Nets Notes: Bruce Brown Closes Out Kings With Career High
Guard hits two big 3-pointers and scores 29 points
Kyrie Irving was only looking for one 3-pointer out of Bruce Brown, but the Brooklyn guard has spent the season blowing up expectations, so he delivered a little extra.
With the Nets being crowded in crunch-time by the Sacramento Kings, Brown knocked down a pair of threes within a one-minute span to break things open on the way to Brooklyn’s 127-118 win over the Kings on Tuesday night.
“Kyrie comes to me all the time,” said Brown. “He sees me working on my shot and I know I can shoot the ball, it’s just confidence right now. So he tells me “one a game’ before every game, and then I gave him one. So if you saw us, he looked at me and said one, and then I gave him two, so it was pretty cool.”
Brown scored eight straight Brooklyn points in closing out the 14-1 run that turned a one-point game into a 14-point Nets lead that sealed their seventh straight win.
When it was all done, he had a career-high 29 points, something that took even Brown by surprise. He didn’t even realize it until Jeff Green pointed him towards the scoreboard after the final buzzer.
Brown finished up shooting 11-of-13, and most of those came the way he usually scores, finishing in the paint off rolls to the rim, finding spaces in the defense.
It’s not the way you would expect a 6-foot-4 guard to make a living on the offensive end, but it’s the role Brown has built for himself with this Brooklyn team that runs deep in guards and scorers. So he does the dirty work — he’s also averaging 4.5 rebounds — and plays like a big in the Brooklyn offense, setting screens for James Harden and Irving, then leaking to the rim, where he’s converting 65.8 percent of his attempts, nearly 10 points higher than the league average.
Nets head coach Steve Nash said Brown “makes it look easy.”
“Bruce is special in that he can do that,” said Nash. “It’s not a normal thing to ask a 6-3 guard to be the roller, so his ability to do that and to finish and to have the timing and willingness, right? I know a lot of guards would laugh you out of the gym if you asked them to pick and roll. He’s a winner. He plays hard and I think that skill is uncanny.”
Acquired in a three-team trade before the season, it took a little time for Brown to establish himself. He didn’t play much in the season’s first two weeks. But as opportunity came, he’s steadily elevated his impact, and is shooting 57.6 overall for the season.
“He does a little bit of everything,” said Harden. “He's a guy that just goes out there and competes his butt off every single night and great things happen for him. Especially with the talent level we have on this team. He sets screens and rolls to the basket, he's an unbelievable cutter and tonight he showed us he's capable of knocking down the 3 ball. So he does it all he works his butt off and when you work your tail off and keep grinding and pushing good things happen for you and I'm so happy for him and I'm proud of him.”
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