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Brooklyn’s late comeback falls short against Kings, 104-99

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NBA: Sacramento Kings at Brooklyn Nets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- The Brooklyn Nets became ‘Kings County’ literally on Wednesday.

They dropped their fourth straight game with a 104-99 loss to the Sacramento Kings, Wednesday night at Barclays Center. The Nets came back after trailing by 21, but failed to execute late.

This one got ugly right from the start. The King nailed 12 of their first 14 shots and took a 17-point lead into the second. The Kings missed just five shots in the opening quarter, despite ranking last in the NBA for field goal percentage.

“We let our guard down in the first quarter,” said head coach Kenny Atkinson. “Dug a hole, and too deep of a hole.”

“It ain’t the fourth it’s the first,” said Spencer Dinwiddie when asked about execution down the stretch. “The first half we gave up too many points. I mean ultimately we didn’t make enough shots but at the same time, 64 points I believe in the first half, that’s unacceptable.”

It only got worse in the second quarter. The Nets went down by 21 and finished the half shooting 38 percent – 33 percent from 3-point. Nobody truly asserted themselves for Sacramento. Rather it was a balanced attack that put them up 16 at half.

It looked like it might be one of Brooklyn’s worst losses of the season, but instead they erased the 21-point deficit and cut this thing down to two late in the fourth quarter. The Nets had a chance down two, but they missed their final four shots and turned the ball over twice.

Joe Harris and Caris LeVert both played huge roles in mounting the comeback, but both were on the bench during crunch time.

The Kings manhandled the Nets on the glass, 48-39. They also shot 49 percent compared to Brooklyn’s 39 percent – 15-of-42 line from 3-point. Spencer Dinwiddie led the team with 16 points, DeMarre Carroll chipped in 15. Off the bench, anchoring the comeback, was Caris LeVert (13 points) and Joe Harris (14 points).

Well folks, at 11-19 this thing is getting uglier and uglier. It may only get worse. The Nets will face Washington, Indiana and San Antonio over the next three. Get well soon, D’Angelo.

George Hill lit the Nets up for 22 points and seven rebounds – most of his points coming down the stretch. And the Kings three big men scored 46 points as their Nets counterparts did little to slow them

“It’s disappointing, especially losing at home. We thought we had a great oportunity to come in here and get back to our winning ways, but we’ve got to come out stronger,” said LeVert after the game.

VC PLAYS NETS FOR LAST TIME?

Fans didn’t get a chance to cheer for Vince Carter at Barclays Center. He was DNP-CD. Too bad. He played with the New Jersey Nets for five seasons - most within his prime - where he averaged 23.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He was one of the most fun Nets in history, having the ability to electrify a quiet crowd on any given night. He ranks third in franchise history for most points scored, behind Brook Lopez and Buck Williams.

It’s unlikely that VC gets his jersey retired, as several Nets have worn his famous no. 15 since, but the memories will not fade. Nor will the sounds of then PA announcer Gary Sussman yelling, “THAT’S A V-C-THREEEEE!”

TIME FOR CHANGE?

Kenny Atkinson was asked about potential lineup changes after struggling in the first half yet again.

“I think four losses in a row, we have to look at everything. We have to look at the start, what our lineup looks like to start. I definitely think we have to look at it. We have to analyze it and see if there is something to change up. We will look at that in the next day and see what is going on there.”