Tonight’s game was perhaps the most important Nets game in the Atkinson Marks era, and Brooklyn showed up big. The Nets opened this game up strong and never looked back, shooting the ball lights out from the field and playing tremendous defense all night. The led by as many as 30 points.
The red-hot Pistons came into this game tonight winning 5 straight including a dominating win in last nights performance against the Chicago Bulls. Detroit was on a back to back coming into this game, still knowing what was on the line, but the Nets never gave the Pistons a chance. They shot the ball great from start to finish and never let up. Rodions Kurucs really showed up big; in his 20 minutes of play he scored 13 points shooting 6/8 from the field but he also added 3 big steals in the game that all lead to fast break points.
D’Angelo Russell came into tonight’s game with great career numbers against the Cavs. In his first 8 career games against the Cavs he averaged 25.0 ppg, with 30+ points in his last two games before tonight. Russell was fourth in the league in his first 8 games against the Cavs only behind LeBron 26.3 ppg, Damian Lillard 26.9 ppg, Andrew Wiggins 27.9 ppg. Tonight, Russell continued his stellar play against the Cavs shooting 9-20 from the field while hitting 4 of 8 from beyond the arc, and finishing with 25 total points in 32 minutes of play.
The Brooklyn Nets came into tonight’s game on a 3-game losing streak and slipping fast in the playoff standings. With just 17 games left in the regular season and a tight race for the last 3 spots in the east, the Nets desperately needed to get out of this funk, and tonight they did. They hosted the Dallas Mavericks, a team that came into this game with a record of 27-35 as the number 14 seed in the west. The Mavericks have traded away a lot of their top players and are rebuilding for the future, so it was a perfect game for the Nets to get back on the winning track.