The Nets have closed 2022 with the longest winning streak in the NBA.
And they ring like legitimate title contenders in 2023. Mainly because they are focused on today and not distracted by tomorrow.
The Nets beat the Hornets 123-106 at Spectrum Center on Saturday night. The win ended all trips of three games. They dispatched the Hornets, went straight to the airport, and flew roughly around the end of New Year’s Eve.
ESPN on Kayo Sports Watch an average of 9 LIVE NBA regular season games per week on ESPN on Kayo Sports. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Sunday, January 1
Sunday, January 1
“Really, my message to the group before the game is let’s end the year in the right way. And it’s being taken care of. [this] game,” said director Jack Vaughan.
“When we turn the page in 2023, [New Year’s] There will be a solution, but it really is to keep this group here, play today’s game, win today’s game. ”
NBA Lap: 5 Games, 228 Points: Doncic Breaks Record.wild buzzer beater stun
As a team, the Six Nets shot 60% and scored in double digits. Either Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving has led the scoring in all but one game this season, and Saturday was no exception.
Irving had a game-high 28 points and Durant had 23. This has always been a cornerstone of the Nets’ success.
Ben Simmons had two points, two assists and three rebounds in 19 minutes while battling illness.
“Durant and Irving,” Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said up front. “They have a lot of seasoned, seasoned guys around them, so they play very smart. But it all starts with these two guys.
“And you can’t defend either of them without a second defender. This is what NBA basketball is all about. Make two people on the ball. They’re a super high ISO team. They’re one-on-one. They are good at it.
“Kyrie’s pick and roll, if you double-team him, he’ll crush it. It’s more efficient against double teams in terms of , and they’re surrounded by veterans, very good players with high IQs, and they’re playing with a big purpose. must do all
“You can’t give them a fast-break point or get them at the free-throw line or make them hit the second shot or score with the cutting basket. They’re so good at everything else, so if you get them It’s the end.
“So there’s nothing they’re not good at. They’re good at every level. There’s no other offensive team in the league that comes close to what they’re doing right now.”
Clifford knows what he’s talking about. He spent last season as a consultant for the Nets and is currently working on a rebuild for the Hornets (10-27).
LaMelo Ball had 23 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds for Charlotte. But with Kelly Oubre Jr. out, the Nets held the Hornets to his 39.6% shooting percentage. Durant and Royce O’Neal overwhelmed Gordon Hayward by two points on 1-of-6 shooting from the floor.
“TRUE [it’s about] Where is our focus and concentration level, totally looking ahead and taking advantage of what is in front of us – and that [this] game,” said Vaughan.
“So I’m really looking forward to seeing how our group approaches this game and how we start Q1. Let the games begin.”
The Nets had the right approach from the beginning. Irving found an O’Neal 3-pointer and out of the gate he took an 11-4 lead. The Nets led 32-22 after he shot 65.2% and held Charlotte to 34.8% in the first quarter.
Nic Claxton posted career highs with 14 points, 6 boards and 6 blocks. He scored from a Durant feed, making him 57-42 with 1:30 left in the half, and a layup 54 seconds into the third quarter extended the advantage to 66-49.
Yuta Watanabe’s second left-corner 3-point shot gave the Nets a cushion at 97-79. With four minutes left in the Irving 3 he went up 118-96 and the Nets took his 15th win in 16 games.
— via New York Post