What better way to end a crisis than by banging on the table at the leader’s house. Something like this is what the Nets have done this morning, who have recovered sensations by taking a valuable victory over the United Center of Chicago by 112-138, demonstrating that, despite their irregularities, their potential continues to be immense. The Bulls, who despite the defeat remain at the head of the East, could do little to stop the New Yorkers in the second half, in which they remembered why they started the course among a small group of favorites.
It was in the third quarter when Nash’s men definitively broke the duel, signing a 19-39 run that shot up the lead but did not let them off the throttle. The visiting dominance continued to become latent in the fourth period, in which the Brooklyn team came to lead by up to 38 points, leaving a United Center frozen who could only see their team make up the result in the final minutes.
Kevin Durant was in charge of leading the Nets in their best minutes, and with 27 points in 30 minutes he finished as the top scorer for both his team and the game. The forward added 17 of his goals in the third quarter, in which he took the reins of the clash so forcefully that it allowed Nash to leave him on the bench for the entire fourth period, since he had been in charge of blowing up the duel after the break.
James Harden also shone by finishing the match with 25 points and 16 assists, once again displaying his virtues in creating play for both his benefit and that of his teammates. La Barba was in charge of taking over from Durant as the dominator of the match in the fourth quarter, controlling the duel as he pleased and carrying his team on the wings while the distance on the scoreboard widened more and more.
Both stars also had unexpected help, as Patty Mills and Day’Ron Sharpe, with 21 and 20 points respectively, were also essential. Although the Australian has signed great matches throughout the course, Sharpe’s was indisputably his best performance of the course (and therefore of his career), a performance facilitated by his good understanding with Harden, who assisted him on numerous occasions. Kyrie Irving, for his part, played his third game of the season, but he stayed with a discreet 9 points.
The Bulls, meanwhile, had their nine-game home winning streak snapped, losing for the second time in the past three games. In this way, those from Illinois have put their feet back on the ground after the streak of new consecutive victories that lifted them to first place in the Eastern Conference, and it has become clear to them that they still have a lot of work ahead of them.
Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, authors of 22 and 19 points, tried to save the ballot, but they could do little when the visitors brought out their most overwhelming version. However, they still lead the Nets by 1.5 games in the fight for first place, a position that we will see if they can maintain in this second half of the regular season.
(Cover photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)