The Brooklyn Nets stand at 4-5 for the season so far and sit 8th in the Eastern Conference. They are 1-1 in their last two games and claimed an impressive 119-115 win over the Portland Trail Blazers last Saturday night. Despite a 60-point effort from Damian Lillard; a performance that was a career-high in points for the All-Star guard, the Nets managed to steal a win in Portland.
Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets in points with 34 off the bench in a stunning performance where he shot 11 of 18 from the field and 6 of 10 from three. Kyrie Irving had yet another 30+ point performance, scoring 33 points.
Despite a big win for the Nets, it wasn’t all that it seems. CJ McCollum for the Blazers scored just 8 points from 4 of 19 shooting with the Portland starters except for Lillard scoring just 22 points combined.
Two days later, the Nets traveled to Phoenix to face a much improved/surprising Phoenix Suns team who sit sixth in the Western Conference. The Nets got blown out 138-112 after the rotation of the starting line-up as the bench got major minutes in their loss.
Kyrie Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie Are Carrying the Nets
Spencer Dinwiddie led the team in scoring once again with 18 points in 26 minutes from the bench. Kyrie shot just 16 times (a small number for Kyrie) in just 25 minutes where he scored 15 points and amassed a second-worst plus/minus of the night with -31, second only to Joe Harris who had a plus/minus of -35.
The Suns continued their hot streak with another strong performance from their starters who all scored in double digits including a double-double from Ricky Rubio and a team-leading 27-point performance from Devin Booker.
The Nets then headed to take on the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, one of the most intimidating places to play in the NBA; as Russell Westbrook knows very well.
The Jazz slinked away with a 119-114 victory as Kyrie saved up all the bullets he didn’t take against the Suns, and fired off 30 shots while hitting just 10, including just two of 12 from three. Dinwiddie continued his solid play off the bench, chipping in 21 points to lead all non-starters although shooting just 7-for-16 from the field. It was a game the Nets could and should have won. The Jazz outscored the Nets 35-22 in the final frame.
On a happier side of things, let’s look at Kyrie Irving’s chances of winning the scoring title for the first time in his illustrious career.
Kyrie is averaging a career-high 29.7 points per game, ranking third in scoring averages this season, behind Damian Lillard (32.5) and James Harden (37.3).