The reigning Defensive Player of the Year is not going to like to hear this one. Rudy Gobert came to New York to try to help slow down Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets. But as it turns out, the Nets didn’t mind going against the big man who’s currently favored to repeat as DPOY.

Brooklyn resisted a late surge by Donovan Mitchell and co. Despite not having Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons or Joe Harris, they got a 114-106 victory. The Nets are still two games behind the Toronto Raptors for seventh seed, but more importantly, they’re one game ahead of the Charlotte Hornets. That’s crucial because if they’re either in ninth or 10th place when the season ends (there are only 10 games left and Irving is only eligible for three of those), they’d be knocked out of the playoffs by losing their opening Play-In game. If they win it, they would need to win another just to qualify for the eighth seed. So they really want to avoid falling into ninth place.

Monday’s big win over the NBA’s top offense helps the cause.

With so much at stake, every possession was critical during Monday’s game. Durant finished with a game-high 37 points to go with nine rebounds and eight assists. He was a lethal 15-of-23 from the floor and 4-of-7 from distance. The Jazz didn’t have a way to slow down Easy Money Sniper, who passed Jerry West for 22nd place on the all-time scoring leader list. KD now has 25,213 total points.

Next up is Reggie Miller who has 25,279.

After the game, Bruce Brown (22 points, seven rebounds and 5 dimes, playing his best ball of the season recently) shared some of the Nets’ strategy.

“We heard they were starting to switch,” Brown said after the win. “So really it was just get [Durant] the ball and get out the way. We know [Rudy] Gobert and Hassan [Whiteside] can’t stay with him at all.”

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The strategy paid off as Durant hit shot after shot. The Hassan Whiteside part isn’t all that surprising. He’s a player teams like to force into high-screen action and attack with a smaller player.  But it’s not every day the Jazz watch their beast in the middle get targeted. In the long run, that’s a losing strategy for teams that don’t have KD.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, The Stifle Tower has been on a record setting pace defensively over the last couple of seasons:

Gobert is best known for his rim protection and not his perimeter defense. But to get targeted? Ouch. But it’s certainly not a knock on him that he can’t stay with Easy Money. Nobody can, you’re better off sending double or triple teams like the Dallas Mavericks did last week.

But nevertheless, it’s intriguing that the Nets went out of their way to find that mismatch on a switch. You know what else is interesting? Last season Ben Simmons had one of the best games of his young career targeting Gobert as well. Simmons doesn’t have a timetable to return right now. The latest on his back issue came from Steve Nash prior to Monday’s tip. However, he’s also a Nets player who doesn’t mind that matchup.

As KD looks to pursue Miller’s all-time scoring record, he may have to get through some other elite defensive players. We’ll see who his next victim might be.