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Nets Get Smoked in Houston

The Nets opened their post-break schedule with their third straight loss Tuesday night in Houston. They got off to a hot start and led by six midway through the first quarter, but when Vince Carter and Brook Lopez went to the bench, the Nets went ice cold. The Rockets finished the period on a 17-1 run and never let up after that. The improved defense that we saw from the Nets before the All-Star break was only seen for a few minutes midway through the third quarter. Houston shot 15-29 from three point range and grabbed 16 offensive boards. Vince Carter led the Nets with 30 points on 11-21 shooting and Brook Lopez added 21 points, nine boards and four blocks, but the rest of the Nets shot just 27 percent from the field. Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons returned to action and each had a few buckets in garbage time. With the loss, the Nets fell to two games behind the Bucks for the eighth spot in the East.