It wasn’t one of D’Angelo Russell‘s best games with the Brooklyn Nets, but it was a very important one. Russell struggled at times to find the touch and went cold from 3-point range after making two very early in the game.
But when the Nets needed to hold off Miami’s last rally in the fourth quarter, Russell responded with eight straight points for Brooklyn as they pushed its lead back to eight points after the Heat had gotten to within three.
Russell did a little of everything, as well, as he was very active on the defensive window with nine rebounds and sneaked into the passing lanes effectively with four steals. He had six assists to go with three turnovers, not a great ratio, but not horrible either.
In a game where neither team could make shots consistently, Russell found a way to do so when it mattered the most for the Nets.
It’s tough to give a guy an “A” grade when his opposite number puts up a 20-20 night with 11 offensive rebounds.
But make no mistake, Jarrett Allen played well Tuesday night. When the Heat played the Nets last week, Miami went to the rack with no hesitation with Allen out of the lineup due to an illness, making 35-of-51 in the paint en route to 70 points in a 13-point win.
With Allen back on Tuesday, it was a very different story for the Heat offensively. Miami mustered only 50 points in the paint and made just 25-of-60 in the process as Allen altered a lot of those shots with just his presence at the rim.
He also notched his third consecutive double-double since returning from a two-game absence and now has seven on the season. Reminder: Allen had four double-doubles in 72 games as a rookie.
He was efficient offensively, didn’t turn the ball over and although Hassan Whiteside did score 21 points and have all those offensive rebounds, Allen harassed him into a 9-for-21 shooting night. You want 21 points on 21 shots? We’ll let you have that.