Brooklyn caught in Phoenix…Durant’s absence in four straight games [NBA]
The Brooklyn Nets (hereinafter referred to as Brooklyn) lost all four games without Kevin Durant (34).
Brooklyn lost 117-112 to Phoenix by five points in an away game in the NBA 2022-23 season at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, on the afternoon of the 19th. Brooklyn lost four games in a row with 27 wins and 17 losses, and Phoenix escaped its third consecutive loss with 22 wins and 24 losses.
Brooklyn fought hard with Kyrie Irving scoring 30 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals, and Nicolas Claxton scoring 20 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, Joe Harris scoring 16 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists. For Phoenix, Michael Bridges scored 28 points and 9 assists, DeAndre Aiton scored 24 points and 14 rebounds and 4 assists, and Cameron Johnson scored 19 points and 6 rebounds.
Brooklyn gave up the lead by 74-94, 20 points without filling Durant’s gap until the third quarter. In particular, Irving and Ben Simmons’ sluggishness was serious, and Phoenix’s performance of Bridges and Aiton stood out. However, Cam Thomas and Seth Curry entered the fourth quarter, creating a chase flow.
As soon as the fourth quarter began, Irving started helping Nicolas Claxton score, and made four-point plays and three consecutive breakthroughs. Brooklyn succeeded in chasing up to nine points with five minutes left before the end of the game. Then Irving finally produced a score that was five points clear of the two-man game against Claxton. But Bridges poured cold water with a pull-up jumper and Aiton opened the scoring again with a hook shot.
Irving’s energetic performance not only in offense but also in defense made the game unknown until the end. Irving fired a three-point shot 15 seconds before the end of the game, adding to the tension of the game by three points. Phoenix provided an excuse for the chase as Damien Lee missed the first free throw in Brooklyn’s foul operation.
Brooklyn quickly scored with a clean inbound pattern and again fouled Bridges. Brooklyn got a last chance as Bridges missed his second free throw. Phoenix then attempted a counter-foul operation against Claxton. After missing the first free throw, Claxston partially missed the second, but failed to defend the rebound.
Since then, Phoenix has scored free throws, unlike Johnson’s predecessors, to win Brooklyn by 117-112, five points.