Brook Lopez returns, but so do the 'No-Show Nets,' as they're blown out in Houston, 114-95

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Brook Lopez finally returned to the lineup for the Brooklyn Nets, and just in time to take on Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets, who were without Jeremy Lin, but who saw James Harden return. Yeah, talk about an active day for injury updates.

The Nets entered the night at 4-11 and were hoping to get their two superstars Lopez and Deron Williams back. Williams, we were told, wouldn't be available to return until Tuesday at the earliest, while Lopez was back, being held to a minutes restriction of 24 minutes. Kevin Garnett was out (rest), as Andray Blatche started alongside Lopez at the power forward.

Also of note, the Nets entered the night on the wrong side of history, having lost 13 straight games to the Rockets. Well, make that 14 straight games, as the Rockets blew out the Nets, 114-95. Brooklyn is now 4-12 on the season.

An early issue for the Nets, which was expected, considering the Rockets are 8th in the NBA in Pace and 3rd in Offensive Rating, was controlling the speed of the game. The Nets needed to slow the pace down, with the likes of Harden, Patrick Beverley, Chandler Parsons and even Terrence Jones getting out on the run.

Lopez scored his first bucket of the game at the midway mark in the first quarter an a 15-foot set-shot. He was moving well on both sides of the ball early on, which was great to see. Lopez exited the game in the first quarter after having played almost nine minutes, and was the lone "bright spot" for the Nets in the quarter -- one in which the team shot 30.5 percent from the floor to the Rockets' 55 percent showing, giving Houston a 33-17 lead after one.

Tyshawn Taylor played well off the bench for the Nets, scoring seven points in the first half, and along with Mason Plumlee and Lopez (14 points in the first half) was one of only three Nets that did much of anything in the first half. They combined to score 25 of the team's 40 first-half points, trailing 66-40 at halftime. They shot 33.3 percent in the first half to Houston's 55-percent showing.

On Wednesday night, the Nets erased a 27-point Lakers lead, but at this point in the game, it didn't seem like they had the same stamina and energy to erase this 26-point halftime deficit.

An interesting move by Jason Kidd after halftime, as he started Tyshawn Taylor, Tornike Shengelia, Alan Anderson, Mirza Teletovic and Brook Lopez to start the second half. He was looking for something, anything to get this team going.

It didn't help at all, with the Nets not doing enough to make the game respectable, but it was well-deserved minutes for the bench players who had earned the right to be out there.

The Nets trailed by 30 at the end of three, and from there it was merely a formality. Heck, since the first quarter it was a formality. They Nets mailed it in early and were blown off the court in Houston.

Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, Shaun Livingston and Andray Blatche combined to score seven points. In total. Not a single starter, outside of Lopez, who was coming off an injury, decided to show up.

Lopez played 21.5 minutes, exiting in the third with the Nets down 30 points. He finished with 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting and one rebound. Teletovic finished with a career-best 18 points and career-high 13 rebounds, while Tyshawn Taylor went for 16 points and 12 assists in 36 minutes. Alan Anderson scored 12 points and Plumlee went for 16 points.

Houston made 19 three-pointers, which was the most threes a team had made against the Nets in team history.

Next up for the Nets, Saturday night in Memphis where they will take on the Grizzlies.

For more on the Rockets, see: The Dream Shake

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