The NBA season kicked off on Tuesday, December 22nd with a primetime matchup between the Brooklyn Nets and the Golden State Warriors. Kevin Durant made his long-awaited Brooklyn debut after missing the entirety of the 2019-20 season, and he did not disappoint. The Brooklyn Nets got off to a hot start, so let's break it down, game by game.
Brooklyn Nets defeat Golden State Warriors, 125-99 (1-0)
The Golden State Warriors traveled to Brooklyn on Tuesday night to open the season, where they faced off against none other than the Nets, and ex Golden State star, Kevin Durant. Many wondered how the depleted Warriors would look against the (finally) healthy Brooklyn Nets. The answer is not good.
The Warriors are without star shooting guard Klay Thompson for the remainder of the season, and for the time being, are also without power forward Draymond Green. The Warriors have rookie and 2020 second overall pick James Wiseman, but for the most part, it's superstar point guard Steph Curry trying his hardest to lead an injury ridden Warriors team to victory.
KD, Kyrie, and the Nets were too much for Steph and the Warriors to handle. The game got out of reach quickly as the Nets lead by as many as 15 by the end of the first quarter, and then lead by 28 at the end of the third quarter. Durant looked as if he never missed a beat returning from his Achilles injury. KD looked just as explosive and dangerous as he did before the injury, the KD of old, if you will.
Nets' top performers
Kyrie Irving - 25 minutes, 26 points, 4 assists, 57.1% from three
Kevin Durant - 24 minutes, 22 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
Caris LeVert - 24 minutes, 20 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals
Brooklyn Nets dominate the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day, 123-95 (2-0)
Kevin Durant's first game against the Golden State Warriors, followed up by Kyrie Irving's first game against his old team, the Boston Celtics. Irving had a few chances last season to make his debut against the Celtics, but due to injury, he missed those games against the division rival. Well, Boston fans wish he'd stayed away, as Kyrie lit his old team up on Christmas Day. The Nets overpowered the Celtics in almost every category; points, three pointers, free throws, blocks, and fouls.
This was a key victory for the Nets. I know it's early, but after all the doubt surrounding Brooklyn up until this point, the Nets needed to prove that they can hang with the big boys of the East, and that their roster isn't just scary on paper, but scary on the court as well.
Nets' top performers
Kyrie Irving - 33 minutes, 37 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists
Kevin Durant - 33 minutes, 29 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Jarrett Allen - 9 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 blocks
Nets suffer their first loss of the season to the Charlotte Hornets, 104-106 (2-1)
After handling the Warriors and Celtics with ease, and with Charlotte playing in their second game in two nights, this game against the Hornets seemed like a sure-fire thing. Well, as the old saying goes, never underestimate your opponent. The Nets led throughout most of this game, but as the turnovers mounted, Charlotte made sure to take advantage of the shaky Brooklyn Nets. 19 turnovers for the Nets, and the Hornets out-rebounding Brooklyn 52-46 (13 offensive rebounds for Charlotte) led to the Nets demise, as they were handed their bitter first loss of the season.
Brooklyn made a promising comeback in the final minutes of the game, outscoring the Hornets 27-24 in the fourth quarter, and coming within two points to close the game out. Charlotte played hard-nosed basketball in the end, drawing a foul on Jarrett Allen as he went up for a crucial rebound, and playing lockdown defense on Kevin Durant when he had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds.
Spencer Dinwiddie left the game in the third quarter with what appeared to be an apparent knee injury, and Landry Shamet went 0-8 from beyond the arch, both of which didn't help Brooklyn's cause in this game. This was a learning experience for the Nets; they need to learn to limit the turnovers, otherwise this Nets team is 3-0 instead of 2-1.
Nets' top performers
Kevin Durant - 36 minutes, 29 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 71.4% from three
Kyrie Irving - 36 minutes, 25 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal
Joe Harris - 32 minutes, 13 points
The Nets will be back in action tomorrow night, December 28th at 7:30 PM in Brooklyn where they will host the 0-2 Memphis Grizzlies. Check back next week for my Brooklyn Nets Week 2 in review.
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Have a great week, Nets fans. Let's go Nets!