Brooklyn Nets star guard James Harden and forward Blake Griffin won’t be playing for the Brooklyn Nets against Utah Jazz tonight.
On one hand, James Harden is out due to neck soreness
And, on the other hand, Blake Griffin is out due to injury-management for his left knee.
Brooklyn Nets was already without star player Kevin Durant due to a hamstring strain since February 13.
And, another star player Kyrie Irving is out due to personal reasons and likely to miss another game after tonight.
James Harden carried his team without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving for some time and played on an MVP level.
Also without Blake Griffin, who made his Brooklyn debut on Monday against Portland Trail Blazers.
Blake Griffin and James Harden both played in the game against Portland Trail Blazers where they won by four points.
In the game, James made 25 points, 17 assists, and 7 rebounds in 40 minutes.
Similarly, Griffin made 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals coming off the bench in 19 minutes.
Harden said after the win against the Blazers that he nearly sat out that game because of a sore neck.
He always wants to be available for the team he is playing and feels proud to be able to do that.
”That’s just who I am, that’s just how I’m built,” Harden said. ”If this thing was done tomorrow, I know I gave everything I had.
I know I didn’t shortcut at any point. It will be over one day but me in the back of my mind knowing, I have peace knowing I did that. I can live with that.”
This season, Harden leads the Nets in scoring (25.4 ppg) and assists (11.5) while shooting 46.8% overall and 36.2% on 3-pointers.
Without him, Brooklyn was likely to have a hard time beating Utah Jazz.
Utah Jazz has NBA’s best record with 31-11 in the Western Conference and is in the first place.
Meanwhile, the Nets are in second place in Eastern Conference.
Brooklyn lost without James
The Nets lost their rhythm without James playing. The starting lineup for the Nets was Jeff Green, Joe Harris, Bruce Brown Jr., Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Tyler Johnson.
Starting 5️⃣ in SLC:
▪️ Joe Harris
▪️ @unclejeffgreen @newyorklottery | #BrooklynTogether pic.twitter.com/5OEATL2Hsh
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 25, 2021
Besides, James, Kevin, and Blake, the nets were also without Spencer Dinwiddie, and Landry Shamet.
Spencer Dinwiddie was out due to a partially torn ACL in the right knee, and Shamet due to a right ankle sprain.
Because most of the star players out, Brooklyn had a hard time during the game against the Utah Jazz.
They were unable to take a lead on any quarter ultimately losing to the Jazz 118-88.
The most points made by a player for the Nets was 23 points and it was made by Alize Johnson coming off the bench and played 33 minutes.
Alize made his debut for the Nets in the match and made his first double-double as a Net player. He has a 10-day contract with the Nets.
He dropped 23 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 assists playing 33 minutes. However, was unable to beat the Jazz.
Jazz Dominated the short-handed Nets throughout the game. Jazz made the bucket first in the game and since then never looked back.
They took the lead throughout all the four-quarter and got an easy victory over the Nets. In their victory over the Nets Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell contributed 27 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds.
Donovan Mitchell played for 27 minutes to get 27 points.
Similarly, Jazz’s Rudy Gobert dropped 8 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks playing 24 minutes while, Mike Conley made 8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals playing 25 minutes.
For the Nets aside from Alize Johnson, Reggie Perry dropped 12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals playing 28 minutes, Nets’ Chris Chiozza made 10 points, 11 assists, 2 steals playing 28 minutes.
Utah Jazz comfortable win
As expected the Jazz dominated the Nets throughout the game and got an easy win against the short-handed Nets.
The Nets were unable to play well ultimately giving a win to the Jazz. Due to which Utah was able to rest its starters in the fourth quarter.
On offense, the Jazz entered the night first in the NBA with 16.9 three-pointers per game.
And they knocked down 11 in the first half in the game and 23 in total with Mitchell hitting four of the 11 threes.
They took 21 point lead in the first quarter and were up 63-38 at the break
And Tony Jones of The Athletic provided his take on what he saw after two quarters of the game.
He says,” I think the lone thing you can take out of this first half is that this might be the most comfortable I’ve seen Utah this season against an exclusively switching defense.
It bothered the Jazz for about three possessions at the beginning and then it was off to the races.”
Now Utah has a full three-game lead on the Western Conference field is searching for its first No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs since 1997-98.
Next Jazz is up against Memphis Grizzles back to back and the Nets will play against the Detroit Pistons and the Timberwolves.