NBA

Nash after Nets claim first win: It won't be pretty for a while

By Sports Desk October 23, 2021

Steve Nash said "it's not going to be pretty for a little while" after the Brooklyn Nets rallied past the Philadelphia 76ers 114-109 for their first win of the season.

The Nets had never led or tied the 76ers until LaMarcus Aldridge's dunk levelled Friday's NBA clash at 108-108 with 48 seconds remaining in Philadelphia.

Brooklyn, who were blown out by reigning champions the Milwaukee Bucks in their season opener, relied on superstars Kevin Durant and James Harden to eventually see off Eastern Conference rivals the 76ers.

Durant had a triple-double of 29 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists, while Harden finished with 20 points for the Nets, who closed out the contest on a 16-1 run.

"It's not going to be pretty for a little while here," said Nets head coach Nash in the continued absence of Kyrie Irving (unvaccinated).

"We just got to continue to fight, play for each other and figure out ways to compete and stay engaged while we figure out rotations and combinations and what we are all about."

 

On Durant and Harden, Nash added: "I think they are excited for their new team-mates. But it takes time to find that rhythm and combinations. And also we lost a big piece [Irving].

"It is not just the new pieces, it's the void that we are used to playing with. It is, it is a lot for us to take on at this moment in time. But hopefully in the weeks coming, we start to clear some of the debris so to speak and figure out how we can best play together."

Nets recruit Patty Mills (three-of-three shooting from beyond the arc) became the first player in NBA history to open a season 10-10 from three.

Durant recorded his 13th career triple-double and the former MVP said of playing without Irving: "We wasn't planning on having to do this, but you know, it's good for us to make adjustments.

"It's good for guys who wasn't expecting to play bigger roles to step into those roles and see who we are. This is the situation we were in, and I think a lot of guys have taken advantage of it.

"For James and myself, it feels like each game may be different and we may have to do different things than we thought coming into the season. But it's all good. It's always gonna help us get better."

Harden added: "We're the best at what we do, we'll figure it out. Me personally, I've been through a lot where I had different team-mates, different line-ups and playing small ball, so I'm used to trying to figure it out and just go with the flow and making it work. We have a really good team and we'll figure it out.

"Kevin is the same way and one of the best to ever touch a basketball. So we just got to go out there and do what we do and things will work out."

Related items

  • 'It was important to him' – Napoli captain Insigne matches Maradona goal haul 'It was important to him' – Napoli captain Insigne matches Maradona goal haul

    Lorenzo Insigne moved alongside Diego Maradona on Napoli's all-time list of leading goalscorers after hitting his 115th goal for the Serie A club.

    The Italy international converted a penalty early in the second half of Sunday's 4-1 derby win against Salernitana.

    That meant he joined Maradona in a tie for third place in the Napoli record books.

    Dries Mertens heads that list and slotted a penalty just before half-time to give Napoli a 2-1 lead, his 144th goal for the club.

    Belgium international Mertens stepped aside to allow Insigne to take responsibility for the second spot-kick in the 53rd minute.

    Insigne had come on as a substitute for the start of the second half, and Mertens said: "I left the second penalty to Lorenzo because it was important to him."

    Writing on Instagram after the match, Insigne expressed his delight at the victory.

    He will leave at the end of the season to join Toronto FC, but the 30-year-old insisted he would always hold the club dear.

    "The derbies are not played… they are won…. We continue like this until the end," Insigne wrote. "Always and forever FORZA NAPOLI."

    Insigne is now six goals behind second-placed Marek Hamsik on the Napoli goalscoring list.

    The late Argentina legend Maradona remains the greatest and most revered player in Napoli's history, having joined from Barcelona in 1984 and spent seven years in Naples.

    He helped Napoli win league titles in 1986-87 and 1989-90 – the only Serie A championships the club have won – and his death in November sparked an outpouring of grief in the city.

    Sunday's goal was Insigne's sixth goal of the season across all competitions, with Napoli's win moving them just four points behind Serie A leaders Inter.

    Mertens believes Napoli can still push Inter hard for the title, saying on the club's website: "We must continue like this and look only at us. The championship is still long and we can be protagonists."

  • Ancelotti: Small details cost Madrid in dramatic Elche draw Ancelotti: Small details cost Madrid in dramatic Elche draw

    Carlo Ancelotti suggested "small details" cost Real Madrid in a 2-2 draw with Elche that required a spirited late recovery.

    The LaLiga leaders missed the chance to move six points clear at the top of the table as they were held by their 15th-placed opponents, who took a surprise 2-0 lead at the Santiago Bernabeu.

    After Luka Modric's penalty gave them hope – his first spot-kick for Madrid after Karim Benzema, who earlier missed from 12 yards for the first time in LaLiga, went off injured – it took a stoppage-time header from Eder Militao to spare Madrid's blushes and extend their year-long unbeaten home run in the Spanish top flight.

    While Madrid were waiting to discover the extent of Benzema's injury, Ancelotti said he was disappointed with the manner in which Elche scored – netting twice away at Madrid for the first time since January 1989.

    But the coach was at least encouraged by his team's response, remaining unbeaten against Elche since 1978, having now scored at least two in 10 of the 12 games in that span.

    "They scored a goal with a centre. For the second goal, we could have been more compact," Ancelotti said. "They are small details that have cost us two points

    "We are not happy, but there are many things we have to consider. 

    "We conceded two goals and we reacted well. Usually these games are lost, but it speaks very well of the squad."

    There are 11 days until Madrid return to action when they face Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals, 12 days before taking on Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16.

    "We have a small break, and we arrive well-positioned in all three competitions," Ancelotti added. "That's what we wanted to do. 

    "We are there, now comes the most important period of the season."

  • Hertha Berlin 1-4 Bayern Munich: Rampant champions restore six-point lead Hertha Berlin 1-4 Bayern Munich: Rampant champions restore six-point lead

    Bayern Munich restored their six-point lead at the Bundesliga summit with an extremely comfortable 4-1 win over Hertha Berlin on Sunday. 

    The reigning champions saw their advantage halved when Borussia Dortmund beat Hoffenheim on Saturday, but it did not look like remaining at three points once Corentin Tolisso opened the scoring at the Olympiastadion.

    Thomas Muller doubled Bayern's lead before the break and, after a string of impressive saves, Alexander Schwolow gifted Leroy Sane a tap-in with a wayward pass across the face of his own goal.

    Serge Gnabry added a fourth as the visitors' relentless pressure finally told in the closing 15 minutes, though Jurgen Ekkelenkamp lobbed home a consolation 35 seconds after being subbed on.

    Tolisso had a goal ruled out for offside by the VAR in the second minute, with Schwolow making saves from Sane, Kingsley Coman and Robert Lewandowski to keep the game level midway through the first half.

    After Ishak Belfodil threatened for the hosts, Tolisso stooped to head Coman's left-wing delivery into the bottom-right corner and give Bayern a deserved lead.

    Tolisso missed an open goal and Schwolow kept out Lewandowski, but Bayern got their second on the stroke of half-time when an unmarked Muller guided Joshua Kimmich's free-kick home.

    Suat Serdar was unable to hit the target from six yards out, and Bayern were out of sight when Schwolow's pass to Linus Gechter was intercepted by Sane, who was left with a simple finish into a vacant net.

    Gechter did well to clear a looping effort from Gnabry off the line, but the winger was not to be denied again, drilling home a fine finish for Bayern's second goal in four minutes.

    Dayot Upamecano had not even been on the pitch for a minute when he sold Manuel Neuer short with a back pass and, after the keeper thwarted Stevan Jovetic, Ekkelenkamp lofted in the follow-up to complete the scoring.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.