All five Brooklyn Net starters scored at least 15 points as the Nets held Steph Curry below 30, crushing the Golden State Warriors in Oakland 134-117.
Right from the start, this contest was set to be a good one.
Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving’s combined firepower have been nothing short of championship caliber. They lead a Nets squad that averages the second-most points per game in the league, entering Saturday’s game.
Steph Curry entered the game on an absolute tear. His last 4 games have all seen him put up at least 30 points. Curry’s 57 in a loss against the Dallas Mavericks started his hot streak, followed by 32, 32, and a 40-bomb against the Orlando Magic.
With rookie James Wiseman and veteran Kevon Looney out with injuries, the Warriors would have to play without their main big men.
The Nets began the game hot, putting up 37 points in the first quarter, leading by 9. However, Brooklyn’s big three started slow, scoring just 15 combined points in the first frame. They entered the contest with a lot of questions needing answers on defense. Going into the game, they allowed the third-most points per game in the league.
The first half, though, saw the Nets hit their defensive stride. They held the red-hot Warriors to just 51 points and Curry to only 16 points.
On the offensive end, Bruce Brown’s 11 first-half points led the way for the Nets. Brown was replacing an injured DeAndre Jordan and had one of his highest-scoring games of the season.
It was the third quarter that saw the Nets pull away, playing lights out. They dropped 42 points, stretching their lead to 26 points entering the final frame.
Irving’s 9 points led Nets scorers in the quarter, using his spectacular handles and finishing to put on a show at Oracle Arena.
Harden also added 5 points for the Nets, though it was his passing that was truly incredible. He had 6 assists in the third quarter alone, at 1 point setting up 4 straight Nets scores.
Curry put up 8 of his 27 points in the third, but the Warriors’ 31 points in the quarter were not enough to keep pace with the team from Brooklyn.
Though the Warriors outscored the Nets by 10 in the final quarter, it proved to be too-little, too-late, as the Nets still went home with a 17-point victory.
Durant shot only 1-6 from three in his return to the Bay, but he still joined Irving above 20 points. Harden added 19, including 5 threes, to go along with 16 assists and 8 rebounds. Jeff Green’s 14 points and 6 rebounds led a Nets bench that scored 39 points.
At times, the Nets’ defense was just as impressive, holding the Warriors to 26% from three, allowing Curry to hit only twice from outside. Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. each added 17, and Eric Paschall put up 16 off the Warriors bench, but ultimately fell short.
The Nets will follow this contest with 4 more away games, visiting Sacramento, Phoenix and playing both Los Angeles teams before going back home. This tough West Coast road trip could prove to be a testing ground for a Nets team that has yet to consistently find its stride.
The Warriors will look to rebound from their loss as they stay at home for the Cavaliers and the Heat before going back on the road.