Game Recaps

Recap: Nets 109, Kings 111 - Cousins and Rondo too much for Brooklyn

Coming off their impressive first win of the season against the Houston Rockets, the Brooklyn Nets failed to keep the ball rolling in Sacramento in a 111-109 loss to the Kings.

Sacramento was led by DeMarcus Cousins, who exploded for a season high 40-point performance, and Rajon Rondo, who collected another triple-double with 23 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds. No other Kings starter had over five points.

But it was a tale of two halves for Cousins who really struggled to find a rhythm in the first half, as he connected on just one of his ten field goal attempts.

Boogie would quickly put the first half behind him as he hit 12 or his 17 second-half attempts which included an unconscious third quarter where he put up 21 points. The big man also collected 13 rebounds to go along with two three-pointers.

Rondo continued tonight what has been a resurgent season as his triple double against Brooklyn was his third on the season.

The crafty point guard has been on the floor for 184 of the 192 minutes that made up the Kings last four games. He continued his hot play and his streak of 12 assists in each of those last four games.

Despite allowing two of the craziest stat lines in the NBA this season, Brooklyn still managed to stay in the game until the final play.

Once Cousins was able to get into rhythm at the start of the second half the Kings were clearly in control of the game and would expand their lead to seven midway through the 4th quarter. Thanks to the clutch three-point shooting by Wayne Ellington and then Joe Johnson (and a little help from a late-game deflection off Rondo) the game was within reach in the final seconds.

Down two with 1.1 seconds remaining in regulation the Nets attempted an inbound pass that would be deflected by the 7’5″ wingspan of rookie Willie Cauley-Stein, forcing the Nets to fall to 1-8 on the season.

The Nets played their best basketball in the first quarter when Cousins was being contained. In the opening quarter alone the team accumulated 9 assists, four of which came from Jarrett Jack. Behind Jack, Brooklyn would lead by seven at the end of the first quarter. Jack finished with a team-high 21 points to go along with 12 assists, tying his season high in the category.

In the loss there was still some other good signs.

Bojan Bogdanovic had another solid performance, hitting 53% of his shots for 15 points off the bench. The second-year guard was coming off a season-high 22 points in Wednesday’s win over the Houston Rockets.

Rookie forward Rondae Hollis Jefferson played 17 energetic minutes with four points and seven rebounds. He provided the Nets with their play of the night on his thunderous alley-oop slam in the first quarter.

Shane Larkin has been playing with more confidence on this side of New York then he did when playing above Penn Station and Friday night’s game was no different. In 15 minutes Larkin shot 75% from the field for eight points to go along with three assists and two big steals.

Brook Lopez’s 17 points and 10 rebounds makes it difficult to think he had an off night, but he did. The seven footer shot just 33% from the field. The team’s leading scorer struggled mightily in the fourth quarter as he had collected three turnovers to match his three points when the team needed him most.

The Brooklyn Nets continue their road trip Saturday night at Oracle Arena to take on the undefeated defending champion Golden State Warriors, who haven’t lost since Game 3 of last season’s NBA Finals. They will seek to cool the down league MVP, Steph Curry, who is fresh off a 46-point outburst.