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SCARY: Nets fold late against Phoenix and drop third straight, 122-114

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Phoenix Suns v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — I guess it’s time to put the masks back on and cover the eyes.

The Brooklyn Nets have lost three straight games and have yet to win a game on Halloween since the 2007-2008 season. Despite a 33-point effort from D’Angelo Russell, the Brooklyn Nets (3-5) lost to the Phoenix Suns (3-4), 122-114, Tuesday night at Barclays Center. The Nets stormed back from an 18-point deficit in the third quarter, but surrendered 35 points in the fourth and folded late.

“Got to want it more, got to come out and compete no matter what. Height, size doesn’t matter. It’s about who wants it more,” said Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Brooklyn’s offense ran through Russell handling the rock most of the way and with that, the motion offense morphed into a heavy pick-and-roll sttke. Russell showed his bag of treats with a variety of ways to score and excellent court vision. He dropped 20 points in the first half.

At least on paper, it was a battle between he and Devin Booker, who had 22 at half and put Phoenix up by 18 late in the third quarter with his 30th point of the night. Things looked to be slipping away, but Kenny Atkinson inserted Spencer Dinwiddie into the lineup and the Nets answered with a 17-0 run -- 23-4 extended.

Brooklyn erased the 18-point deficit and led by one entering the fourth quarter. It was 35-point quarter but more importantly, there signs of grit and effort that they’ve lacked in the past two games.

During the run, Allen Crabbe closed the gap with two consecutive field goals. You could see the sigh of relief from him after missing his first five shots.

The Nets suddenly held an eight-point lead when Spencer Dinwiddie checked out at the 6:35 mark of the fourth quarter. However, the Suns answered with a 15-2 run of their own and took a five-point lead with 2:32 remaining. The dagger slid in on the force of free throws with 38 seconds when Phoenix up by eight.

“At the end of the day, if we would have pulled it out I don’t think we really would have deserved it,” said Kenny Atkinson.

Devin Booker was held to zero points in the fourth quarter, but Russell scored just four points himself in the fourth in a surprising finish for both of the 21-year-old stars.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson showed once again he can anchor the Brooklyn attack, scoring a career-high 21 points. Dinwiddie facilitated well and scored 15 points. He finished with one turnover to four assists. He’s leading the league in assist-to-turnover ratio.

Phoenix out-rebounded the Nets 66-44. Odd enough, the Nets committed only seven turnovers to Phoenix’s 18.

“People get confused with being a leader by what they say. It's about what you do and your work ethic and how you come in everyday,” Hollis-Jefferson explained.

As the longest tenured player on the team, he’s used to this. We asked how he keeps the teams spirits high.

"Stay together, keep believing in the process, keep believing in each other, keep believing what the coaches believe in and everything will change.”


Following Tuesday night’s performance, D'Angelo Russell has as many 30-point games in 7 games this season as he did all of last season. He finished the night with 33 points, six rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes. He didn’t finish particularly well, but nobody on the Nets did.

If they’re going to attribute this all to team-oriented basketball, then everybody deserves the blame.

For a different perspective, drop by Bright Side of the Sun.

The Nets have dropped three straight and will begin a five-game road-trip at the Los Angeles Lakers this Friday.