WATCH: Nets’ James Harden Leads Match Strategy Talks Without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving

Published 02/17/2021, 12:05 AM EST
Feb 13, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) reacts after making a shot against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter at the Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


The Brooklyn Nets faced a challenge in the Phoenix Suns without two members of their Big Three. James Harden was the sole in-charge of the important game against a fully stacked Suns where the Suns totally overpowered the Nets right from the beginning. 

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Devin Booker scored 16 points in the first quarter alone, giving the Suns a formidable early lead over the Nets. However, James Harden was in no mood to give away the game so easily, given that it was his night to shoulder Steve Nash’s squad.

James Harden leading from the front and back

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During the regular timeout in the initial quarter, The Beard took matters into his hands and led the strategy conversations with the team. It was refreshing to see the veteran in the team take up the big role in the absence of Nets’s usual two big names. 

For the Nets, Joe Harris seemed a little cold from the three-point range going by his own standards. Tyler Johnson replaced Kyrie Irving for the shooting guard position but did not appear even half as efficient as Ky. All in all, it was only James Harden who scored in double figures until the end of the entire first half. The Nets failed at both ends, and that allowed the Suns to extend the surplus in their scoring gap.

How are the Brooklyn Nets without their ‘K’ power?

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The second-highest vote earner in the 2021 NBA All-star voting, Kevin Durant, missed the game because of his hamstring issues. Kyrie Irving also joined KD after his lower back problems ruled him out of the game. This left The Beard as the lone survivor for the second time after his inclusion and the formation of the Big Three. The last time this happened, the Nets lost 108-124 against Joel Embiid’s Philadelphia Sixers.

Nets guard James Harden talks with Kevin Durant during a free throw attempt by the Nets against the Warriors at the Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Even this time around, the Nets remained 54-75 until halftime, even after Harden produced a 20-point half. For the Suns, both Chris Paul and Devin Booker combined for 30 points, while Jae Crowder, Dario Saric, and Mikal Bridges impressed from the defensive end. However, a clutch game from The Beard saved the Nets from the scare and helped them post a rather surprising 128-124 victory.

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Read also – Nets’ James Harden Surpasses Jason Kidd to Make Franchise Record with Incredible Stat

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Sourabh Singh

1148 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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