Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell, Joe Harris
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Brooklyn Nets exploded in the first half to score 73 points and that was enough of a cushion to hold off the New Orleans Pelicans late.

  • Brooklyn Nets 126 (18-21)
  • New Orleans Pelicans 121 (17-22)
  • NBA, Final, Box Score
  • Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

The Brooklyn Nets are starting the new year off right. D’Angelo Russell and company took down Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night after putting on an offensive clinic in the first half.

Anthony Davis was dominant all night and his stat line proves that much. The multi-talented big man had 34 points, four assists, three blocks, and a career-high 26 rebounds. Jrue Holiday, Julius Randle, and Elfrid Payton all scored 20 points or more to supplement Davis’ scoring.

The Pelicans’ starting unit was excellent on Wednesday, but Brooklyn’s bench was the difference in this one. The Nets bench outscored the Pelicans second unit 55-5. That’s a difficult statistic to overcome and that was the game within the game.

In fact, it wasn’t just Brooklyn’s bench that handled the scoring. This was an incredibly balanced effort that saw seven different Nets finish with double figures in scoring.

Brooklyn had three nights off after playing three games in four nights. They looked well rested as they came out running and pushing the pace. This was the impetus for their early lead and the early lead built up was too much for the Pelicans to overcome.

Russell finished the night with a double-double, scoring 22 while dishing out 13 assists. Additionally, Joe Harris put up an impressive 21 points that included some crafty buckets to put away the Pelicans late.

New Orleans held a huge lead for the majority of this game, but they let Davis and the Pelicans creep back into it in the fourth quarter. It almost felt as though head coach Kenny Atkinson’s squad was about to fall into their old habits.

&They suffered a brutal loss to the Pelicans earlier this season, but Brooklyn exorcized their demons and held off the Western Conference squad. It’s not perfect, but they’re showing improvement. That’s about all you can ask from a young squad.

Furthermore, the Nets avoid a third straight loss before embarking on a three-game road trip. Brooklyn will try to build on this momentum when they travel to Memphis for a Friday night matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.