The Brooklyn Nets hosted the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday and won 111-97. This win brought the Nets to 10-11 and was the fifth time that the Nets swept the Trail Blazers in the regular season.
Kevin Durant scored 31 points and had 5 assists while Seth Curry scored a season-high 29 points off the bench. Kyrie Irving added 22 points.
Jerami Grant had 29 points to lead the Blazers while Jusuf Nurkic had 17 points and 14 rebounds. Anfernee Simons had 15 points, but made only four of 14 shots.
This game was tightly contested through the first three quarters. However, the Nets were able to pull away by Curry going off in the fourth quarter and the Nets locking down in the final period. Brooklyn held the Blazers to 6-19 shooting from the field in the fourth quarter as they gave Grant no easy shots and by scrambling on defense to create pressure on the Blazers.
Here are the Nets’ grades for their sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers:
Kevin Durant: A
Durant has been the definition of consistency for the Brooklyn Nets. He set the tone in the first half by doing what he has done his whole career: hitting open shots when they come to him and also, shooting over his defenders by using his height and length. For a Nets team that is lacking size, Durant has been huge with being able to hold his own guarding bigs like Nurkic and having the ability to protect the rim as the low man in the help defense rotation.
Kyrie Irving: A-
Irving had some issues shooting the ball in the early going, but he was able to find his rhythm in the second half. Irving did a good job driving to the rim and putting pressure on the Blazers’ defense while also being patient on the perimeter waiting for the ball to come to him so that he could take the open shot. He also did a good job on defense by pressuring Josh Hart and Anfernee Simons on the perimeter.
Ben Simmons: B
Simmons did a good job helping Claxton and Durant on the boards and pushing the ball in transition to find guys like Harris and Curry for open threes during the secondary break. However, Simmons did not look for his shot at all as guys like Nurkic and Grant were guarding him for most of the game and Simmons has to take advantage of those mismatches. Simmons only had two personal fouls so that was an improvement as he was able to defend without fouling.
Royce O'Neale: C+
O’Neale did not do much on offense in terms of scoring the ball, but he was able to participate in the offense by helping the ball find the open man and getting a good amount of hockey assists. As O’Neale has done all season, he has been able to find shooters or Claxton near the rim to get easy scores. Defense was a struggle for him in this game, but he did a good job helping on the boards as the Nets need any help they can get rebounding.
Nic Claxton: B-
Claxton did a good job in the first half making Nurkic work on defense as he drew two fouls on Nurkic. As Claxton has been known to do, he used his length and athleticism to bother Nurkic in the post and Claxton did a good job of finishing at the rim and hitting his free-throws when he was fouled.
Seth Curry: A+
Curry was awesome shooting the ball in this game and was even more impressive using his dribble to create open shots or drive to the rim as he showed off his lay-up package. Curry was hitting floaters and scoop lay-ups like they were going out of style. Curry put immense pressure on the Trail Blazers’ defense just by being on the floor.
Edmond Sumner: C
Sumner did a good job doing what the backup point-guard is supposed to do. He came off the bench, did not turn the ball over, played great defense, and did what he could to keep the offense flowing. Sumner did not get any steals, but the pressure that he applied to the likes of Simons, Hart, and Grant on the perimeter had just as much impact.
Joe Harris: C-
Harris gave his best try, but he is still struggling with his shot. He did have a nice four-point play off a pass from Simmons, but other than that, Harris was unable to do anything else on offense. Harris did a good job on defense as he was crucial in Grant’s subpar second half and Simons struggling.
Cam Thomas: C-
Thomas did not play much in this game, but when he was on the floor, he did a good job of looking for his shot. Unfortunately, he was put in bad spots by usually getting the ball at the end of the shot clock so he wasn’t able to get the ball with much time to make something happen. Thomas did not play much because he was unable to catch fire when on the floor.