Questions about the Nets began to arise after they lost back to back embarrassing games this week, but they are back to .500 after a dominating 107-68 victory over the Magic. The Nets literally got points from everybody too. Andray Blatche led with 15, then Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, and Jerry Stackhouse all had 11 or more.
The Nets lost the last two games in ugly fashion. First, on Monday night they blew a 22-point lead against the Timberwolves at home. Then on Wednesday they went to Miami and got blown out by 30. So to say they needed a win like this is an understatement.
LOPEZ MAKES HIS STATEMENT: I wrote before the game about Brook Lopez, who had been the centerpiece in the trade offer for Dwight Howard last year, and his chance to prove to Orlando that they made a mistake. He did that when he got off to a hot start scoring 11 points, with six rebounds, and a blocked shot in the first quarter. He finished with 10 rebounds for his first double-double since Apr. 10th, 2011.
#STACK ATTACK: Jerry Stackhouse might be 38, but he was playing better than his prime in the second quarter when he shot 3-for-4 behind the three point line and finished with 11 points in just under nine minutes. Stackhouse also had a couple of rebounds and an assist, but showed that he can be a real weapon for this team in short bursts.
JJ AND D-WILL COME THROUGH: They started off slow, but Joe Johnson and Deron Williams really started playing the way they’re capable in the third quarter. Johnson started an 11-0 run with a three and the D-Will went to work taking it to the net twice and a couple impressive assists. When they were through with the Magic the game was over. Johnson kept his hot shooting going through the fourth quarter too and finished shooting 5-for-11 and 2-5 from three. His plus-24 rating lead the game.
THE BENCH IMPRESSES: The fourth quarter was all about the bench, specifically Andray Blatche. He scored four points that quarter, all from the line, but he played an excellent defense picking up three defensive rebounds and a steal. Tornike Shengelia also scored six points that quarter with Tyshawn Taylor and Mirza Teletovic picking up five points apiece too.
DEFENSE: The first quarter was sloppy. The Nets weren’t playing defense and were turning the ball over constantly. But they survived that and actually played a strong defensive game. They out rebounded the Magic 48-35 and had just three second half turnovers. Lopez was making a real effort and had three blocks to go with his 11 rebounds.
UP NEXT: The Nets will head back to Brooklyn to take on these same Orlando Magic Sunday at 3:00 p.m. It’s not going to be easy to maintain this intensity though so it will be a harder game for them to win that a 39-point blowout would suggest.