Not getting off to the best of starts, the Nets only led by a score of 19-17 after a first quarter in which they played similarly to how they played in the losses to the Timberwolves and Heat. They looked sluggish, played sloppy, were ice-cold from the field amongst other things. Then, Brooklyn picked it up in the second quarter and were given a major boost by the bench, a unit that has been surprisingly productive early on this season. Even veteran Jerry Stackhouse--who was signed this offseason as a pseudo-assistant coach who would also get limited playing time in games--made his season debut in the second frame and played out of his mind, hitting a couple three-pointers and ending the game with 11 points in just 10 minutes, in addition to posting a spectacular +21.
The Nets outscored the Magic by 12 in that quarter, giving them a 50-36 lead by halftime. Doing what they couldn't on Monday against Minnesota, they expanded that double-digit halftime lead into a blowout advantage during the second half, putting the game absurdly out of hand by the contest's conclusion. There were to be no 22-point leads blow by the Nets last night, just a convincing win that evened up their record at .500 and 2-2 on the 2012-13 campaign.
Some other observations I had from the game: Kris Humphries, after playing poorly in the season's first two games, has played well in the last two. He scored eight points and grabbed eight boards last night, playing just 20 minutes due to the blowout. He clearly is playing with more intensity since the Heat game and that is the key aspect of his game that he provides the Nets with......Brook Lopez played well again as well, nabbing a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) in addition to three blocks. As I said in my game preview, Brook and Hump had a size advantage on the Magic big men and would have to exploit that in order to win. They did, and the Nets won as a result......Like I mentioned above, the Nets bench was huge last night, scoring 55 of the team's 107 points. Led by Andray Blatche (15 points, nine rebounds), Stackhouse, and C.J. Watson (nine points and two steals), the second unit broke this game open in Brooklyn favor.....Some players that normally don't see much of the floor, like Josh Childress, Tyshawn Taylor, and Toko Shengalia, were able to get opportunities because the game was decided relatively early in the second half. Childress played 26 minutes and looked rusty on offense, but played decent defense and spread the floor well as he came off an ankle injury......The Magic stink.
These same teams do it again tomorrow afternoon at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
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