Nets Show Out Against Lakers, But Fall 128-113
In what was a close game for the majority of this matchup the Nets fall 128-113 to the Lakers. Brooklyn has now lost five straight and drops to 2-9 in January.
This matchup was an impressive outing for both squads, but ultimately the Lakers’ depth was too much for the Nets to handle.
As you might have guessed, the Nets were the underdog coming into tonight but if you look at the stats you could see in many different categories why this was a close matchup up until the fourth quarter when the Lakers blew this one open.
Let’s look at shooting first. The Lakers are an efficient team from the field, shooting the highest percentage in the league with 48.4% FG. Tonight they shot 50% FG. However they aren’t as efficient from behind the arc, only averaging 36.3% 3FG. That’s good news for the Nets, who aren’t good at perimeter shooting themselves. They average 33.6% 3FG. Well tonight the Lakers shot 50% both from the field and from behind the arc. Right behind them was the Nets who shot 44% FG and 45.7% 3FG, which is exceptional considering that shooting 45% or higher is something Brooklyn has only done three other times this season.
Next, moving the ball was something that was contagious tonight as the Lakers totaled 28 assists and the Nets totaled 30. Both teams exceeded their season averages. Another phenomenal night for Brooklyn in this category seeing as how dishing out 30 assists is something Brooklyn has only done five other times this season.
One last thing that helped the Nets keep this one close was fast break points. Brooklyn scored 38 of those tonight. On the season they only average 18.1 PPG in transition, so this was a big plus for them.
Now here were a few difference makers that led to the result of the Lakers being victorious. Firstly, the Lakers kept the Nets off the boards, grabbing 52 rebounds to Brooklyn’s 41. Brooklyn averages more rebounds per game (48.4 RPG) than the Lakers (45.7 RPG) do.
Secondly, the bench was huge for the Lakers in two categories where they had a drop off with their starters. LA’s starters hit 38% of their 3-point attempts, while the bench went 11-17 from behind the arc, hitting 64.7%. Also the bench was better at the line hitting six of their seven free throws, shooting 85.7%. The starters shot only 69.2%.
The Lakers separated themselves in the fourth in this one by getting more aggressive. LeBron led all fourth quarter scorers amongst both teams, scoring eight points, hitting all four of his shots. He also notched a triple-double with 27 points, 10 assists and 12 rebounds.
Kyrie Irving led the way for the Nets with 20 points and four assists.
The Lakers are now 20-4 on the road and the Nets are 11-12 at Barclays.
“We just try to have a road warrior mentality. We understand when we go on the road it’s just us,” said LeBron James. “Laker faithful they travel with us too sometimes but we know it’s just all about us and how we can play well on the road and we’ve been doing that this year so far.”