The Nets are playing their best basketball in nearly two years. Their three-game winning streak, prior to Thursday, was the team’s longest streak since winning six straight during the 2014-15 season.
Coming off a 141-118 victory over Philadelphia, the Nets (19-60) failed to extended their winning streak to four with a 115-107 loss to the Orlando Magic (28-51). Jeremy Lin finished with a season-high 32 points, but Brook Lopez had quiet night and the defense was essentially nonexistent -- especially in the third quarter.
The Nets are now 10-11 since March 1 and have lost their first game of April (3-1).
The teams were all knotted up at 50 apiece at halftime. Seven different Nets players scored at least two points, but Jeremy Lin was the only player in double figures with 17 points. Brook Lopez was just 1-of-6 from the floor, while Nikola Vucevic kept Orlando afloat.
Both teams went on their runs but the Magic ultimately finished with the bigger runs and crucial stops.
The Magic jumped out on an 8-1, 18-5 extended run to start the second half. They led by as many as 17 in the third. The Nets’ bench would cut it down to eight momentarily, but Orlando followed up with a 9-0 run to go back up by 16 with 1:33 left in the third.
Jodie Meeks was the difference maker with 18 points in the quarter, as the Magic outscored the Nets 36-21.
The Nets started the fourth quarter on a 12-2 run and trimmed the deficit down to six. Just like that. But Orlando answered with a 10-3 run once the starters checked in and brought their lead back up to 12 with six minutes remaining.
Jeremy Lin and Caris LeVert led the Nets on a comeback, but it was just a little too late. They trailed by five with 1:14 left following five straight points from Lin, but the Nets failed to make a stop and then failed to score on the following possession.
Lin led the Nets with a season-high 32 points to go along with a season-high five 3-pointers. Caris LeVert finished with a career-high 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
Spencer Dinwiddie (11 points), Isaiah Whitehead (10 points) and Justin Hamilton (10 points) did all they could to spark the Nets.
The Nets struggled all night on the offensive end where they shot 45 percent and committed 14 turnovers. Brook Lopez struggled all night and finished with 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting. He was never a factor at any point in the game.
Jodie Meeks (20 points), Elfrid Payton (22 points) and Nikola Vucevic (18 points, 12 rebounds) paced Orlando as they shot 47 percent from the field.
After scoring just 10 points on Thursday, Brook Lopez needs 35 points to pass Buck Williams to become the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. With the last home game on Saturday, it’s unlikely the home crowd will get to see the big fella break the record.
KUSTOK TAKES WHO AM I
Sarah Kustok clinched the “Who Am I” championship with Spencer Dinwiddie being the season-winning guess. Defending champ Ian Eagle was not on hand, but we’re almost certain he cringed when he found out that play-by-play folks would not be repeating.
Next up: Saturday against the Bulls — the last home game of the season.
- Box Score: Orlando Magic 115, Brooklyn Nets 107 - NBA.com
- Highlights: Nets vs. Magic (Video) - NBA.com
- Jeremy Lin’s 32 points (Video) - NBA.com
- Gordon flushes (Video) - NBA.com
- Alley-oop to Gordon (Video) - NBA.com
- Payton beats the buzzer (Video) - NBA.com
- Biyombo’s circus shot (Video) - NBA.com
- Hezonja rejects it (Video) - NBA.com
- Gordon throws it down (Video) - NBA.com
- Highlights: Caris LeVert (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- LeVert fourth quarter highlights (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Whitehead corner three (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Post-Game Plus: BKN @ ORL (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson on loss to Magic (Video) - YES Network
- Lopez troubled by performance (Video) - YES Network
- Elfrid Payton has 22 points, Magic beat Nets 115-107 - AP
- Magic defeat Nets, snap five-game slide - Reuters
- Nets' winning streak snapped in loss to Magic despite Jeremy Lin's 32-point effort - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Nets win streak ends at three as they drop one to Orlando, 115-107 (Game Grades) - Chris Hooker - The Brooklyn Game
- Aaron Gordon only needed one shoe to dunk against the Brooklyn Nets - Hector Diaz - SB Nation
- Magic play rookies but still beat Nets 115-107 - Josh Robbins - Orlando Sentinel
- Nets' Brook Lopez roots for Orlando City SC - Josh Robbins - Orlando Sentinel