The Brooklyn Nets defeated LA Clippers in Staples Center, 112-108, completing their tour throughout the West without a single loss.
Without Kevin Durant, but with fantastic James Harde and Kyrie Irving, the Nets beat one more title contender. This was their sixth in a row, and fifth straight away from home. During this stretch, Brooklyn was better than the Golden State Warriors, the Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns, and the LA Lakers before this event.
Irving, who scored 28 last night, wasn’t happy with the way media present Nets’ matches, saying that the hype surrounding his side is mostly negative.
“Winning six in a row, all it does is keep the world silent for a bit,” Irving said. “When we hit a bump in the road, then it’s, ‘What’s going on with the Nets?’ The destination is making it to that main stage and earning our way there.”
Uncle Drew was 12-for-26 from the field, hitting just two of 11 three-point attempts in 40 minutes. He ended up assisting eight times with four boards.
James Harden scored 37 in tonight’s victory, and this was the third straight match with the Beard being the top scorer of Steve Nash’s team. After a long time, he didn’t have a double-digit number of assists, just seven, but grabbed 11 boards. In the clutch moments, the ball was in Harden’s hands, and the former MVP and one of the best offensive players in the last several decades was hitting the target.
The pieces began falling in their places for the Nets recently. Even without Kevin Durant, who was out in the past few matches, the team looked extremely well in all aspects. Some might say that they weren’t good on the defensive side of the ball, but in the moments when the game was on the line, each of the Nets’ players was there to make stops. How would they win otherwise?
Nash mentioned that after the game, saying that his team lacked toughness in all those events they lost.
“This last six games, I think our toughness has been there. We’ve been willing mentally, physically, and emotionally to lay it on the line every night. I know that’s clichés, but it’s the truth.”
We need to mention DeAndre Jordan, who’s been doing all the dirty work and was a bit neglected by the media recently. The 32-year old center had 13 points and 10 boards, and with all the eyes pointed towards Irving, Harden, and Durant, he isn’t getting enough credit.
“I’m on phone calls literally every day … trying to impact the city because they’ve shown me so much love and respect.”
James Harden reflects on his efforts in donating food and water to those affected by the winter storms in Houston pic.twitter.com/IWleGuixga
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 22, 2021
Even though DJ’s numbers are nowhere near those back from the Clippers and his role is much different, the impact on the game is enormous. Without a doubt, he is the Nets’ No.1 defender, but in an extremely offensive-minded team, he isn’t that noticeable.
Brooklyn now heads back home, where they have three straight matches at the Barclays Center. The first one is on Tuesday night, when Sacramento Kings come to the Big Apple. Following that, the Nets host the Orlando Magic, and after that, the Dallas Mavericks with Luka Doncic.
With these three wins, Nash’s boys have very good prospects of jumping over the Philadelphia 76ers atop the Eastern Conference. Right now, they have 20 triumphs and 12 defeats, half a match behind Embiid and Philly. Also, KD’s return is expected in one of these events.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.