Nets Blowout Kings 116-97 To Make It Two In A Row
In an impressive wire-to-wire win, the struggling Nets took down the red hot Sacramento Kings 116-97 on Friday night at Barclays Center. Despite being a 4-point favorite to win this matchup, the Nets were arguably the underdog, considering both teams’ recent schedules.
Out of a total of eight games in the month of November, the Kings only loss two, and they were to the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors. Both teams well over .500. The Nets on the other hand, out of a total of 10 games this month, were an even 5-5, not playing good basketball.
One thing both squads have in common though is that both of their point guards are out with injury, so that can’t even be excuse for the Nets’ struggles. Kyrie Irving has missed four games (and is expected to miss the next three) due to a right shoulder impingement. De’Aaron Fox has missed the last five with a left ankle sprain and could make his return to the court as early as next week sometime. This is why the Kings’ recent success has been impressive, even though it wasn’t enough to overcome the Nets last night.
It was just one of those outings where things were clicking on all cylinders for the Nets. They shot 50% from the field, outrebounded the Kings 60-40, and went on runs that led to them leading the Kings by 22 at one point. Not to mention, their defense was impressive too. They got nine steals and held the Kings to 15.4% from behind the arc.
“Our activity, we talked about it pregame, having a more active group,” said head coach Kenny Atkinson. “I thought they were active. A lot of deflections, forced some turnovers, that’s good news.”
Seeing this type of activity is definitely a good sign and also a part of the reason that the Nets have now won two straight since getting blown out by the Indiana Pacers on Monday. That loss seemed to light a fire under the team, since multiple players voiced their frustrations in the locker room afterward. This is only the second time this season that the Nets have won two in a row.
Not to make injuries an excuse, but those have most likely played a role in this, since there’s been a lack of consistency within the lineups.
“It’s hard having Caris [Levert] and Kyrie out, one of the two best guys,” said Jarrett Allen. “But we know it’s our time to step up. We’ve always had the ‘next man up’ mentality and we’re showing it now.”