WHAT IT MEANS: Somewhere, John Lucas is smiling.
Andray Blatche, who was mentored by Lucas during the summer prior to signing a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with the Nets, stunned the basketball universe on Sunday, making his first 10 shots in his team’s 99-90 victory over the bottom-feeding Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena.
Blatche, a 35.8 percent shooter coming in, finished 11-for-12 from the floor en route to scoring a season-high 22 points in just 19 minutes. He went a perfect 9-for-9 in the first half.
The Nets (6-2) have now won five consecutive games, their longest winning streak since they also captured five in a row on Mar. 14, 2011.
They played far from their best basketball, but the Kings aren’t good, so they got away with it.
NOT AGAIN: Deron Williams again suffered an injury, the latest one a cut on his right elbow (he then sported a wrap over it) after he fell hard to the floor late in the first quarter. He was also seen with ice on his right forearm and his right ankle, according to reporters in Sacramento. D-Will did return, stuffing the stat sheet to the tune of 14 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in 33 minutes.
J.J.’S WOES: Joe Johnson had arguably his worst game as a Net thus far, going 1-for-10 from the floor and scoring just 10 points. He had scored 44 points in his previous two games. “Brooklyn’s Backcourt” went a combined 5-for-22 from the floor.
CRASH RETURNS: Gerald Wallace was back in the starting lineup after missing the previous six games due a sprained left ankle. He contributed four points and four turnovers in 25 minutes.
CAROM COUNTER: Through eight games, Brook Lopez has grabbed 51 rebounds.
BAND ON THE RUN: Runs of 9-0 and 13-2 in the third and fourth quarters allowed the Nets to avoid blowing a double-digit lead.
UP NEXT: Nets vs. Lakers, Tuesday night at Staples Center. Dwight Howard faces the franchise he once desired to play for. Could it also be coach Mike D’Antoni’s debut?