New Jersey Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Brook Lopez Goes Off, Nets Still Lose
You're not going to win many games in the NBA when one guy does all the work.
The New Jersey Nets learned this the hard way Friday night, when Brook Lopez exploded for 35 points and the rest of the team didn't do anything, leading to a 100-88 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic scored points (29 combined), but it took them a total of 27 shots to reach that mark.
Outside of them, no other Net was in double-figures and the team as a whole shot just 42 percent from the floor. Taking away Lopez's 13-of-19 shooting night, the team was at a lousy 35 percent.
New Jersey tried—they even held a 45-38 edge in rebounds—but they could not match the Lakers' efficiency and aggressiveness.
L.A. shot at 49 percent in the game, and ended up attempting 18 more free throws than the Nets. New Jersey's inability to knock down shots really cost them when considering the fact that they put up 14 more field goal attempts than the Lakers.
When a team isn't hitting their shots, a 15-7 advantage in offensive rebounds doesn't do them any good.
Devin Harris was just 2-of-8 from the field and his eight assists were nullified by his seven turnovers. Kris Humphries was also terribly off, as he hit only three of his 12 shot attempts.
The Lakers were anything but a one-man show, as five players put up double-digit point totals, led by Kobe Bryant's 27.
While it always sucks to lose, the Nets were at least competitive for the second game in a row and their defense was not as bad the 100 points they allowed suggests.
The Lakers were frequently forced to settle for outside jumpers, which—just as a championship-level team should—they connected on enough to win the game.
Derrick Favors and Johan Petro also accounted for 30 percent of New Jersey's fouls, so it wasn't necessarily a complete team effort in regards to all the free throw attempts the team allowed. Humphries had four fouls of his own, but given the way he's performed this season (and his 15 rebounds), we should give him a pass for one night.
It was also very nice to Lopez being so assertive. He got to the free-throw line 11 times and forced Lakers center Andrew Bynum to sit on the bench in foul trouble.
Lopez also put some fouls on Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol throughout the game.
Sure, it would be better if Lopez could rebound (he had all of six in this game), and he still needs to do a better job when facing double teams, but this is just his third season.
Give him time, he'll get there.
Again, losing stinks and the Nets are well on their way to a very long season. If they can consistently play this hard, though, they'll win more games as the year continues, particularly when Anthony Morrow and Damion James return from their respective injuries.
New Jersey will look to get a W and end its four-game losing streak Saturday night in Portland.
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