ORLANDO, Fla. — When he arrived in Houston earlier this week, Treveon Graham was coming off a scoreless 27-minute effort in a win over the Celtics. After returning from a hamstring injury, he was shooting 17.5 percent overall and 11.5 percent from three-point range through eight games.
Suddenly, the Treveon Graham whom Nets coach Kenny Atkinson has been touting as a quality three-point shooter and physical defender showed up. Graham was a key in the Nets’ overtime victory over the Rockets on Wednesday, scoring a career-high 21 points and shooting 7-for-9, including 3-for-4 from three-point range. He hit a three-pointer that began a 10-0 run at the end of OT and got an offensive rebound that led to the go-ahead three-point play by Spencer Dinwiddie.
“He really needed that game, and it was perfect timing,” Atkinson said. “Looking back at the film, too, just how well he defended Harden. I know James had a phenomenal game [58 points], but he followed the game plan to a T. You give him a defense, he rarely messes up. He’s on it defensively; that’s why he’s out there. If he can build on the shooting that we saw last game, that’ll be very important for us.”
On Friday night at Amway Center, the Nets faced the Magic and coach Steve Clifford, who previously coached Graham in Charlotte. “The game he had the other night in Houston, last year in Charlotte, he had four or five of those,” Clifford said. “He had games where he had four or five threes. He’s a very good spot-up shooter. He’s a tough guy. He’s great to have around. Teammates are going to respect him. You’re going to execute when he’s on the floor. There’s not many guys like him.”
Graham had six points in the Nets’ 117-115 win over Orlando.
LeVert on horizon
Caris LeVert’s comeback from a right ankle dislocation suffered Nov. 12 is gaining steam. “I know he had another great workout today,” Atkinson said. He said LeVert has been doing full-speed individual workouts but hasn’t had live contact. “He hasn’t done any scrimmage situations or five-on-five,” Atkinson said.
According to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Nets have agreed to a buyout for Kenneth Faried that will allow him to sign a free-agent deal with the Rockets. Newsday confirmed the accuracy of the report with an NBA source. Faried is expected to be waived Saturday and join the Rockets on Monday after clearing waivers.
With center Clint Capela expected to miss considerable time with a thumb injury, Faried should get immediate playing time.