Garnett and Pierce seal win over former coach Doc Rivers.
It was a quiet night in the NBA with just two games on Thursday as the Brooklyn Nets and Portland Trail Blazers took on the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets respectively.
However, while there may have been a lack of games there certainly wasn’t a lack of action as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett secured a win over their former coach Doc Rivers.
“I’ll always have a special place for Doc,” Garnett said prior to the game, but there was no time for sentiment on the court as the Nets picked up their third consecutive win.
Following on from a disastrous start to the season where injuries disrupted their progress and put early pressure on rookie coach Jason Kidd, the Nets have looked more organized and energized in the previous three games and are beginning to look the part.
Having invested a significant amount of money into the team, owner Mikhail Prokhorov will be looking for an immediate return, and with their current win streak, Brooklyn have pushed themselves back into the playoff picture.
Andray Blatche and Joe Johnson each scored 21 points in the 102-93 win, while Brook Lopez added 16 points and Deron Williams had 15 for the Nets as they were able to finally go with their ideal starting line-up for consecutive games.
In contrast, Chris Paul scored 20 points for the visitors, but it wasn’t enough as the Clippers slip to 15-9 for the season although they remain in fourth spot in the Western Conference.
In the other game of the night, the winning doesn’t stop for the Portland Trail Blazers who moved to 19-4 following their 111-104 win over the Houston Rockets.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 31 points and added 25 rebounds as the home crowd began chants of “MVP! MVP!” at the Moda Center, with the Portland star expected to earn an All-Star call-up in February.
Dwight Howard had 32 points and 17 rebounds for Houston, but they were unable to repeat their all-round performance from November where they beat the Conference leaders.
For all the talk of how Portland will inevitably fall off the pace after an incredible start to the season, the Blazers have shown signs that they are the real deal and will be a contender in the playoffs come the post-season as they continue to perform against their direct rivals.
Los Angeles Clippers 93-102 Brooklyn Nets
Houston Rockets 104-111 Portland Trail Blazers