BROOKLYN -- Both the Nets and Lakers were winless heading into Friday night's matchup at the Staples Cent -- I mean, Barclays Center. Something HAD to give.
Unfortunately, it seems to be THAT bad here, as the Nets lost to the Lakers, 104-98. And in the end, it was either heartbreakingly ugly or heartbreaking or just ugly.
Jarrett Jack nailed a long three-pointer to put Brooklyn down three with 30 seconds left. On the following play, the Lakers turned the ball over: Nets ball. They had a chance.
But then, the most Nets thing ever happened.
On the Nets inbounds play, they were called for a 5-second violation: Lakers ball. You've got to be kidding me. Who else, but Kobe Bryant, put the nail in the coffin at the free throw line, making the Nets 0-6 on the season.
Not only did the Nets choke in the late stages, but they failed to play a full 48-minute game against one of the NBA's worst. The Lakers outscored the Nets 34-20 in the second quarter after the Nets shot 12-for-29 and the Lakers 10-for-19.
The Nets also shot 3-for-19 from three and were outscored at the free throw line 31-15.
Kobe Bryant led L.A. with 18 points, while D'Angelo Russell chipped in 16.
For Brooklyn, Brook Lopez led the way with 23 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots. Jarrett Jack chipped in 18 points and 12 assists, but took the most shots of any Nets player on the floor... again. Not so fitting for a point guard.
It was refreshing to see a positive game from the $25 million man, Joe Johnson. Once nicknamed, "Joe Jesus," the Nets veteran forward has averaged just eight points in the first five games on 28.3 percent shooting. It's crucial for Lopez to have another scorer besides himself. He needs as much help as he can get.
Joe gave him the help he needed, finishing with 22 points in 38 minutes.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson received his first start as a Net after upper management, not Lionel Hollins, suggested that Hollis-Jefferson get some more action. And rightfully so. RHJ was a plus-13 Wednesday in Atlanta and swiped three steals in his first five minutes.
For Hollis-Jefferson, it was a special night to start against his longtime idol, Kobe Bryant. On Media Day, he even told reporters that he wanted to cover LeBron James, James Harden, and Kobe Bryant. Well, he got his wish.
He finished with just five points, but was active all around with 11 rebounds, three assists and one steal in 25 minutes.
After the game, he got to meet his boyhood hero, as Adrian Wojnarowski reported...
Bryant did do the Nets a favor on Friday, besides packing the arena for two winless teams. After the loss, a Nets official brought rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to visit with Bryant in a room off the main corridor. Hollis-Jefferson played his high school ball in Chester, Pa., near Bryant's alma mater of Lower Marion High School. Hollis-Jefferson made his first NBA start, but left with a another substantial thrill: meeting Bryant for the first time.
As Bryant and Hollis-Jefferson huddled inside the room, a Nets official nodded toward his rookie and said, "Player development." They knew Hollis-Jefferson would listen to what Bryant told him, and made sure they had an audience before Bryant left the arena.
Later, RHJ posted a picture of the two of them on Instagram...
Some things never change
Unfortunately Friday night brought back some bad memories from the darker days in New Jersey. Nets players often felt like visitors in their own home, as opposing teams' fans would noticeably out-number Nets fans.
It might be Kobe's last game in Brooklyn, we get it, but this was REALLY something else. "LETS GO LAKERS!" and "KOBE, KOBE!" chants blistered my ears throughout the entire game. It was all purple and gold, and very little black and white. A sad reminder of where the Nets are.
For post-game quotes, check out what the players had to say on "LISTEN UP!"
The Nets will try to get their first win of the season Saturday night in Milwaukee.
For more on the Los Angeles Lakers, check in with our friends over at Silver Screen and Roll.
- Los Angeles Lakers vs Brooklyn Nets - Boxscore - NBA.com
- Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 7:30 PM - NetsDaily
- 2nd Half Game Thread: Lakers at Nets - NetsDaily
- Kobe Bryant scores 18 as Lakers get first win; Nets fall to 0-6 - Brian Mahoney - AP
- Lakers rookie D'Angelo Russell dropped Jarret Jack with a nasty crossover (Video) - Jesus Gomez - SB Nation
- Randle Steals and Scores (Video) - NBA.com
- Kobe Gets Swatted (Video) - NBA.com
- Kobe Drives and Scores (Video) - NBA.com
- Bryant Dishes to Black (Video) - NBA.com
- Young Flushes (Video) - NBA.com
- Kobe's Reverse Layup (Video) - NBA.com
- Hollins on the urgency of getting a win (Video) - YES Network
- Hollins on falling behind after early lead (Video) - YES Network
- Young on finding a way to win moving forward (Video) - YES Network
- Lopez on stalled effort after strong start (Video) - YES Network
- Joe Johnson on regrouping as a team in Milwaukee (Video) - YES Network
- Hollis-Jefferson on helping Nets in a start (Video) - YES Network
- Jack on lack of execution against Lakers (Video) - YES Network
- Nets hit rock bottom already in pitiful loss to Lakers - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Kobe Bryant on joining Knicks: Phil Jackson’s ‘baiting you guys’ - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
Lakers Taste First Win; the Nets Can’t Relate - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- L.A., Kobe embarrass winless Nets, 104-98 - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets notes: First career start for rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Sorry, Joe Johnson: It most definitely is that bad in Brooklyn - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- NBA - What if the New Jersey Nets drafted Kobe Bryant 20 years ago - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- Brooklyn Nets fall to 0-6 with loss to hapless Los Angeles Lakers - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Gallery) - Newsday
- Nets fall to 0-6 as Kobe Bryant, Lakers win 104-98 - Peter Botte - New York Daily News
- Nets Lose To The Lakers, On The Road, At Home (Game Grades) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- What you need to know: Metta World Peace gives Lakers defensive aid in win over Nets - Bill Oram - Orange County Register
- It's a night of firsts as Lakers get a win and rookie D'Angelo Russell gets it going - Mike Bresnahan - Los Angeles Times
- Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant begins farewell tour? - Baxter Holmes - ESPN LA
- Kobe Bryant on what's driving him during his likely farewell tour - Adrian Wojnarowski - Yahoo! Sports
- Tweet of the Night: Magic Johnson explains why Byron Scott deserved game ball for win against Nets - James Park - SheridanHoops