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Plumlee, Lopez Benched for Most of Fourth Quarter as Nets Lose 90-88 to Philadelphia

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN - The Brooklyn Nets entered Friday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers having lost three games in a row. The trend continued, and the disappoint was real. The 76ers, behind a big fourth quarter defeated the Nets, 90-88, after Brook Lopez missed a contested three-pointer as time expired.

This is a game the Nets absolutely could not lose.

This L may be placed on the back of Lionel Hollins. Despite owning a seven point lead heading into the fourth quarter, and playing against a squad full of former D-Leaguers, Lionel Hollins made a bold decision to keep Brook Lopez and Mason Plumlee on the bench for the first 8:48 of the fourth quarter, allowing Philadelphia to grab a 24-14 scoring advantage and gain an 88-86 lead.

That was the score until Brook Lopez nailed an elbow-extended jumper to tie the game with 25 seconds left, but Michael Carter-Williams drove straight into the paint and found a wide open Nerlens Noel. The Sixers took a two point lead with 3.2 seconds left. The Nets had a chance to tie, or win the game, but Brook Lopez missed a contested three-pointer as time expired.

"You act like we are one of the better team in the East, or in the league," Hollins said on losing to a poor team. "We're not, and we're right down there with them, Philadelphia, we just have a few more wins. That's all it is. People keep saying 'that's a bad loss,' we are just trying to get win, against anybody we can. It is a struggle to get wins when you can't score and we make turnovers, and we make bad decisions. It's a bad loss because we wanted to win this one. It was at home, it was a winnable game , we had the lead, but we didn't and we move on."

The fourth quarter numbers spoke volume. The Nets were outscored 26-17 and shot 5-for-15 in the quarter. Meanwhile, the 76ers finished the quarter shooting 11-for-16.

Overall, Brooklyn's offense was nothing better than average and their three point shooting was nowhere near decent. They were 45.2% from the field and 3-for-16 from three. The 76ers shot a low 45.6% from the field, however, shot a stellar 47.1% from three. Maybe the Nets can take a few pointers from them.

Brooklyn also turned the ball over 18 times which created 23 points for Philadelphia.

Mason Plumlee finished the night with his eighth double-double of the season (12th career) with 15 points and a career high 15 rebounds. Plumlee's big night was inevitable when he finished the first half with eight points and seven rebounds. It's becoming a regular thing from the former backup center. But again, why was he benched for so long in the fourth quarter?

Mirza Teletovic has struggled from three as of late, and proved to be a main cause for the Nets' poor three point shooting. He finished the night with six points on 2-of-7 shooting from three and committed four turnovers.

On a positive note, Jarrett Jack finished with his third double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 assists in 37 minutes of action. That makes it his third consecutive game with 35+ minutes. Brook Lopez also looked good with 18 points and six rebounds on 9-for-17 shooting.

For Philadelphia, Robert Covington led the way with 20 points, seven rebounds and SIX steals. But ultimately, it was Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel that saved the day for Philly.

There the typical self-flagellating comments from the Nets post-game.

"You act like we’re one of the better teams in the East or in the league. Were not. We’re right down there with Philadelphia," said Lionel Hollins.

"I don’t think we’re that good. We’ve shown that the past four games," added Joe Johnson.

Quarter by quarter summary:

First quarter ... It was perhaps one of the best opening quarters for the home team. Behind a balanced offensive attack, the Nets hit on 7 of their first 9 shots and finished the quarter 12-of-20 from the field. All five starters scored at least two points, but after squandering an eight point lead, Joe Johnson noticeably waved his arms in the air to show his frustration towards the Nets' defensive rotations. Lionel Hollins called a timeout, and the Nets instantly went on a 7-0 run to finish out the quarter. The run led to a 32-23 lead after 12.

Second quarter ... The Nets' second quarter struggled continued. Not only did they finish the half shooting 2-of-11 from three, but they also shot 6-for-19 in the second quarter and were outscored, 22-12. The Sixers also grabbed eight offensive rebounds. It changed the entire game.

Mason Plumlee was the hot man for Brooklyn with eight points and seven rebounds, while Jarrett Jack also chipped in eight points six assists and four rebounds. For Philly, Nerlens Noel and Robert Covington scored eight points apiece.

Score at the half: Nets 46, 76ers 45.

Third quarter ... The Nets jumped out to a 12-2 run at the start of the third, which gave them their largest lead of the night at 11. They led 71-64 heading into the fourth quarter, failing to fully take control of the game. Mason Plumlee was on fire. He notched his eighth double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds -- the 15 rebounds being a career-high for the second year Duke-alum.

The Nets were shooting 48% from the field -- The 76ers were 40%.

Fourth quarter ... Lionel Hollins kept Mason Plumlee and Brook Lopez on the bench for the first nine minutes of the fourth quarter, allowing the 76ers to outscore the Nets 24-14 and gain an 88-86 lead. This was the score until Brook Lopez nailed an elbow-extended jumper to tie the game with 25 seconds left. Philly ball.

Michael Carter-Williams drove straight into the paint and found a wide open Nerlens Noel. The Sixers took a two point lead with 3.2 seconds left. On the following Nets' possession, Brook Lopez heaved an air-ball desperation shot from three as time expired. Game over.

Final score: 76ers 90, Nets 88.

For more on the Philadelphia 76ers, check them out at Liberty Ballers.