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Nets have no answers on defense as McCollum, Blazers torch them, 130-116

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Back to reality. One win, two straight losses.

The Nets (10-51) lost their fourth game on the eight-game circus road-trip with a 130-116 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers (26-35), Saturday. They are now 3-27 on the road this season.

The effort was there as usual, but they were simply outmatched… again. It doesn’t help that Jeremy Lin is on a minutes restriction. But this still isn’t why the Nets are losing. The defense continues to be an eye sore, as Portland shot 16–of-25 from 3-point, 57 percent overall, while assisting on 29 of their 49-made field goals.

After falling down by 15, the Nets battled their way back in the second half. They scored 34 points in the fourth but allowed 40.

The Nets did all they could on the offensive end too. They dished out 24 assists and shot an impressive 14-of-30 from 3-point, 52.3 percent overall. Brook Lopez was nearly unstoppable as he usually is in Portland with 26 points. In six career games in Portland, Lopez has averaged 28.5 points per game, scoring 20+ points in all six contests and 30+ points three times.

Unfortunately for Lopez and the Nets, “it” just wasn’t there from the beginning.

For the second straight night, the Nets started the game with a lackadaisical attitudel and turned the ball over eight times in the first eight minutes. The offense was sloppy and the defense was no better. They allowed 37 points (75 percent) in the first after allowing 38 against Utah last night.

And so, they were down double digits after one yet again.

The Nets did just the opposite in the second quarter. They outscored the Blazers 30-21 and committed only one turnover compared to the eight in the first quarter. Behind stellar defense and a 14-point half from Sean Kilpatrick, the Nets went on a 12-2 run and eventually tied the game at 55 apiece.

At half, the Nets trailed 58-57.

The Nets hung around in the third and fourth quarters, but the script read familiar throughout the game and throughout the season. They fought and battled, but couldn’t get over the 5-6 point hump. And while they failed to do that, the Trail Blazers failed run away with constant 12-point leads. Turnovers were no longer an issue after the first quarter, rather the simple and consistent fact that they were outmatched.

The dagger: a Damian Lillard layup with a minute remaining to go up 10.

Sean Kilpatrick did all he could to keep the Nets alive. He hit a career-high six 3-pointers and 20 points. Brook Lopez dropped a team-high 26 points, while Jeremy Lin chipped in 18, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 12 and eight rebounds and Spencer Dinwiddie 14.

For Portland, C.J. McCollum scored a game-high 31 points. Al-Farouq Aminu nailed five 3-pointers and scored 23 points off the bench.

Next up: Monday @ Memphis