Ben Couch · BROOKLYNNETS.COM
By Ben Couch
SALT LAKE CITY—Saturday at EnergySolutions Arena, the Nets fell to the Jazz, 116-107. Brook Lopez led Brooklyn with 27 points and four blocks; Reggie Evans, with 16 rebounds. Deron Williams, returning to Utah for the second time as a Net, posted 21 points (6-14 FGs, 3-7 3Ps) and 11 assists.
The Nets and Jazz played an even first half, but Utah created separation in the third, winning the quarter 31-20 behind 15 points (5-of-6 3Ps) from Randy Foye. Marvin Williams chipped in another eight in the fourth to help keep the Jazz ahead, and the Nets never got closer than seven.
- 10:48 – Another long three for Randy Foye, who gets a standing ovation from the crowd.
- 8:07 – Nice block by Kris Humphries, who swatted Gordon Hayward following a nifty behind-the-back dribble that lost MarShon Brooks.
- 7:27 – With the 24-second clock about to expire, Marvin Williams just got reminded to shoot by the crowd, and his step-through, one-handed push banked in. That kind of night for Utah.
- 3:53 – Randy Foye checks in for Marvin Williams, who completes an ultra-efficient 14-point night, shooting 7-of-9. Cheers from the crowd for both guys.
- 2:02 – Foye. For three. Good grief.
- 11:05 – Three for Deron opens the second quarter scoring. He's already 3-for-5 from downtown tonight.
- 8:13 – Mo Williams scores. After Deron Williams. Throwing in my old UNC classmate Marvin, there are three Williamses in this game. Reminds me of last season, when the Nets rostered four: Deron, Jordan, Shawne and Shelden.
- 7:35 – Three straight buckets for the Jazz, who take a one-point lead on Gordon Hayward's dunk, and there has been a palpable momentum shift..
- 6:03 – Triple for Randy Foye, and the Jazz are beginning to stretch the lead. Out to six now.
- 4:45 – Foye again. Nine-point game.
- 3:06 – Nifty "big-big" pass from Blatche to Brook for a layup+1. Blatche's drive drew both Al Jefferson and Derrick Favors, and he passed over the top to Brook, who had slashed into the open space.
- 2:47 – That Randy Foye three was from a full step behind the line. He's on fire: 5-of-6 this quarter, for 15 points.
- 0:42 – C.J. Watson hits a jumper, and the Nets trail by only five, which feels better than it could considering they've weathered a tremendous storm from Foye and the Jazz.
- 0:00 – Big swing at the end of the quarter, as the Jazz outscore the Nets 4-0 in the final 47 seconds, extending a five-point lead to nine.
Both teams spent much of the first-quarter playing a game of "How Open Do You Like to Be?" chicken, with the Nets and Jazz each shooting better than 60 percent from the floor. Brooklyn's "Bench Mob" reserve unit spent an extended stretch on-court in the second quarter, first closing the deficit and then overtaking the Jazz midway through.
Things were back-and-forth from there, and several times got chippy as Deron Williams was being played physically by Jazz defenders. Now that the scoring has normalized, expect whichever team stays more level-headed to end up on top in what's likely to be a tightly contested second half.
- 10:14 – Kris Humphries scores, and that's three straight successful possessions for the Nets reserves (following Blatche and C.J.)
- 8:16 – Transition dunk for Humphries and it's a one-point game. Second unit has brought great energy.
- 4:29 – Deron, Reggie and Brook check back in. Can they stretch out the lead?
- 2:27 – Deron and Brook run a clean pick and roll that results in free throws for Brook. Tough combo for opponents to guard on those high screens.
- 1:07 – The crowd in Utah EXPLODES as Deron is blocked on one end and Gordon Hayward hits a triple on the other end. Bucket is waved off due to a loose-ball foul, but Millsap splits free throws.
- Pregame – Boos for Deron during the intros, but not resounding ones. Progress?
- 11:57 – Bringing the ball up off the tip, Deron is booed resoundingly. No progress.
- 11:31 – It's happening every touch. Yikes.
- 9:19 – Brook Lopez, four inches taller than Paul Millsap's listed height (6-foot-8), backs him down in the post, spins and uses his length to scoop a layup while being fouled. Expect more of that.
- 7:14 – Reggie Evans postup: fake left, pivot right, short bank. 2 points. Been fun watching how aggressive he's gotten looking for his shot.
- 6:50 – A few people cheered Deron making that jumper. There's still some love in Utah.
- 3:16 – Brooklyn native Jamal Tinsley hits a layup, ending a mini-drought that saw both teams knocked off their 150-point pace. There is not so much defense happening, save for players jumping passing lanes.
Brooklyn Nets (42-31)
|G · Deron Williams||G · Keith Bogans||F · Gerald Wallace||F · Reggie Evans||C · Brook Lopez|
Joe Johnson (sore left heel, right quad contusion) is DOUBTFUL.
Utah Jazz (38-36)
|G · Mo Williams||G · Randy Foye||F · Gordon Hayward||F · Paul Millsap||C · Al Jefferson|
For more, view the Game Photo Gallery
|21 PTS, 11 AST, STL
6-14 FGs, 3-7 FGs, 6-7 FTs
|"We'll get back in it. We'll string some wins together and get a new streak started before the end of the regular season and heading into the playoffs."|