City Sports Report

A Jarrett Jack jumper may change season for Brooklyn Nets

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As I sat at Barclays Center watching the Brooklyn Nets play the Los Angeles Clippers, I was talking to a fellow journalist, making observations about the game.  We both agreed that we had viewed this story before.  After all, the Nets were 8-15 at home, and have lost many close games at home, including overtime losses to the Milwaukee Bucks, Dallas Mavericks, and Toronto Raptors, and losses by eight points or less to the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers.  In this game, the Nets trailed the Clippers by 9, 96-87, on a Matt Barnes bucket.  And then something clicked for Brooklyn.

The Nets closed out the game against the Clippers on a 15-4 run, including three pointers by Alan Anderson, Deron Williams (who returned from injury Monday night) and Joe Johnson, a four-point play by Alan Anderson, and the final jumper by Jarrett Jack with one second left, as the Nets pulled off an improbable 102-100 win over a team projected by many to be a title contender this season.  Ironically, it was the seventh straight home win for the Nets over the Clippers.

Lionel Hollins was thankful for the big win.  “I thank God for the fact that they did win, because I am proud of them, the way we started playing, and to get rewarded is always important in these situations.  Our spirit has come back, and we are scrapping, scratching and clawing.”  The Nets also spoke about the win after the game.  “I had a real good look,” Alan Anderson said, and on Blake Griffin, who committed the foul that led to the four-point play, “I saw him in the paint.  When the ball was coming, he was still in the paint.  I mean, he was closing out so hard, so once he touched me I knew I had to drop and get the foul. When it left my hand, I knew it was going in.”

Jack talked about the shot he made over Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who finished the game with 22 points and 20 rebounds despite shooting 2-12 from the free throw line.  “When they came off and switched the pick and roll, I crossed over and I kind of got him off balance a little bit, attacked the basket, got him kind of rocking back, and I just needed a little bit of separation. When I left my hand, I knew it was cash.”

So for the Brooklyn Nets, this could be the game that changes their season.  But with games against the Raptors in Toronto on Wednesday, and a home contest against the New York Knicks Friday, the team can’t lose both of those contests.  If they do, it almost certainly wipes away the positive effects of the Monday night’s spectacular win.

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