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Colder weather, Colder Nets: Trail Blazers annihilate Nets, 129-109

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NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Brooklyn Nets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — If you wanted to see a game with all scoring and zero defense, Sunday’s matinee affair between the Brooklyn Nets and Trail Blazers was the game for you!

Portland (8-7) is the NBA’s 2nd-worst defensive team, allowing 112.4 point per game. Brooklyn (4-9) is the NBA’s 3rd-worst defensive team, allowing 112 points per game. So, yeah, it was that type of game.

Behind a 33-point effort from C.J. McCollum, the Trail Blazers defeated the Nets, 129-109, Sunday afternoon at Barclays Center. The Nets had just returned from a 5-game road-trip and were handed their fourth consecutive loss in yet another dreadful defensive effort.

It was the fourth straight game in which the Nets surrendered more than 120 points.

The first half was bittersweet for Brooklyn. Their offense was flowing behind an aggressive attack from Brook Lopez. The defense was horrid… again. They allowed Portland to score 70 points on 63 percent shooting, while Damian Lillard torched them with 16 easy points. We’re only 13 games in, and this appears to be a consistent trend for the young Nets.

If you thought things would get any better in the 3rd quarter, you were dead wrong.

Portland went on an 11-2 run late in the 3rd and increased its lead to 19. The most impressive part of the run was that Damian Lillard was held to just two points in the quarter. Meanwhile, Brook Lopez was held scoreless in the 3rd despite serving as the offensive anchor in the first half.

They were outscored, 29-20, in the 3rd quarter and trailed by 15 heading into the 4th. The lead was extended to 22 with eight minutes left in the game.

Portland never looked back.

Isaiah Whitehead got the start in front of hometown Brooklyn crowd and had the toughest assignment of the night in defending Damian Lillard. Whitehead was pretty scrappy, but Lillard hit tough shots all day long.

He finished the night with 18 points, while his backcourt partner C.J. McCollum led all scorers with 33 points.

The guy who almost became a Net, Allen Crabbe, chipped in 14 off the bench, hitting 4-of-7 from deep.

After shooting 7-for-7 in the first half, Brook Lopez was just 1-for-7 in the second half and finished with 21 points in 29 minutes. He had 17 at half. It’s been the consistent thing with Brook. He scores a lot of points in the first half and then teams adjust against him.

Without Jeremy Lin in the lineup, the Nets have struggled to create offense elsewhere. The current Nets point guards (Isaiah Whitehead, Randy Foye and Yogi Ferrell) were a combined 4-of-19 from the field with mere five assists.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half. He served as little help to the offensive struggles in the second half.

The gritty Trevor Booker did all he could and scored 16 points, and the sharp-shooting Justin Hamilton scored 11 off the bench. Sean Kilpatrick’s struggles continued with a 1-for-9 shooting night.

The Trail Blazers shot 57.6 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Nets 50-36 – two areas of concern for the Nets. The Nets on the other hand, shot 39.8 percent and 10-of-35 from deep.

Things won’t get easier for Brooklyn, who find themselves two games out of the playoff race. They’ll host the Boston Celtics this Wednesday, and then travel to Indiana after Thanksgiving on Friday.

The team’s identity to begin the season was about how hard they fought. It felt as if no deficit was insurmountable. But ever since Lin went down and the momentum faded, the identity has shifted entirely.

#ThirdQuarterNets:

It’s become a huge concern for the guys and it was a major theme for reporters after the game.

“The energy at the half,” Isaiah Whitehead attributed to the 3rd quarter woes. “I think we have to come in more focused. Just the way we started off the game, that’s the way we need to start the second half.”

Lopez agreed that the energy is lacking.

“I think we come out flat, Lopez said. “I think it’s on us 100 percent. I don’t think you can look at the other teams. This one is on us for sure.”

For post-game audio, click here.