The Brooklyn Nets took their talents to North Carolina to take on the Charlotte Hornets on New Years Eve and won 123-106. This is the third time that these teams have played each other this season and the Nets now lead the regular-season series 3-0.
For the Nets, Kyrie Irving had 28 points and six rebounds while Kevin Durant had 23 points and four assists. Royce O’Neale had 14 points and six assists while Nic Claxton had 14 points and six blocks.
For the Hornets, LaMelo Ball had 23 points and 11 assists while Mason Plumlee had 22 points and 10 rebounds. Terry Rozier had 16 points and five rebounds and PJ Washington had 12 points and three rebounds,
As expected, the Nets got off to a good start and didn’t look back. Brooklyn led by as many as 22 points in this game and had their fourth wire-to-wire win of this campaign.
The Nets held the Hornets to 39.6% shooting from the field as they emphasized closing out on three-point shooters. The Nets played well in every aspect of the game other than being out-rebounded by Charlotte 45-41 and turning the ball over 14 times. Ultimately, Brooklyn did not let the Hornets establish a rhythm at any point and that led to this win before 2023 comes upon us.
Here are your Nets player grades:
Ben Simmons: C-
Simmons did not make much of an impact in this game. He barely shot the ball despite having the physical advantage over most of the guys that guarded him in this game. He did not as much in this game as he normally would so one could wonder if his illness if affecting him more than he lets on. Regardless, he turned the ball over too much for how little the ball was in his hands. He did a decent job on the boards and passing the ball. He did play good perimeter defense in this game.
Kyrie Irving: B+
Irving had a good outing in this one. He had his struggles shooting the ball in the first quarter, but after that, he had no trouble creating his own shot or shots for others. Irving had some dazzling displays of his elite ball-handling ability in this contest as he did virtually whatever he wanted to get past his defender(s) and make a play out of that.He did a good job rebounding the ball and passing the rock to an open teammate.
Kevin Durant: B
Durant had a good performance in this game as he made hard shots easier by using his length and underrated ball-handling skills to shoot over his defender or create space to get his shot off. He did a good job rebounding and pretty much doing anything that he was asked to do. Durant struggled to defend without fouling and turned the ball over too much.
Royce O'Neale: A
O’Neale did a great job shooting the ball against the Hornets. He did most of his damage from three-point land and he answered the call more often than not when one of his teammates passed him the ball when he was open. He did a good job rebounding and he had a great night passing the ball as he was finding open teammates all game long. He also played good defense on the perimeter and had a hand in stifling LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward in the early going.
Nic Claxton: A
Claxton was great in this game. Not only did he finish well at the rim, even through contact, but he also did a good job rebounding. He had some trouble boxing out the likes of Mason Plumlee and Mark Williams, but other than that, Claxton controlled the paint to the tune of six blocks. Also, he did a great job of passing the ball once he caught it at the free-throw line.
TJ Warren: C+
Warren had a decent game against the Hornets. He did not explode with scoring the ball, but he stayed confident in his shot despite some tough misses. He did a good job rebounding and he was crucial in providing some energy on defense to help the Nets stay ahead at all times.
Yuta Watanabe: B
Yuta “the shoota” Watanabe came alive in this game. In the early going, he provided good energy and played some decent defense. Watanabe did a good job on the glass and he was scoring in multiple ways, most notably his favorite shot which is the corner three. Watanabe was a thief throughout this game as he had his hands in the passing lanes at all times and came up with some clutch steals whenever the Hornets made their runs.
Seth Curry: C+
Curry had a solid outing in this game. He tried his hardest to make an impact shooting the ball from behind the three-point line, but he had his struggles from that range. However, there were a couple of times that he was able to drive by his defender or that he was able to make a move and shoot over his defender.
Edmond Sumner: C+
Sumner did a great job scoring in this game. Not known as a scorer, Sumner was able to get to the rim on multiple occasions and finish strong. He also did a good job of staying in front of his man whenever he was in the game and did not turn the ball over either.