NBA: Jazz left singing the Blues after Durant leads Nets to impressive win
New York, New York - The Brooklyn Nets earned a great win over the Utah Jazz at home on Monday night, despite again missing some key players.
The Nets overcame the Jazz 114-106 for their sixth win in the last seven games, snapping Utah’s three-game winning streak in the process.
Brooklyn was on the floor without three of their starters: Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond, and of course Kyrie Irving. But in a season where absences have been the dominant theme, this group just keeps getting better at dealing with them.
From the opening tip, the game could've gone either way as both teams exchanged the lead, but it was Utah who led by three after the first quarter.
The Nets made enough adjustments to take the second quarter and a two-point lead into halftime.
The Jazz quickly cut the lead to one at the start of the second half, followed by Brooklyn taking off to build a lead as much as 16 in the third quarter.
Utah had a few more rushes left in them during the fourth but they were a little too far behind the Nets to catch them by the final buzzer.
The player spotlight
With a number of weapons unavailable for the Nets, it was once again up to superstar Kevin Durant (33) to put his team on his back, carrying them to another win.
He was a big part of Brooklyn’s offensive explosion during the third quarter, scoring 15 of the Nets’ 38 points in that period.
In fact, he was, as expected, a scoring machine as he tallied up his 20th 30-point game of the regular season.
Durant finished the night with 15-for-23 shooting overall from the field for a game-high 37 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.
The big picture
The Nets have been getting wins without a complete team, but with the NBA playoffs fast approaching, they’re going to need all of their key players front-and-center if they’re going to go far in the postseason.
Ben Simmons, who has yet to dribble a ball during a regular season game this year, was revealed just hours before tip-off to be currently suffering from a herniated disk in his back, which finally provided a reason as to why he hasn’t seen any action yet.
Starting center Andre Drummond was out with an illness while Seth Curry, who’s not quite the shooter his brother Stephen is but still a threat in his own right, had to bow out in the second half with a sprained left ankle.
And Kyrie Irving is… Kyrie Irving.
The bottom line is if and when these weapons are healthy – and allowed to play – then they need to be ready to go so that the Nets can make that Finals run that’s been long overdue.
On Wednesday, the Nets will be on the road against the Grizzlies while the Jazz will be in Boston to take on the Celtics.
Cover photo: IMAGO/Sports Press Photo