The Nets opted to go small in the late going, rendering Allen a spectator, but he did pull down eight rebounds in just 20 minutes.
His streak of consecutive free throws ended at 18 (yup, jinxed it I did) and he airmailed a corner 3 while hitting just 3-of-7 from the floor.
But he was active with his hands defensively, creating a couple of steals and deflecting three other balls.
It wasn’t a bad night overall for Allen, but the block on James overshadowed an otherwise fairly quiet performance.
For the first time perhaps all season, the moment seemed a little bit too large for Rodions Kurucs.
He did not seem to play with his usual verve, was prone to reaching defensively rather than moving his feet as he has done so well this season and his shooting seemed rushed.
In other words, Kurucs reminded us that he’s a 20-year-old second-round draft pick who was starting for just the third time in his brief NBA career.
Kurucs only played a couple of minutes in the fourth quarter, departing shortly after rushing up an open 3-point attempt and airballing it despite having a lot of time to get himself properly set.
He’s a rookie. He did rookie things. It happens.
Much like Jarrett Allen, Ed Davis found his impact on the game affected by the Nets’ decision to play small.
But he hit both of his shots, grabbed six rebounds in 12 minutes and did solid work on the defensive end.
In a system such as Brooklyn’s and in a league that is playing smaller and faster, sometimes opportunities for a traditional big will be limited, but that didn’t stop Davis from maximizing the minimal time he got Tuesday.