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Nets fall to Mavericks as Jeremy Lin exits with ankle injury, 111-104

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Brooklyn Nets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Maybe the Nets aren’t a morning team.

In Sunday’s matinee affair, the Dallas Mavericks (30-39) defeated the Brooklyn Nets (13-56), 111-104, in Brooklyn. The Mavericks owned the first half and the Nets made a nice comeback, slashing a 14-point deficit down to one midway through the fourth.

Unfortunately for Brooklyn, it wasn’t enough.

To make matters worse: Jeremy Lin left the game in the first quarter with a sprained right ankle. It was a tough game right from the start and the Nets had to dig themselves out of a hole in the second half.

Post-game, Kenny Atkinson believes Lin's injury is just a sprain. Caris LeVert says Lin is in "good spirits." No word when he’s back. Nets play again Tuesday.

In a well-rehearsed script, the Nets failed to get necessary stops down the stretch and that ultimately did them in. They were down by four with 26 seconds left and watched Harrison Barnes deliver the dagger with a tough up and under layup. He finished with 19 points.

“They definitely made some huge plays,” Brook Lopez said after the loss. “[Harrison] Barnes made some tough shots in the post through a couple of our guys. I thought the right help was there, but I don’t think I did a good enough job in the pick and roll down the stretch.”

The Mavericks, who play at the NBA’s 2nd slowest pace, stood their ground on the defensive end and slowed the Nets’ (1st in pace) offense down. Of course, Brooklyn’s fast-paced offense looks much better when they come up with defensive stops that lead to fastbreak opportunities. They didn’t get many stops and they didn’t get many fastbreak opportunities.

Dallas shot 54 percent and were led by Dirk Nowitzki who was in vintage form with 23 points and nine rebounds. Nowitzki and the Mavs began the game on a 9-2 run and never looked back.

“To me, the story of the game was getting down 18 in the first half,” Kenny Atkinson said. We dug ourselves a hole, and we used a lot of energy to get back in it, then couldn’t close it, we didn’t have enough to get over the hump.”

At the 4:35 mark of the first quarter Lin limped off the court and to the bench as Kenny Atkinson called timeout. Lin tried getting loose, hopped on the stationary bike and then sat back on the bench before heading into the locker room. Not long after, the Nets deemed him out for the rest of the game with a sprained right ankle.

And so, things snowballed.

The Nets went down by as many as 18 points in the second quarter following a 14-4 extended Dallas run and 25-17 second quarter advantage.

Atkinson experimented a lineup with the two newcomers Archie Goodwin and Andrew Nicholson, but it didn’t turn out too well. It’s that time of the year where Marks and Atkinson need to start evaluating players for next season.

They trailed by 14 at half, but you should never count these guys out.

It was all Brook Lopez in the third quarter. After a seven-point, 2-of-8 first half, Lopez scored eight of nine points which lead to a 9-0 run. He trimmed the 14-point halftime deficit down to four, but Dallas answered strong once he checked out and led the Nets by 10 entering the fourth.

The big fella scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting in the quarter and finished with a game-high 27 points on the night.

Spencer Dinwiddie and Lopez combined for 15 points in the early goings of the fourth and were down by just one point. Lopez was scorching, but it wasn’t enough. The Nets couldn’t get enough stops late and it essentially cost them the game.

The Nets shot 43 percent and nailed 13-of-30 from deep. Dinwiddie finished with 18 points and seven assists, while Quincy Acy chipped in 11 points and Isaiah Whitehead with 10.

“It definitely took us a while to get into the game, especially energy wise, but it takes something to fight back the way we did. We kept our composure and we just started pushing and chipping away. It was unfortunate because, again, we were in the position at the end. I really feel like it was a lot of stuff we could have done better, and I think it starts with me,” Lopez said.


Early on, it looked like Yogi Ferrell would make the Nets regret dumping him in favor of Dinwiddie, as he hit a couple of early shot and tied up Lopez for a jump ball. But as the game went on, Dinwiddie not just dominated the matchup, but kept the Nets in the game with Lin out. In 30 minutes, Dinwiddie finished with 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 2-of-6 from deep. He made 6-of 7 from the line and had seven assists. In 21 minutes, Ferrell finished with eight points on 2-of-5 shooting and handed out five assists. Advantage: Dinwiddie.


Archie Goodwin made his Nets debut. He logged four points, two boards and two assists in 14 minutes, playing both guard positions. Goodwin is the 21st player to wear the Nets uniform this season and the 22nd to be under contract. Marcus Thornton was traded to the Nets in the Bojan Bogdanovic deal, but was waived hours later. That ties a Nets record.


With owner Mikhail Prokhorov on hand, the Nets hoped to show the boss some improvements from the last time he watched them. The Nets fought back as they usually do, but it was another loss. Prokhorov has said he is trying to sell a minority interest in the team, up to 49 percent. He’ll be in town for the next two games.

For post-game audio, click here.

Next up: Tuesday, home against Detroit.