Ben Couch · BROOKLYNNETS.COM
By Ben Couch
PORTLAND, Ore.—Wednesday at the Rose Garden, Brooklyn demolished Portland, 111-93, leading wire-to-wire in a contest that never came close. Brook Lopez led the Nets with 28 points (12-22 FGs), while Reggie Evans compiled a staggering career-best line of 22 points and 26 rebounds – his NBA-leading seventh game with 20-or-more boards.
The starters sat much of the fourth quarter, allowing several Nets to get extended minutes and build confidence heading into the Circus trip's closing back-to-back (Denver and Utah).
- 12:00 – C.J. Watson, MarShon Brooks, Jerry Stackhouse, Kris Humphries and Andray Blatche take the floor to start the period, meaning that's a wrap for the starters unless this gets within 10-15 points.
5:59 – MarShon blocked, loose ball to C.J., who misses a three. Racing the other way, Portland ends up with a corner three from deep reserve Luke Babbitt (11.6 MPG) that cuts the lead to 14. P.J. calls time.
Starters return. All five of 'em.
- 5:10 – Reggie drives middle and gets fouled, sinks the second free throw to tie his career-high (22 poitns).
- 4:48 – Give-and-go hot potato between Deron and Crash results in a layup and a 17-point lead. Starting to stretch back out ...
- 3:38 – Nets slow down the game so hard, Deron gets resoundly booed by the crowd. He responds by driving left and hitting the contested layup. Buckets, 20-point lead, game.
- 11:40 – And-1 for Crash. That'll help stem the Blazer momentum before it starts ...
- 8:02 – Monster block from Nicolas Batum on Wallace, who was going up for the transition dunk with no knowledge of the closing Blazer. Crowd loved that one.
- 6:02 – Crowd is into it, Blazers are playing pretty well, and yet the Nets remain ahead by 24. Also, that bucket Brook just scored came off a no-look, behind-the-back pass from Deron.
- 4:43 – Whether it's Deron Williams, Keith Bogans or anyone else guarding Rookie of the Year candidate Damian Lillard, the Nets are doing a nice job taking him out of the game. Lillard is just 2-of-9 from the field, totaling 7 points and 3 assists.
- 1:57 – The lead is all the way out to 30, and Reggie Evans is just a point away from a 20-20 game after that last board.
- 0:28 – Reggie Evans pulls down rebound No. 21, then scores points 20 and 21, one short of tying his career-high.
The Nets are straight running away with this one. Reggie Evans nearly posted a double-double in the first quarter (9 points, 10 rebounds) on the way to an 11-point, 14-rebound half. When Reggie wasn't tearing up the interior, Brook Lopez was very methodically backing down the Portland defense, racking up 17 points on textbook execution in the paint. Andray Blatche also provided post production, with 8 points on 3-of-4 shooting.
If the Nets can weather a surge at the start of the third, they'll likely have enough room to emerge with their fourth victory of the Circus Trip, guaranteeing a plus-.500 finish in the seven total games. Look for them to continue exploiting the interior matchups, or at least playing inside-out if the Blazers begin to pack the paint.
- 10:42 – Andray Blatche has all seven of the points this quarter: three buckets and a free throw. He's doing for scoring what Reggie has done for rebounds. Weird night, but the Nets are up 27 (already!)
- 10:02 – MarShon Brooks just hit Kris Humphries behind the defender's back underneath. Nifty pass. Those years playing point guard before his growth spurt occasionally break through in fun ways.
- 6:52 – The shot didn't go, but Stack just pulled up off a crossover. This game has been highly entertaining.
- 4:56 – Catch-and-shoot jumper for Deron. When he's hitting that, the Nets' offense becomes very difficult to defend.
- 1:54 – Raucous "DE-FENSE!" chant fromt he Rose Garden crowd, but Brook Lopez methodically backs in for a hook. The crowd gets sad.
- 1:11 – Same sequence.
- 0:04 – Reggie Evans grabs and offensive board and scores. Of course he does.
- Pregame – Big, big cheers for Gerald Wallace during Nets introductions. Treat these Portland fans well for however long you're here and you are IN. Also of note: the stadium is packed and rocking for the intros.
- 11:06 – Whoa! Reggie Evans just no-look bounce passed to Gerald Wallace for the layup and-one, then pulled down the offensive board and hit a fadeaway with swagger. That was fun.
- 9:17 – I'm pretty sure Reggie Evans has grabbed all the rebounds. In fact, he has five ... and no one on either team has any. Seriously. That's a thing that's happening.
- 8:20 – Reggie just put down a sweet turnaround hook. Still has all the boards (6).
- 4:42 – Reggie with the up-fake and scoop layup between two defenders. Still leads the game with 8 boards to everyone else's 7.
- 1:21 – Deron Williams is finishing out the first against backup PG Eric Maynor, who's really been taking advantage of the opportunity since being traded from Oklahoma City at the deadline. Nice runner right there.
- 0:31 – Reggie is loving his pivot move today. All up-and-under everything.
Brooklyn Nets (42-29)
|G · Deron Williams||G · Keith Bogans||F · Gerald Wallace||F · Reggie Evans||C · Brook Lopez|
Joe Johnson (right quad contusion) is OUT.
Gerald Wallace (sore feet) is QUESTIONABLE.
MarShon Brooks (illness) is PROBABLE.
Portland Trail Blazers (33-38)
|G · Damian Lillard||G · Wesley Matthews||F · Nicolas Batum||F · LaMarcus Aldridge||C · J.J. Hickson|
LaMarcus Aldridge (illness) is PROBABLE.
Victor Claver (left ankle) is PROBABLE.
Sasha Pavlovic (right quad) is DOUBTFUL.
Elliot Williams (left Achilles tendon) is OUT.
For more, view the Game Photo Gallery
|CAREER-BEST 26 REB
22 PTS, 3 AST, STL
9-13 FGs, 4-9 FTs
|On Reggie Evans:
"Watching him play, it's almost like it's a fight. And you're either going to fight back or give up. And if you give up, he's going to get every rebound."