are a middle of the pack free throw shooting team averaging 74.3% from the line.

However, there is one positive takeaway for Brooklyn from this matchup. As coach Atkinson mentioned their defense stepped up after being down big in the first quarter. This showed big time in Houston’s field goal and 3FG%. In the first half the Rockets shot 52.9% from the field and 37.5% from behind the arc. In the second half they shot 34% from the field and 26.9% from behind the arc.

“We had a lot of different opportunities tonight…if we make those shots it’s a different ball game,” said James Harden. “We live with those shots though. Russell did an unbelievable job attacking and making the right plays and consistently gave our shooters an opportunity to have shots.”

Harden led the way for Houston with 44 points and 10 rebounds. Russell Westbrook added 23 points, seven assists and nine rebounds.

Brooklyn’s leading scorer was Spencer Dinwiddie with 17 points and 11 assists.

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