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Nets Ground Rockets 106-98 For First Win Of Season

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports


HOUSTON — The Brooklyn Nets are winless no more.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 22 points off the bench, including a clutch 3-pointer with 1:37 remaining, as the Nets upset the Houston Rockets 106-98 on Wednesday night for their first victory of the season.

Brook Lopez had 14 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks to lead the Nets (1-7), notching his 4th double-double of the season.  Brooklyn entered play Wednesday as one of the two remaining winless teams in the NBA, along with the Philadelphia 76ers.  Philadelphia dropped to 0-8 after a loss to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.  They are now the only NBA team without a victory this season.

James Harden led the Rockets (4-4) in defeat with 23 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.  Dwight Howard chipped in 20 points and 17 boards.  They had their four game winning streak snapped.

The Nets took a 55-49 lead into halftime, but the Rockets came out surging in the third quarter.  They built an 11-point lead with less than three minutes to play in the third, but the Nets responded with an 11-4 run of their own.  The game was tied at 93 in the fourth quarter when the Nets scored six straight points to take the lead for good.

Analysis:  The Nets won this game partially because they were able to hit 3-point shots, finishing 8-of-17 from deep.  The Rockets, who shoot more 3s than any other team in the NBA, finished 8-of-34.   Brooklyn also outrebounded Houston 60-45.  Their 20 offensive boards led to 33 second-chance points.

On a Nets team devoid of playmakers, Joe Johnson (16 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists), had his best game of the season.  If he keeps up this type of all-around production, the Nets could rack up a few more surprise victories.

Rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson started and played the first eight minutes of the game before being benched until the fourth quarter.  He didn’t score, but had four rebounds and an assist.  He is developing nicely for the Nets, but he won’t become a dominant player until he is able to score consistently.

The bench played a huge role for the Nets in this one.  Thomas Robinson, Shane Larkin (15 points), Andrea Bargnani, and Bogdanovic all contributed to the victory in various ways.

There’s no question that this Nets team is more talented than the one that went 12-70 in 2009-10.  They may be just 1-7, but you have to wonder if a gritty win over the Rockets can jumpstart their season.

Notes: It was Brooklyn’s first road win over the Rockets since March 13, 2006.

The Nets’ road trip continues against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

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Jason Goldstein is a co host of the Baseline Jumper NBA podcast, recording every Tuesday night along Ben McDonald. Jason has also spent time as the Basketball Editor at while also handling the Brooklyn Nets Lead Writer duties since October 2015.
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