When you’re a rebuilding team like the Nets, reoccurring issues usually plague the season and become the story of the night way too often.
For the Brooklyn Nets, the third quarter has haunted them all season. It did them in again on Monday following a 118-113 loss to the Washington Wizards (7-14). With the loss, the Nets are now 5-15 and have lost 10 of their last 11. And they looked awful doing it.
The Nets led 66-51 at half behind some of the best offense they’ve played all year. Behind smooth facilitating from Isaiah Whitehead, the Nets shot 57 percent from the field and hit 8 of their 16 attempted 3-pointers.
They were much more selective with their shots and simply out-hustled Washington. Brook Lopez, who had just 13 points last game, finished the half with 16 points. He finished the night with 21 points and six rebounds, passing Derrick Coleman for sole possession of second place for rebounds.
It was their second largest halftime lead of the season.
…You guessed it right: they had to play the third quarter.
Washington came out of the gate on a 13-0 run, cutting the lead to two and eventually took the lead, 83-81, heading into the fourth. The Nets committed 10 turnovers and shot 5-of-18. They were outscored 32-15 behind a 13-point quarter from Markieff Morris.
The teams exchanged buckets down the stretch as it was all tied up at 106. In the final three minutes, the Nets simply could not get a stop and the Wizards went on an 8-1 run.
The Nets looked to be done, but then crept their way back in a short amount of time. They trailed by three with 36 seconds remaining and stopped Washington. With the crowd on its feet and hope lingering throughout the building, Trevor Booker turned the ball over on a hand-off with nine seconds left. Game over.
Bottom line: the Wizards outscored the Nets 67-47 in the second half.
"They got into us and that was the story of the game. Credit to them. We fought back." said Kenny Atkinson.
John Wall, who was visibly angry as he exited the court at half time, scored 11 crucial points in the fourth (25 on the night) and propelled the Wizards to victory. He also dished out 13 assists.
Bojan Bogdanovic had another solid night with 18 points, while Trevor Booker chipped in a double double of 14 points and 14 rebounds. Sean Kilpatrick had an efficient shooting night (8-of-12) and scored 21 points, many of them at crucial moments.
Post-game, the Nets locker room was somber.
“Really have to value each possession,” said Joe Harris, who had a late turnover.”We want to come out and set the tone for the second half."
Caris LeVert was active for the first time of the season, but didn’t log any minutes. Kenny Atkinson hinted that it’d be tough to get him in before the game by saying they would try to “find him minutes.”
Maybe when they face off against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.
ANOTHER OFFER, ANOTHER MATCH
Prior to the game, Sean Marks addressed the media to discuss Houston’s decision to match on Donatas Motiejunas. This is the third time since Marks took over that a team has matches his offer sheet to a restricted free agent.
His stance, however, has not changed.
"We're gonna be aggressive & creative in how we acquire assets obviously with the hand we were dealt."
In the past, Marks has prefaced his remarks about the team’s dire situation stating that he didn’t want to criticize the former regime. Not this time.
- Box Score - Wizards vs. Nets - NBA.com
- Highlights: Wizards vs. Nets - Comcast Sports Net
- Wall’s pick and slam (Video) - NBA.com
- Lopez spin and follow (Video) - NBA.com
- Porter’s pick and slam (Video) - NBA.com
- Gortat throws it down (Video) - NBA.com
- Lopez denies Wall (Video) - NBA.com
- Hollis-Jefferson to Hamilton (Video) - NBA.com
- Wall finds Porter (Video) - NBA.com
- Lopez spins and hits (Video) - NBA.com
- 10-0 run in second quarter (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Kilpatrick drills a corner three (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Booker with two-handed throw-down (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Nets push the ball on the break (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Bogdanovic closes the first quarter with a three (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Lopez starts off with a three (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Whitehead with first points of the game (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Wall has 25 points to lead Wizards to 118-113 win over Nets - Jeffrey Bernstein - AP
- Atkinson on loss to Wizards (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson on facing the Wizards (Video) - YES Network
- Nets fall apart twice in gifting game to Wizards - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets’ bid for Rockets stud ends in familiar failure - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Caris LeVert left waiting for Nets debut after tireless rehab - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets lose to Wizards as hot start cools in second half - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Nets miss out on free-agent Donatas Motiejunas - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Wizards Hold Off Nets, 118-113 - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- Gallery: Nets vs. Wizards - Nathaniel S. Butler - Brooklyn Nets
- Nets fall to Wizards behind another disastrous third quarter (Game Grades) - Justis Doucet - The Brooklyn Game
- Wizards complete comeback against Nets, salvage a win to finish road trip - Candace Buckner - Washington Post