Nets handle the pressure to win on Christmas

In dramatic fashion, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Los Angeles Lakers even though the odds were against them. James Harden (36 PTS, 10 ASTS, 10 REBS) put together an absolute masterpiece while his running mate in the backcourt in the form of Patty Mills (34 PTS, 8 3PM) was causing absolute mayhem from the perimeter.

Lakers star LeBron James (39 PTS, 9 REBS, 7 ASTS) put on a show, but it wasn’t enough. It seemed after the Nets blew a 23-point lead that the Lakers would capitalize and win, but Brooklyn had another thing planned. In the final minute of the game, Nic Claxton (9 PTS, 6 REBS) put down a perfectly executed alley-oop that unfortunately saw James getting posterized. This not only sparked that much needed momentum for the Nets, but it put an end to Los Angeles’ momentum.

What stood out the most for Brooklyn was how well they stepped up offensively. Although the team is still not at full power, this team just won’t quit no matter what you do. The defense showed up, as usual, and it held a struggling Lakers team to 42% shooting from the field and 29% accuracy from downtown.

What almost led to the Nets slipping up was the transition points they allowed, especially in the final period. In all, the Nets were outscored 21-11 on the fast break. As for their activity on the boards, it wasn’t the best, as they got outrebounded 47-41.

Questions on Russell Westbrook’s (13 PTS, 11 ASTS, 12 REBS) effectiveness stirring up in the coming days shouldn’t come as a surprise. Even though he only turned the ball over three times, his shooting was horrendous, going 4-of-20 from the field overall.

Nets head coach Steve Nash and his squad will be back it again on Monday to take on the Los Angeles Clippers.

James Harden: A-

James Harden (36 PTS, 10 ASTS, 10 REBS) is starting to look more and more like himself again, but he stills needs some more work to do. Harden turned the ball over four times, which is one over the goal of three. Also, he missed four free throws, which isn’t typical of him. In regards to his shooting efficiency, it was 40%, but he’s capable of a better shooting performance.

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On the other end, picking up three blocks was really impressive.

Patty Mills: A+

Patty Mills (34 PTS, 8 3PM) has to relax. The streaky shooter shined in a big game, which was what he was struggling a bit with to start the campaign. Although Los Angeles isn’t an elite team, playing on Christmas is never taken lightly and should be welcomed with the necessary excitement.

Impressively so, the Australian only missed six shots on the night, shooting it at 11-of-17 from the field. His defense was the regular: Annoying. As for his awareness to get out in transition, it was the usual as well. It’s no wonder why he finished the game with a plus-minus of +19.

Bruce Brown: A+

Bruce Brown (16 PTS) came to play and he welcomed the much needed burden of the team being without two of their stars. His hard work and quality shot selection helped him miss only three shots on the night. In regards to his increased role to facilitate in this game, he provided, dishing out four assists. He has always been capable to facilitate well if necessary.

Furthermore, it was a great job from the Boston native to get up one shot from three, although he missed it. Last but not least, Brown played 36 minutes, which is way more than what he usually plays. Quite impressive.

DeAndre’ Bembry: A+

DeAndre’ Bembry (15 PTS, 3 PM) is so gifted as a slasher, but it was his three-point shooting that caused confusion for the Lakers. It was only because he didn’t miss one shot from there. In regards to his defense, it was the usual.

The New Jersey native must be better with taking care of the ball though because he turned it over twice.

Nic Claxton: A

Nic Claxton (9 PTS, 6 REBS) outplayed the Lakers’ bigs by far. His chemistry with Harden is getting better and better, but the youngster still needs some more work finishing shots in the paint. Claxton is capable of missing only one shot or no shot on any given night.

James Johnson: A

James Johnson (8 PTS, 4 REBS, 3 ASTS) had a nice all-around game. The veteran has to get his three ball right though, but at least he’s shooting it. It’s eventually going to go in.




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