If the New Jersey Nets hypothetically wore any sun block to protect themselves from the Phoenix Suns, it definitely wore off midway through the fourth quarter.
In the first game of their four-game western swing, the Nets dropped a heart breaker to the Phoenix Suns, 118-109, in overtime. The Nets have now lost six straight road games and are just 3-18 away from “The Rock” this season.
The Nets did get a great offensive output from their bench, who outscored the Phoenix bench 59-38. Kris Humphries, Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar all finished in double figures.
One of the major storylines from this game was the battle of the twins, Brook and Robin Lopez. In many families, the younger brother just can’t seem to keep up with the older brother. Such was the case tonight, since Brook is one minute older than Robin. Brook finished with 16 points while Robin scored 11.
After missing Saturday’s game, Devin Harris came out with tons of energy. He had seven points in the first five minutes which allowed the Nets to take an early eight point lead.
Avery Johnson stressed getting off to a better start after back-to-back terrible first quarters against the Wizards and the Bucks. New Jersey scored as many points in the first quarter last night (28) as they did in the previous two first quarters combined.
As the quarter progressed, former Net superstar Vince Carter, who was recently acquired by the Suns from the Magic, began taking control of the game. He shot well from downtown and also threw down some impressive dunks, all of which were part of an 11-0 Phoenix run that gave them the lead.
The second quarter began with back and forth exciting play and several lead changes. Both Lopez brothers traded points in the paint. Humphries and Vujacic each scored eight points in the first half.
The Nets led by two at the break. Carter led all scorers with 18 points while Steve Nash tallied nine assists. Harris had nine points and nine assists for the Nets.
New Jersey started the second half hot and led by 12 in the opening minutes. But following six straight points from Jared Dudley including a four-point play, the Suns found themselves right back in it.
The Nets gained steam as the quarter closed as the bench continued to do the job. They opened an 11-point lead heading into the fourth and extended that lead to 15 early in the quarter.
But with so many offensive weapons, the Suns can never be counted out. The 15-point lead shrunk to a five-point lead in the blink of an eye as Nash and Carter hit some big shots.
The Suns later took the lead on two free throws from Dudley. But Harris responded with a mid-range jumper to retake the lead. Following a terrible foul call, Channing Frye hit both free throws giving the Suns the lead.
Harris would hit two free throws at the other end to tie the game at 101. But Nash responded with a crafty move to the basket and finger-roll basket putting Phoenix back on top with 23.1 seconds remaining. Harris then found Humphries underneath for a game-tying dunk that sent the game to overtime.
Through three minutes in OT, the Suns led 111-106 en route to their victory. The Nets only hit two field goals in OT.
Both point guards had double-doubles. Harris had 15 points and 15 assists, but Nash outdid him with 23 points and 16 assists. Nash passed Mark Price on the all-time free throw percentage list.
The Nets head to the Staples Center Friday to take on the Los Angeles Lakers. These teams engaged in a thriller earlier in the season that the Lakers won.
About the Author
Written by Jim Mancari
James (Jim) Mancari hails from Massapequa, NY. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA with degrees in History and Kinesiology. Jim currently is pursuing a Master's degree in Journalism at Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY). He is a devout Mets fan and takes pride in his team, despite their lack of success over the last few years. Like all Mets' fans, Jim has plenty of hope. Jim also writes for the NJ Nets on this site. He can be contacted at email@example.com. He appreciates and respects additional opinions.