For the first time in 352 days, the Nets hosted real live fans at the Barclays Center. And they did not disappoint him.
Brooklyn recorded a 127–118 victory over Sacramento – and a modest victory in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and at least a little bit of normalcy.
The Nets (21–12) converted a one-point nail-better to a league-high seventh straight win using a 14–1 spat in the closing phase of the fourth quarter. And this one had some additional meaning – additional audience.
The last time the Nets hosted fans at Barclays, they beat the Bulls on March 8, 2020 in front of 15,916. But it seemed like a lifetime ago that Jacques Vaughn is still the interim coach, Kevin Durant still suits for Brooklyn, and James Harden is still working hard in Houston. Oh, and coronovirus is still something that most of the difference in America was not familiar with.
Pandemic suspended the previous season and then resumed in the Orlando bubble. And it saw the Nets – and every other pro sports team in the area – essentially playing in vacant buildings. That is, until Tuesday night, when Brooklyn welcomed 300 fans to the Barclays Center – pre-tested for COVID-19 and socially distant in the meantime. But every journey has to start somewhere.
“Yes, it is good. You know, it’s a nice change, “said coach Steve Nash. “We are obviously playing in empty stadiums, for the most part, at least at home. And so for some fans and a little life, and the energy will be good. And hopefully we can safely include more fans as we move here. “
The Nets kept pace with Philadelphia just a half-game in the East. He got another triple-double from Harden – who had 29 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds, all game-high. He also received an unexpected 29 from defensive-minded Bruce Brown, while Kieri Irving chipped in 21.
Brooklyn was lacking in defense, leaving the Kings with 51.2 percent behind D’Aron Fox (27 points) and Tyrese Haliburton (23). But the Nets narrowed the stretch to win. hardly.
He once again showed a habit of playing down to the level of his opponent. This is something he claims to have decided, but on his sizzling 5-0 Western road, he faced all the contenders except Sacramento.
Brooklyn has the best record against teams in the NBA. 500 and over, a steller 12-2. But its 8–10 mark against losing foes coming on Tuesday indicated a decrease in focus against the league’s low light, and the wretched Kings indicated more about the night’s clash.
After Fox hit a 3-pointer with 7:07 to play, the Nets were sticking to a 110–109 lead that was the best ever. But when he took control with a 14-1 spurt capped by unexpected 3-pointers by Brown.
Brooklyn ran 42–28 stormy innings after the out of the gate, its first-highest score of the season. He also gave season-debuts to Nick-Claxton and Imam Schumpert, and a rare second appearance for Andre Roberson.
But no defense was played in the second quarter. The Nets gave Sacramento 10 of their first 11 points, and saw Rihanna Holmes dive in a 54-50 lead in a lead. He responded with eight unanswered points to leave the momentum behind, but could not hold on to the game defensively.
Even after running Harris’ 3-pointer, Gaddis went back a dozen and Brooklyn did not take command. The Kings maintained close inches, until they took a 96–95 lead in the third with 14.3 seconds left by Haliburton for 17.3 seconds.
But Harris responded with 3-pointers to close the third and open the fourth. He gave the Nets a 101–96 lead, which he did to make a substantial catch.