3. Carroll delivers big in losing effort
Veteran reserve DeMarre Carroll put together a strong effort in the Brooklyn Nets’ loss to the Charlotte Hornets, scoring 20 points with five rebounds in 26 minutes.
It was Carroll’s first 20-point game since he dropped 22 in a Jan. 16 road win over the Houston Rockets and followed a stretch in which he had averaged just 7.8 points per game over his last four games.
Carroll was 5-for-10 overall and 3-for-5 from deep and was very aggressive in drawing contact — a specialty of his — going 7-for-8 at the foul line.
The 32-year-old is adept at getting a defender engaged and sensing contact, making a quick move to get a shot toward the rim and stealing extra free throw opportunities.
With Rodions Kurucs taking most of the backup minutes at the 4, Carroll is spending much of his time at his natural 3 spot, a position where he is most comfortable.
He had spent more time over the last four games at the 4 and his performance sagged as he tried to match up against bigger, stronger players.
Another Net who had a nice bounceback effort despite the loss was Caris LeVert, who scored 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting, going 2-of-4 from deep and getting seven rebounds and four assists.
That performance came on the heels of going scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards, the first time LeVert had been held scoreless in a game since being blanked on Jan. 2, 2017, in his 13th career appearance as a rookie.
The play of LeVert and of Spencer Dinwiddie, who just returned to the lineup Friday after missing 14 games, was encouraging, but there were so many problems with ball security and defense that they were mostly lost in another game that turned into a blowout quickly.