Bruce Brown’s role with the Nets this season has ranged from being a spare backcourt part to an unlikely 6-foot-4 center in a small-ball lineup alongside Brooklyn’s Big 3.
Kevin Durant technically was listed as the center in Saturday’s blowout road win against Golden State, but the superstar forward played mostly as a stretch-5 against his former team.
With DeAndre Jordan missing Saturday’s game due to personal reasons, Brown provided much of the work down low at both ends of the court. He converted multiple pick-and-roll plays and finished with 18 points and seven rebounds in the rout.
“I just think we had a game plan, and we went out there and did it perfectly,” Brown said after the game. “We knew they were going to help off me, so once they left me, I just cut to the rim, and I was wide open, every time.
“I’m used to teams leaving me because we have the scorers we have on the floor when I’m out there, so I’m just going to cut and find ways to score the ball.”
The third-year guard out of Miami has started five of the Nets’ last eight games, averaging about 23 minutes per appearance over that stretch. He was acquired from Detroit in November after starting 99 games for the Pistons during his first two NBA seasons.
“I knew my opportunity was going to come at some point, so I just had to stay ready,” Brown said. “That stay-ready group really helped me along the way. The coaches, the players, we competed in that group, so all thanks to them for keeping me on my toes and being ready.”
Durant said he’s kept in contact with former Warriors teammate Klay Thompson, who is rehabbing from Achilles surgery. Durant missed all of last season with a similar injury.
“Me and Klay talk pretty often, a couple times a week,” Durant said. “It’s good to see him starting to walk and get to move. Obviously, I know what that process is like. I know he’s chomping at the bit to get out on the court and start shooting…I can’t wait to see him back out there.”
Saturday’s game marked the first time all five Nets starters scored 15 or more points in a regulation game since April 16, 1999 against Seattle. That starting five? Stephon Marbury, Kendall Gill, Scott Burrell, Keith Van Horn and Jamie Feick.