Generally speaking, the third quarter was a disaster for the Brooklyn Nets early in the season. However, as the Nets fortunes appear to be turning, so has their third quarter play. The change was seen on Tuesday night as Deron Williams and the Nets used a big third quarter to separate themselves from the visiting Orlando Magic.
The third quarter was a different story. Brooklyn ramped up its defense and slowed the Magic down dramatically. Orlando made just three of its 21 shot attempts in the third quarter, including missing on its first nine tries. The Nets were able to go on an 18-6 run that essentially put the game too far out of reach for the overmatched Magic. The run built Brooklyn's lead to 64-48. Arron Afflalo finally made a basket for Orlando's first field goal of the quarter with just under five minutes left. Orlando finished with just 14 points in the quarter.
"I think our third quarters have been a lot better," said Williams. "That was a problem a lot in the first half of the season."
Paul Pierce said, "We're not only winning, but we're pretty convincingly turning it on in the third quarter with the defense, and the way we're moving the ball."
In Williams second game back, he again decided to come off the bench. Williams seems to not wanting to mess with the chemistry that the starting unit of Joe Johnson, Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Shaun Livingston and Alan Anderson have developed. The ball movement and team defense has been excellent amongst that group. Instead, Williams wants to work himself back into form with the bench crew. He finished with nine points and nine assists on the night.
Garnett continued his recent improved shooting. He appears to be getting more and more comfortable with his teammates and is hitting on over 68 percent of his attempts in his last seven appearances. While he is not putting up huge numbers, 8.4 points and 6.6 rebounds in that stretch, his ability to hit jumpers forces the defense to stay accountable. He made four of his five shots on Tuesday and finished with eight points.
Joe Johnson cooled off a bit from his recent scoring as he had just 13 points. He did hit six of eleven shots from the field.
Pierce continued his terrific all-around play. He had 13 points, six boards, four assists, two blocks and one steal. He made five of his nine field goal attempts.
Andray Blatche and Mirza Teletovic were solid off the bench for coach Jason Kidd. Blatche scored 18 points as he made six of eleven shots and Teletovic finished with 14 as he hit four of his eight three-point attempts.
For the Magic, it was a struggle for their starters. Out of Afflalo, Glen Davis, Jameer Nelson, Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo, Afflalo led the unit in scoring with just 11 points. Davis and Oladipo finished with 10 each and Nelson had nine points and 10 assists. Harris struggled and finished with just seven points. The team's best player on the night was Kyle O'Quinn who came off the bench and scored 15 points and had eight boards on the night.
Brooklyn has now improved to 18-22 and will face the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night at the Barclay's Center.
- Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets Defeat Cleveland Cavaliers at the Barclay’s Center
- Brooklyn Nets Prepare to Host Orlando Magic
- Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets Defeat Atlanta Hawks at Home
- Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets Routed on Christmas Day Vs. Chicago Bulls
- Brooklyn Nets Set to Face Miami Heat Without Deron Williams
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