BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Sit down. Be humble. Brooklyn’s latest motto after dropping two games they could’ve had.
Following a big win over Cleveland last Wednesday, the Nets laid an egg for a second consecutive game Sunday with a 124-111 loss to the Denver Nuggets at Barclays Center. The Nets played without DeMarre Carroll (ankle) and Quincy Acy (groin) but their problems extend way past that.
They simply look out of sync on both sides of the ball in the past two games. After coming back from a six point deficit early, the Nets went up by 14 in the second before an end-of-the-half Denver comeback.
It was a three-point Brooklyn lead at halftime but then it all began to slip away. D’Angelo Russell had an off night and committed his fourth foul at the nine-minute mark of the third quarter, forcing him to check out earlier than usual.
The Nuggets took advantage of that an a lot of other sloppy play, outscoring the Nets 40-21 in the quarter, giving them a 16-point lead entering the fourth. The Nuggets led by as many as 26 in the third, highlighted by a 31-6 run.
It looked like a carryover from Friday night’s loss at MSG. The Nets brought it within 12 late in the fourth, but turned the ball over and surrendered four points in a row.
Down by 16 with 4:49 left, this game was over and Kenny Atkinson waved the white flag in frustration, finishing the game with a lineup of Joe Harris, Sean Kilpatrick, Isaiah Whitehead, Tyler Zeller and two-way player Jacob Wiley, making his NBA debut.
As noted, the Nets just didn’t look in sync. The offense had their lapses and the defense was just brutal . They forced only six turnovers and allowed Denver to shoot above 50 percent. Seven different players finished in double figures, led by Nikola Jokic’s 24.
Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets once again with 22 points, matching his career-high set against Cleveland Wednesday. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 18 and Joe Harris chipped in 16 off the bench.
As a whole, the Nets shot 40 percent from the field and committed 15 turnovers.
“You can’t give up 40 points in one quarter,” Harris said. “They got comfortable, came off with a little more energy and that was the game right there. There was a big point differential and any time you give up 40 points in a quarter . . . it’s tough to come back from that.”
“They have a lot of talent, a lot of talented players, and they made a run,” Atkinson added. “I think we called a couple timeouts to try to get it back but we just never responded and then we kind of wilted. Obviously we needed better leadership at that time.”
BROOKLYN’S STARS STRUGGLE
D’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert and Allen Crabbe combined to shoot 9-of-32 — that’s 28.1 percent— from the floor with six turnovers. Russell played just 24 minutes and committed five turnovers to go along with his eight assists.
He looked frustrated throughout the night and he hasn’t looked like the same player since he tweaked his knee last week. He hasn’t been urgent in pushing the tempo and he’s rarely driven to the lane. He finished the night 3-of-12.
“We wouldn’t put him out there if he weren’t 100 percent,” said Atkinson when asked if Russell is healthy.
The Nets are now 3-4 on the season. They play Phoenix at home on Tuesday and then head out for a 5-game road-trip beginning on Friday.
Atkinson said DeMarre Carroll (right ankle soreness) and Quincy Acy (left groin strain) are day-to-day and would not offer any opinion as to whether they would play Tuesday.
For post-game audio, click here.
For a different perspective, go to Denver Stiffs.
- Box Score: Denver Nuggets 124, Brooklyn Nets 111 - NBA.com
- Highlights: Denver Nuggets 124, Brooklyn Nets 111 (Video) - NBA.com
- Murray scores 26 (Video) - NBA.com
- Murray dunk (Video) - NBA.com
- Jokic And 1 (Video) - NBA.com
- Chandler for 3 (Video) - NBA.com
- Jokic and 1 again (Video) - NBA.com
- Barton Buzzer Beater (Video) - NBA.com
- LeVert for three (Video) - NBA.com
- Harris for three (Video) - NBA.com
- Millsap assist (Video) - NBA.com
- Nets Post-Game Plus (Video) - Bob Lorenz - YES Network
- Atkinson on first home loss (Video) - YES Network
- Russell talks team's rhythm (Video) - YES Network
- Harris on tough third quarter (Video) - YES Network
- Murray, Jokic lead Nuggets to 124-111 win over Nets (Oct 29, 2017) - AP
- Murray regains confidence in Nuggets' win over Nets - Reuters
- Nets fall back to earth in blowout loss to high-powered Nuggets - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- D’Angelo Russell explains struggles since tweaking knee - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets fall to Nuggets at Barclays Center for first home loss - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Nets’ Quincy Acy, DeMarre Carroll miss game with injuries - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Denver’s third quarter attack gives Brooklyn first home loss (Game Grades) - The Brooklyn Game
- NUGGETS PULL AWAY FROM NETS IN SECOND HALF, 124-111 - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- Denver Nuggets use big third quarter to pull away from Brooklyn Nets - Gina Mizell - Denver Post
- Denver Nuggets briefs: Jamal Murray breaks out of shooting slump - Gina Mizell - Denver Post