On the second night of a back-to-back, the Brooklyn Nets rebounded from an embarrassing loss to the Hornets with arguably their best 48-minute performance of the season so far.
Former Net Spencer Dinwiddie’s return to the Barclays center was spoiled by Kevin Durant, who led all scorers with 25 points. Patty Mills remained hot, adding 21 off the bench.
The Nets opened up the game with an 18-point lead thanks to a combined 19 points from Durant and Mills. James Harden was playing an all-around game, almost notching a near double-double with 14 points and nine assists.
In the win, Brooklyn only turned the ball over nine times and despite a cold shooting night from deep (28%), this made things easier. The Nets out-rebounded the Wizards 54-53. However, they still managed to give up 10 offensive rebounds in the victory.
As the Nets advanced to 2-2 on the season, Durant reached his 24,000th NBA point against his hometown team. Dinwiddie (10 PTS, 6 ASTS, 5 REBS) made sure to put on a show in his return as well.
Here are the player grades from Monday’s win:
Kevin Durant: A
It was an excellent game from Kevin Durant on his way to making history. Durant was extremely efficient from the floor while even notching only one turnover. He was 9-of-17 from the field overall. On such a hot shooting night, the Nets star only shot the three twice. He missed one, but made an absolute bomb to end the half.
His scoring production continued in the second half and it was just too much for the Wizards to handle. It would have been interesting to see Durant shoot the three ball more though.
Patty Mills: A-
Patty Mills is the in the lead for Sixth Man of the Year by far. Despite it being the early stages of the season and making history the other day, Mills scored 21 points off the bench. Five of those shots were from downtown too.
Mills has to be careful though with the turnover issues, two is too much.
James Harden: B
It’s disappointing to see that the new rules are impacting James Harden playing style. It’s clear that his frustration is only going to grow until something is done about it. Harden, who has averaged at least seven free throw attempts a game for 11 straight seasons, is not getting calls in the interior when the rules are targeting perimeter shots.
Still, the 32-year-old scored 14 points and dished out nine assists in the victory. This isn’t the same scoring machine we’ve seen over the past couple of years. Well, not yet.
Bruce Brown: B+
Bruce Brown’s trouble from behind the arc continued, but he did what find open spots on the floor that broke the Wizards defense down. He was even slashing to the basket, getting out the fast break and playing tremendous defense on Bradley Beal to guarantee the victory for the Nets.
Joe Harris: C+
Joe Harris has not found his groove from downtown yet. The NBA leader in 3-point percentage last season went 3-of-11 from three against the Wizards. This is not typical of the sharpshooter at all, but it is just the beginning of the season.
DeAndre Bembry: B+
DeAndre Bembry was extremely active off the ball and the Nets facilitators were able to find him time and time again cutting to the basket. Defensively, Bembry was causing havoc for the Wizards’ offense on his way to two steals. He had a block in the game too, but this would have looked better if he didn’t have a turnover.