The Brooklyn Nets couldn’t keep up with the Utah Jazz in the second half of their Salt Lake City encounter, ending 112-97 in favor of the home team. Jeremy Lin had his moments in another game limited by his minute restriction, but the Nets still limped towards their 50th loss of the season.
For the Jazz, it was a very important game after two consecutive losses, and the Los Angeles Clippers breathing down their necks. George Hill had his best game this season with 34 points and 7 assists, as the Jazz knocked down 12 from beyond the arc. The Nets struggled in that aspect, probably the biggest difference between the teams, as they were able to connect on just 24.1% of their 3-point attempts.
Lin made one of those 3-pointers during his stint in the fourth quarter, when the game was already a bit out of the Nets hand. He finished with 7 points in 16 minutes, adding 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 fouls, in a slightly frustrating game for him. He did have a nice connection going with Brook Lopez and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at times, but with this road trip taking its toll on this team and especially on a player who needs to get his legs back from under him, playing a big, physical Jazz team at this point was never going to be a career night or anything close to it.
Quincy Acy led the Nets with 18 points, while Lopez scored 17, although he was just 5-for-13 from the field, not having it easy against Rudy Gobert. Isaiah Whitehead for some reason took 12 shots, making just 3 of them. The Nets had their usual problems on the glass when it mattered, while their third quarter collapse didn’t disappear. They got outscored by 12 points in the first quarter and 9 points in the third quarter. Nothing new, and not something that looks like it’s going to change anytime soon.
Things don’t get much easier for the Nets down the road, and it’ll be interesting to see when and if Lin’s minutes pick up on what remains on this road trip. They have Portland on the 2nd night of this back-to-back, before playing in Memphis, Atlanta and Dallas, all with one day of rest between the games, before finally heading home to play the New York Knicks. From Lin’s standpoint, if he does get more than 16 minutes, things might be easier against Portland, at least offensively. The Blazers have been fairly inconsistent all season long, but are coming off a 114-109 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, and are still trying to catch up with Denver in the 8th spot out West.