The Brooklyn Nets faced the challenge in Phoenix Suns without the 66.66% of their Big Three. James Harden was the sole in-charge of the important game against a full stacked Suns. As a result, the latter totally overpowered the Nets right from the beginning.
For the Suns, Devin Booker scored 16 points in the first quarter alone, giving them a formidable early lead over the Nets. However, James Harden was in no mood to give away the game so easily, given it was his night to shoulder Steve Nash’s squad.
James Harden leading from the front and back
During the regular timeout in the initial quarter, The Beard took matters into his hands and led the strategic conversations with the team. It was refreshing to see the veteran in the team take up the big role in the absence of two big names. Take a look –
For the Nets, Joe Harris seemed a little cold from the three-point range against his own standards. Tyler Johnson replaced Kyrie Irving for the shooting guard position but did not appear even a half as efficient as Ky. All in all, it was only James Harden who scored in double figures until the end of the entire first half. The Nets failed at both ends, and that allowed the Suns to extend the surplus in their scoring gap.
How are the Brooklyn Nets without their ‘K’ power?
The second-highest vote earner in the 2021 NBA All-star voting, Kevin Durant, missed the game because of his hamstring issues. Kyrie Irving too joined KD after his lower back problems ruled him out of the game. This left The Beard as the lone survivor for the second time after his inclusion and the formation of the Big Three. The last time this happened, the Nets lost 108-124 against Joel Embiid’s Philadelphia Sixers.
Even this time around, the Nets remained 54-75 until halftime, even after Harden produced a 20-point half. For the Suns, both Chris Paul and Devin Booker combined 30 points, while Jae Crowder, Dario Saric, and Mikal Bridges impressed from the defensive end. However, a clutch game from The Beard saved the Nets from the scare and helped them post a rather surprising 128-124 victory.
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