With a 19-point deficit entering the fourth, the mood was dismal after a disappointing performance by the Nets during the first three quarters. Ugly. Suddenly, Brooklyn went on a 16-1 scoring run, led by Kyrie Irving (who finished with 43 points, six rebounds, and four assists), to cut the deficit to four points with 7:32 to play.
Kyrie Irving Makes Orlando Magics Bad Day Worse
When the Nets continued to miss open 3-pointers and struggle from the field when it counted most, the Magic regained their footing and pulled away for a 121-113 victory. We were quite close and even made a dash for it at the very end.
Landry Shamet admitted after the game that “getting stops” was the key factor in their loss. The only explanation is that “they were manufacturing everything.” The loss drops the Nets to 28-14 on the year and ends their six-game winning run as well as their eight-game road winning streak. The Magic ended a season-high nine-game skid of defeats, moving to 14-27 on the year.
Some clarifications. We didn’t come out firing, in my opinion. The details weren’t quite there. We fell behind, but we battled our way back into it,” Nash remarked after the game. But, they did manage to get off quite a few shots.
We made it through it and gave ourselves a chance by reducing it to around six by nightfall. Many of our open attempts and chances resulted in missed goals. I wish we had gotten out to a better and more focused start, but I’m pleased with how they responded when things became tough. got through the Magic’s great shooting night and yet had our shots fall short when it mattered most.
Harden’s lack of production was in contrast to Irving’s stellar performance; Irving scored 43 points on 19-of-31 shooting while Harden was held to just 10. In 34 minutes of action, he tallied 19 points, nine dimes, and four boards.
Joe Harris, who had trouble from deep all day, scored 16 points and added 6 boards and 4 assists in 32 minutes to be the only other Net in double figures. One of his poorest shooting performances of the year, he only managed to make three of thirteen three-point attempts.
Brooklyn’s defence wasn’t very good early on and they gave up 35 points in the first quarter alone as the teams traded baskets back and forth. After one quarter, the Magic had a field goal percentage of over 50 and a three-point percentage of over 50, while the Nets had a dismal 2 of 10 from beyond the arc.
Brooklyn fired an efficient 12-of-24 from the field despite struggling to make early 3-pointers, with Irving leading the way with nine points on 4-of-7 shooting in just 10 minutes. Brooklyn’s late run in the first quarter was not enough to prevent a 35-29 deficit at the end of the period.
To begin the second, the Magic’s shooting was outstanding from deep. Orlando went on a 13-7 run thanks in large part to their 3-point shooting, which prompted Steve Nash to call a timeout for the Nets with 7:09 left in the game and a 12-point deficit.
With Harden limited to just four minutes due to his three fouls, it was Irving who lifted the Nets in the second, scoring the team’s final 11 points to cut the lead to two at the half. The 24 points Irving scored in the first half were the second-most by a Net before halftime this season.
Claxton, who scored five points in nine minutes but made important blocks on 1-on-1 action against both Gordon and Vucevic in the post, complemented Irving’s stellar performance for Brooklyn. Despite Irving’s heroics and the Nets’ 56.8 percent first-half shooting performance (including 30.8 percent from deep), Orlando’s 13-of-22 (59.1 percent) three-point performance was the game-changer.
In a game where they struggled from beyond the arc, Brooklyn still managed to outscore Orlando 32-16 in the paint while committing just four turnovers. When the third quarter got underway, the Nets took the lead. But, the Magic quickly replied by pouring in threes from deep as the Nets’ defence collapsed.
On the other end, they struggled to score at all in the quarter. Nash requested a timeout with 4:40 remaining down 12 points after an 11-5 surge that was aided by Vucevic’s pinpoint shooting. The Nets did come out of the timeout more focused on defence, but the Magic were on fire from deep and ended the quarter upping their advantage to 103-84 after sinking 19 threes.
For the seventh time this season, the Nets have let an opponent score 100+ points through three quarters. Orlando’s 103 points did it. Stop, halt, and more stops. That’s how the Nets were able to cut their deficit to 19 entering the final quarter.
The attack was strong, as Brooklyn went on an 11-0 run to start the final 12 minutes, forcing Steve Clifford to use two quick timeouts. The Magic seemed to steady after that. After that, the Nets’ offence dried up at the most crucial time, and the Magic came away with the victory. In this next section, we will examine film.
Aaron Gordon, a rumoured trade candidate for the Magic, led the team in scoring with 38 points (14 more than his previous high) on 14 of 20 shooting from the field and 7 of 8 from beyond the arc. Even Evan Fournier, who shot 10-of-13 overall and 6-of-8 from deep for a total of 31 points, seemed unstoppable at times.
Nikola Vucevic, a potential matchup problem in the paint, scored 22 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and dished out 8 assists, but he shot just 8 of 24 from the field. Khem Birch, whose name has been bandied about as a potential acquisition for the Nets, logged 25 minutes of action, pulled down seven rebounds, and scored two points. He’s a huge man from Canada and he’s 28 years old; Steve Nash has probably heard of him.