Despite starting the game 0-9 and having struggled for the first three quarters, he went on to score nine of his thirteen points in the fourth quarter to prevent New York from gaining any real momentum. He ended with 13 points, five assists, four rebounds, and one steal on three of fourteen shooting from the floor and one of six shooting from deep. This game was a good example of not only what Lin brings to the table but also what the Nets have been missing in his absence, clutch scoring and a calm facilitator to close out games.
If this was a month or so ago when Lin was injured, Brooklyn would’ve almost undoubtably gone on to lose this game, all the factors were there for a classic Nets collapse. Brook had slowed down in a major way from the first quarter, New York was outscoring Brooklyn overall in the second half, and turnovers were running amok. If Lin didn’t step up and lead by example, chances are this post would be about the victory that almost was.
LeVert & Hollis-Jefferson Played Like Vets Last Night
This season has been unquestionably one of the weirdest and worst in recent Nets history but out of the ashes of this season, LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could emerge as battle tested NBA players that are ready to make contributions on a team that is actually going somewhere. If they keep playing as well as they did last night, this team is going to be more than alright next season.
LeVert finished with 13 points, four assists, four rebounds, and two steals while shooting a perfect four of four from the floor and two of two from deep in 26 minutes of action. Hollis-Jefferson, on the other hand, ended with 14 points and 11 rebounds on six of eight shooting in 23 minutes.
From a defensive standpoint, LeVert had a tough assignment in Carmelo Anthony and struggled at times. Anthony finished with 27 points but on an inefficient 10 of 26 shooting from the floor. LeVert did a decent job of keeping Anthony in front of him, but when a scorer of his caliber takes 26 shots it shouldn’t be shocking to see he reached 27 points. Hollis-Jefferson was matched up on Porzingis or Hernangomez for most of the night and held his own agains the much larger and taller players. He was able to use some physicality to disrupt their game.
Brooklyn’s Bench Ran New York’s Back To Manhattan
Brooklyn’s bench has anchored them since the All-Star break and last night was no different. They outscored the Knicks bench 53-28 and were one of the biggest reasons the Nets were able to hold on to win this game.
Trevor Booker led the way with 14 points and nine rebounds on eight of twelve shooting from the floor and a surprising two of three from deep in 24 minutes. Quincy Acy shot a perfect four of four from deep to finish with 12 points to go with his six rebounds, Isaiah Whitehead ended with 10 points on four of ten shooting from the floor, Spencer Dinwiddie chipped in nine points and six assists, and Sean Kilpatrick ended with eight points on one of nine shooting but also had eight rebounds in 24 minutes played.