The Brooklyn Nets were looking unstoppable on Wednesday night upon Kevin Durant’s return, just like his shooting percentage for that game. His squad wanted to continue that form against the defending NBA Champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, but things didn’t come easy despite the absence of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Dennis Schroder exploded for 19 points in the first half and Andre Drummond had a near double-double with 11 points and 8 rebounds. The Lakers also shot 44% from downtown, which is good look for their squad considering their circumstances.
Kyrie Irving (18 PTS ) and Kevin Durant (11 PTS, 4 ASTS, 4 REBS) had the answer for Brooklyn, but this wasn’t enough to get the lead at the half, as the Nets trailed by 3.
In the second half, things got really spicy when Dennis Schroder and Kyrie Irving got into a little scuffle that later led to them. both getting ejected. At that point in the game, the Lakers and the Nets were without their leading scorers.
Los Angeles stomped all over Brooklyn just minutes after this altercation and the Nets didn’t stand a chance. Steve Nash even said at the beginning of the fourth quarter that “we don’t have the application to win this game.”
It was an overall great team effort by LA, but the signees in Drummond and Ben McLemore really stood out. Drummond finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds while McLemore finished with 17 points. What a performance by the Lakers.
Kevin Durant has shown rust in his passing accuracy
Kevin Durant has shown rust in his passing accuracy since returning and has shown in his turnovers. On Saturday night, Durant turned over the ball eight times, which is not typical of him. It’s clear that this is not only a chemistry problem considering all the new players on the team since he last suited up in February, but this is also a dimension of his game that he is still building back up to normal.
Kyrie Irving has been tearing it up as of late
Although Uncle Drew was ejected in the third quarter against the Lakers, he put up 18 points on 6-11 shooting in only 20 minutes. Last game against the Pelicans, he went off for 24 points in three quarters and versus the Knicks he erupted for 40 points in a close game. It seems like Kyrie Irving is stepping up knowing that his team really needs him right now with James Harden out and Kevin Durant not feeling 100% yet. It will be really interesting to see how he follows up this performance next game.
The Nets have to start games with more intensity
Brooklyn got off to a slow start, scoring only 25 points in the first quarter. Steve Nash was extremely critical of the team’s start during the postgame press conference. He addressed it as the squad just not “matching” the intensity of other teams. This is beginning to be a habit and it will be really concerning come playoff time. The Nets have to find a way to clean this up.