Nets handle business with 121-104 victory over star-less Lakers – The Denver Post


The Nets blew one double-digit lead, only to build a second in their 121-104 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday.

The Nets led by as many as 19 points in the first half, only to surrender that lead in the second when the Lakers used their physicality and timely shot-making to take control. Los Angeles led by as many as seven before the Nets began chipping away at their lead. They ultimately took a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter and never let up.

LeBron James [left foot soreness] and Anthony Davis [right foot stress injury] sat on Monday night, as did Kevin Durant [MCL], as well as Ben Simmons [left knee soreness] and T.J. Warren [left shin contusion].

Head coach Jacque Vaughn said he hopes both Warren and Simmons are available for Wednesday’s matchup against the Boston Celtics.

“Yeah, just hopefully they’re ready for Wednesday,” he said. “Both not going tonight so both showing signs of progress which is good. Hopeful for Wednesday.”

Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 26 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field, and Lakers guard Russell Westbrook posted 17 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds off the bench.

Without several of the team’s core rotation players, Vaughn leaned heavily on his bench.

Nets second-year big man Day’Ron Sharpe was a great matchup for the physicality shown by Lakers starting center Thomas Bryant. Bryant, a Rochester native, scored a team-high 18 points to go with nine rebounds.

Sharpe put up eight points and 14 rebounds in his 21 minutes on the floor. It’s the first time he outplayed starting center Nic Claxton all season. Claxton struggled and finished with six points and 12 rebounds.

Reserve point guard Patty Mills came off the bench and had his best game of the season with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field and four-of-seven shooting from downtown. It was a season-high scoring night for the Australian guard who has fallen out of the rotation in favor Seth Curry, Cam Thomas and Edmond Sumner.

Vaughn said it would be important for the Nets to take advantage in transition. They scored 17 points in transition to the Lakers’ six.

“[Scoring in transition] has been good for us to find the paint and spray out the shooters. I think you’ve seen our ability to shoot the three ball,” he said pregame. “Can we continue to capitalize on that? Whether that’s early in the shot clock or because of the pace that we present that our drive and kick game produces quality shots from the three.”

The Lakers are worse without James and Davis than the Nets have been without Durant. The competition will stiffen on Wednesday as they travel to Boston to take on a Celtics team with the NBA’s best record.



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