the Brooklyn Nets hosted the Los Angeles Lakers at Barclays Center on Monday and won 121-104. The regular-season series is over tied at 1-1.
For the Nets, Kyrie Irving had 26 points and six assists while Patty Mills had 21 points and three assists off the bench. Cam Thomas had 21 points off the pine and Royce O’Neale had 14 points.
For the Lakers, Thomas Bryant had 18 points and nine rebounds while Russell Westbrook had 17 points, eight rebounds, and 10 assists off the bench. Rui Hachimura had 16 points and Lonnie Walker IV had 13 points off the bench.
In the first half, Brooklyn was a force of nature as they led by as many as 19 points while holding the Lakers to 36% shooting from the field. However, in what seemed like a tale of things to come, the Nets had a sluggish end to the first half.
In the third quarter, it was as if the player switched jerseys as the Lakers were the team that couldn’t miss while the Nets couldn’t buy a basket. It looks like Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn lit a fire in his team to start the fourth quarter as they won the period 36-22 thanks to timely scoring from Patty Mills and Cam Thomas.
Here are your Nets player grades:
Kyrie Irving: B-
Irving did not have his best offensive game in this one. Despite being hounded all night by Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schroder, Irving was able to get to the free-throw line to provide some scoring for the Nets. Irving did a good job of rebounding in a game that became close because the Lakers made it an ugly game. He did a good job setting up his teammates for open shots and he played solid defense given the circumstances.
Seth Curry D
Curry had a miserable game shooting from the field. He tried his hardest to get something going offensively, but despite getting some good looks, he was unable to find a rhythm at any point in this game. Other than doing a decent job of helping out on the glass, Curry did not do much else in this game.
Harris did not have much impact in this game. He wasn’t able to get anything going from the field as he missed most of his threes. With that being said, Harris did some of the little things like rebounding and swinging the ball to the open man when Brooklyn had Los Angeles’ defense scrambling.
Royce O’Neale: B-
O’Neale started off this game shooting well from the field as he was a big part of the Nets leading by 19 points in the first half. However, as the game wore on, his shot began to elude him. O’Neale did a good job of helping out on the boards, but he struggled to stop dribble penetration as well.
Claxton did not do much scoring in this game as seemingly for the first time this season, he struggled to finish at the rim. However, Claxton was awesome on the glass and he did a good job of being a presence in protecting the rim. He also had some nice dishes in this game that led to easy scores for his teammates.
Cam Thomas: A+
Thomas was sensational in this game. From the beginning, he did a wonderful of scoring the basketball at all three levels including the three-ball which has not been a strength of his. Thomas also did a good job of helping on the boards knowing how undersized the team is without Ben Simmons and TJ Warren.
Sumner was not able to get much going on the offensive end in this one. He was unable to find a rhythm shooting the ball during his limited time on the floor. Sumner did a good job of passing the ball while on the floor and he provided some value on the defensive end as well during Brooklyn’s dominant first half.
Patty Mills: A+
Mills thought that he was playing for Australia in FIBA competition with the way that he played tonight. From the moment that he stepped on the floor, Mills hit big shots. Mills was a consistent presence on the offensive end even as Kyrie Irving struggled with his shot all night long. Mills did a good job of passing the ball and he was great on the defensive end.
Yuta Watanabe: B+
Watanabe gave Brooklyn quality minutes in this contest. His three-point shot was n’t going, but Watanabe did a great job of scoring at the rim and being available as an outlet whenever Kyrie Irving was doubled. Watanabe was great on the defensive end in a game that the Nets had trouble defending a Lakers team sans LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Sharpe gave great minutes for the Nets in this exhibition. He did a good job of finishing strong at the rim (including a monster dunk over Thomas Bryant) and he did a better job of setting good screens to free up guys like Kyrie Irving and Patty Mills. Sharpe was all over the boards and he did a great job defensively despite getting in foul trouble.
Markieff Morris: C+
Morris did not play much in this game, but during the time that he was on the floor, he gave Brooklyn quality minutes. Despite fouling a bit too much, he was active on the glass and he played solid defense for the Nets during their dominant first half.