Curry's Late Three Deflates Nets chances; Nets lose 93-86

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets looked to keep their ground for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, along with improving their record to 16-6 in the new year. The Warriors posed to be a tough matchup for the Nets as they played their third game of the brutal seven game road trip tonight in Golden State.

The combination of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, aka "Splash Brothers," have proven to be a tough matchup for many teams this year, especially from behind the perimeter. Tonight, the Nets hoped to make it two straight wins, and improve their record to 16-6 since the new year struck. Golden State dealt with injuries to David Lee and Andrew Bogut, while the Nets new acquisition Marcus Thornton sat out due to food poisoning.

Unfortunately for the Nets, behind their ugly 2-21 shooting from behind the arc, they were no match for the Warriors as they lost 93-86. With this loss, the Nets are now the 8th seed.

It took four minutes for this one to look ugly. The Warriors jumped out to a quick 13-2 start, forcing Jason Kidd to call an early timeout. The Nets stuck to their aggressive attack which proved to pay off. They finished the last 8 minutes with a 21-15 advantage, finding themselves down just 28-23 after the first quarter. The Warriors who are known for their deadly perimeter play, shot 3-7 from downtown. Their impact in the paint is really how they controlled this game early.

Late in the first quarter, Shaun Livingston took a hard fall after attacking the basket. He would eventually go to the Nets locker room and did not return. His status for tomorrow is uncertain.

The positive impact Stephen Curry has on a game is clear as daylight. During his time on the bench, the Nets climbed their way back to find themselves down just one. With Curry on the bench, it enabled the Nets to establish great defensive intensity and gain momentum throughout the quarter. Curry was held scoreless the entire second quarter. Meanwhile on the Nets side, coming off a 25 point-- career high night in Utah, Andray Blatche once again brought his "A" game. Blatche led all scorers in the first half with 10 points and 6 rebounds. After the first half, the Nets trailed the Warriors, 49-46.

Quick stat: The Nets finished the half 18-21 from the free throw line.

Once again, the Nets came slow out of the gate. The Warriors had complete control of the game, finding themselves up 66-55 with 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Jermaine O'Neal already had an impressive double-double scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Free throws, which were a source of easy points for the Nets early, took just one free throw in the third quarter. Along with that, they were 1-12 from behind the arc. Alan Anderson hit Brooklyn's first three pointer at the .47 second mark of the third quarter. Andray Blatche, who had the hot hands in the first half, didn't get any shot attempts in the third.

Despite the ugly start to the quarter, the Nets went on a late 9-2 run to cut the deficit down to 4: 68-64 after three quarters.

If you expected this game to be a shootout, you were dead wrong. The team's were a combined 5-28 from three point land with 9 minutes remaining in the game. It didn't help the Nets cause that Joe Johnson & Paul Pierce were a combined 5-19 shooting in the late stages of the game. Still, the Nets were down 3 at the midway point of the fourth quarter. Finally, Joe Johnson hit the Nets second three of the night, plus a foul on Draymond Green. Garnett missed the free throw, but the Nets trailed 82-80 with 4 minutes remaining. Brooklyn wasn't going away.

It was 84-84 with two minutes remaining. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson were taking the lead late in this one. The two scored 10 consecutive points for the Nets, keeping them right intact with the Warriors. Williams had a solid night, finishing with 20 points & 6 assists.

With 51 seconds left, Joe Johnson turned the ball over with the Nets down two. Capitalizing off the Nets 15th turnover of the game, Stephen Curry banked in a huge three, putting the Warriors up 5 with 35 seconds remaining. The Nets would go on to lose this game 93-86. Jermaine O'Neal led all scorers with 23 points & 13 rebounds.

Joe Johnson said he was "a little anxious" on each those final two turnovers. "It cost us."

With a win, the Nets would have tied for the fifth spot. With this loss tonight, the Nets are now the 8th seed. Clearly, every game matters in the tight Eastern Conference.

The Nets will go on to play the Lakers tomorrow in Los Angeles, where they face former Net, MarShon Brooks.

For more on the Warriors, check them out at Golden State Of Mind.

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