- Last Updated: 11:40 AM, November 22, 2012
- Posted: 2:02 AM, November 22, 2012
OAKLAND, Calif. — Last night’s game against Golden State was a tricky one on several levels for the Nets.
It came as the third game in four nights, as well as the final game of their three-game California road trip. And, after an emotional loss in to the Lakers the night before, they had to play a young and rested Warriors team without Gerald Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse, both of whom were given the night off.
“We’re playing against a team that obviously wants to win,” Nets coach A very Johnson said before the game. “We’re not playing against ourselves. ... They’re a good team. They’re above .500 and this is not going to be an easy task.”
It proved to be far from an easy task, as the Nets — despite a terrific first quarter — dropped their second game in as many nights with a 102-93 loss to the Warriors in front of 18,374 at Oracle Arena.
As the Nets (6-4) have done so often in the early part of this season, they faded in the third quarter, turning a five-point halftime lead into an eight-point third-quarter deficit they couldn’t recover from. That, combined with blistering shooting from Golden State’s backcourt of Stephen Curry, who finished with 25 points, and Klay Thompson, who finished with 23, lifted the Warriors (7-5) to the win.
It didn’t look like that would be the outcome when the game began, as the Nets have had few quarters this season better than their first last night. The combination of crisp ball movement and knocking down open shots allowed the Nets to race out to an early lead.
The Nets made six of their first seven shots, including six quick points from Brook Lopez, and finished the quarter a red-hot 14-for-19 (73.7 percent) from the floor, including a last-second full-court heave by Deron Williams.
The Nets dominated nearly every statistical category in the quarter, dishing out nine assists and outrebounding Golden State 11-5.
But the script flipped in the second, as the Nets — who normally
dominate in the second quarter — saw their bench struggle mightily and allow the Warriors to get back into the game.
After their hot shooting in the first, the Nets went 6-for-20 in the second quarter, which also saw the Warriors have all kinds of success getting into the paint.
Golden State scored 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the second, and finished 9-for-17 overall, to cut the lead to 46-41 at halftime.
The Warriors cut the lead to one early in the third when Curry knocked down a pair of foul shots to make the score 50-49. But the Nets responded with pair of 3-pointers — one each from Joe Johnson and Keith Bogans — to extend the lead.
The game went back-and-forth from there over the next several minutes, with the Nets taking the lead on multiple occasions, only to see Golden State come back and tie the game.
But the Warriors pushed ahead for the first time late in the third quarter, because of some hot shooting from Thompson.
The second-year shooting guard hit a pair of 3-pointers, sandwiched around a layup by Carl Landry, before driving to the hoop for a score to give the Warriors a 70-66 lead.
Then Curry was fouled on a 3-pointer by C.J. Watson with 2.5 seconds remaining to give Golden State a 74-66 lead entering the fourth, and quickly found themselves down 78-69 after a bucket by David Lee with 10 minutes remaining, a lead that Golden State never would relinquish.Follow @NYPostsports