When a game is tight in crunch time in Portland, it's typically Damian Lillard time. But on Friday night, it was D'Angelo Russell time.
Russell scored 11 of the Nets' final 15 points in a comeback road win over the Trail Blazers, 101-97, on Friday night. Russell finished with 21 points and nine assists while Allen Crabbe put up 12 points against his former squad.
The Nets trailed by three with just over five minutes to go when Russell tied the game with a clutch three. From there, he helped Brooklyn overcome some late shots from Lillard to eke out the road victory.
The game was defined by a trio of second-half runs after a close-fought first half. Down 65-55 mid-third quarter, the Nets went on a 17-0 run to take a seven-point lead, prompting boos from the Portland crowd. Quincy Acy, DeMarre Carroll and Crabbe combined for 14 points during the five-minute run.
But the Blazers would answer a quarter later. The Nets led 80-72 after a Joe Harris three-point play, but Evan Turner scored five straight points to begin a 17-4 run that finished with a deep three by Lillard.
Russell and co. soon responded with an 8-0 run that led to the close finish.
The Nets' scoring was spread throughout their rotation. Nine players put up at least five points and four players finished in double figures. Carroll finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 11 points, eight rebounds and three assists in a team-high 39 minutes.
Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined for 36 points, but they did so on 13-for-32 shooting as the Nets made them work for their baskets. They average just over 49 combined points per game.
The win brings the Nets to 5-7. They finish out their five-game West Coast road trip with a game in Utah on Saturday night..>> Read more