The New Jersey Nets came into last nights game against the Cleveland Cavaliers knowing that they could get a win at home and immediately frustrated all fans while going down 30-17 after the first quarter. This has been the one “consistent” thing that the Nets have done all year as they get themselves into deep holes early in the game and then can’t quite get out of those holes throughout the game. This game was no different as the Nets made Tristan Thompson look like Kareem Abdul Jabbar last night with zero rebounding and zero communication. It got so bad early on that Deron Williams got into the referee’s face during the timeout after the first quarter and was given a technical after the ref grabbed Deron’s arm and he shrugged him off. This was only the beginning of a horribly officiated game at the Rock and Deron took his displeasure out on the Cav’s in the second quarter to the tune of 17 points to lead the Nets comeback (stop me if you heard this before) and make it a game again. The Cavaliers pounded the Nets on the backboard in the first half to grab 28 total rebounds and a jaw dropping 13 offensive rebounds in the first half alone. Thompson had a previous career high of 15 points going into this game and smashed that with 17 first half points and an array of dunks and put backs that seemed to demoralize the small crowd at the Prudential Center as well as the Nets viewers. Williams did all he could and “dragged” the nets back into the game and the Cavs held a slim 53-50 lead at half.
The second half started a bit better for the Nets as newly acquired Gerald Wallace came alive and he blocked shots, banked a few jumpers, had a few put backs and his own and 1 to help the Nets gain some momentum and take the third quarter 24-23. Wallace was everywhere is the game and got into a groove for the first time with his new team and even hit a 3 pointer to get the crowd up and into the game and help Williams the best way he could. Williams was so flustered by the lack of calls he wasn’t receiving at one point he got slapped right in the face in front of the ref and nothing was called so he took the ball and blew past Irving and threw down a monstrous dunk that rattled more than the rim. It was a decision made out of frustration but the dunk was a message to refs and the rest of the Cavs. Watch here. The game was back and forth in the final quarter as Wallace and Williams kept the Nets hopes alive and they held a slim chance in the end after Wallace took a charge on Kyrie Irving and gave the Nets the ball back down 3 with 20 seconds to go. The Nets took the inbounds pass to Williams and he pumped the defender and looked to drop it to Humphries for a roll to the basket and Humphries didn’t see the pass and it resulted in a game ending turnover. The Nets did not have a timeout to discuss the play and it showed in the lack of execution and the Nets dropped another winnable game and took another shot to its slim playoff hopes.
Deron Williams was so angered by the game that he left the locker room without speaking to reporters for the first time as a Net. Deron Williams ended up with 28 points and 8 assist and Gerald Wallace matched Thompsons output with 27 points – 12 rebounds and 1 block as the Nets dropped to 15-32. The Cavaliers manhandled the Nets on the boards 55-37
The Nets next game is Wednesday night at the Rock vs the Washington Wizards at 7:30pm
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