Game Recaps

Nets 102, Suns 100: Don’t turn to March Madness just yet


The gist of it: It’s easy to switch away from the NBA during March Madness’s especially exciting peaks, even more so when one playoff team stuffs a double-digit cushion against the worst of one conference. There’s more life found in Florida Gulf Coast University’s unlikely sprint to the Sweet Sixteen than in a million 2012-13 Phoenix Suns games, and you expect the Nets to hold onto such leads when one team is giving real, meaningful minutes to Wes Johnson.

But then Johnson comes alive and the Suns are hitting every shot, climbing back to go up by one at the end of the third quarter, sparked by a 26-9 run featuring many, many awkward Reggie Evans shot attempts and a defense with no answer for Goran Dragic, who still looks like the protagonist of one of those cable commercials where the schlubby normal guy imagines himself into an NBA game. The Nets bail out in the fourth quarter with some very nerve-wracking/well-timed C.J. Watson makes—he can shoot from precarious places, if nothing else—and a few Deron Williams scores at angles suggesting he stayed up late watching tape of Chris Paul’s game in last night’s loss to the Clippers. The Suns keep getting second chances because of how many long rebounds they keep snagging, but the Nets are bailed out by luck as a would-be game-tying putback at the buzzer off a missed free throw bounces away.

Thank God for no overtimes in a game like this, right? Now, Brooklyn’s circus trip record is at 3-1 with four teams left to play on the road, the hopes of a two-seed still alive.


° Do you want to imagine the dead silent locker room had the Nets not gotten away at the ened? They were one Hamed Haddadi putback and an unlucky overtime away from blowing a 16-point lead to the Suns, who’ve become a prime example of post-superstar tough luck in their first year without Steve Nash.

° Kris Humphries, the revelation: Playing in only his second game back from a long, long time away, Humphries nearly put up a double-double while getting a couple of And-1s. The Mirza Teletovic experiment, which produced some non-conclusive evidence on his ability to play off the bench, seems tabled for the moment.

° Two alley-oops in one game! Who says romance in New York is dead?

° At one awkward point in the third quarter as the lead was disintegrating, Reggie Evans kept slamming into three defenders in the paint rather than kicking the ball out to one of his many, many teammates standing around waiting to be noticed. He eventually got fouled and hit only one of his free throws.

° Re: Wes Johnson’s unlikely third quarter God mode where he hit four consecutive three-pointers, even a broken player is right every three years.

° What do you think Andray Blatche thinks about when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands? Send your best artist’s renditions to [email protected], please.

° Kendall Marshall’s from-the-waist release on his shot is a cousin of Kevin Martin’s; they even have the same initials! Keep the NBA weird.

That’s a spicy meatball!

You don’t always deserve the luck you get, but hell if you’ll turn it down.

Up next: Portland! Wednesday night! Also very late!