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Nets’ late comeback falls short against Warriors, 120-114

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Brooklyn Nets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — When you lose to one of (if not the) greatest team’s in NBA history, you take it with a grain of salt.

Despite falling down by as many as 19 in the third quarter, the Nets battled back in the fourth to get the margin down to two. But they fell just short, 120-114, Sunday evening at Barclays Center. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry combined for 69 points on the night.

For the Nets, the story was about another duo, D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert who combined for 48 as they engineered the improbable and impressive comeback. Russell led the way with 25 points and six assists, while LeVert followed up with 23 points and seven assists.

“Caris LeVert is tough, said Steve Kerr after the game. “He’s a slasher and ball handler. He can get into the paint. He’s big so he can finish in the paint. Brooklyn has a lot of good young players here.”

Another of the good young players, DLo, talked about his and LeVert’s backcourt chemistry.

“I think we complement each other. I think we are both able to play off the ball. We just flow. We have a chemistry that’s connecting well together. I think our next step is getting other guys involved and finishing games at the same point at the same time,”

The game started getting ugly in the second quarter, when the Warriors out-scored the Nets 31-20 the Nets found themselves down 19 with Curry and Durant on a mission. All hope looked lost, but the Nets didn’t quit.

They brought the 19-point deficit down to two with two minutes left following a 31-17 run for Brooklyn. Russell and Allen Crabbe hit a combined five three’s in the quarter, while the defense clamped down and made some big stops.

But, they didn’t get the one they needed most.

With a little over a minute remaining, Curry hit a three that put them up seven. It was his seventh and final three of the night, as he finished with 35 points. Durant finished with 34 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

The Nets hit 20 three’s on 42 attempts, but there’s only so much you can do on the defensive end against a team like the Warriors, who took care of the ball and shot 49 percent on the night.

While the Nets got big games from their starting backcourt, and both Crabbe (14) and Spencer Dinwiddie (12) also contributed, each hitting four three-pointers, Jarrett Allen grabbbed only four rebounds to go with his 11 points and Joe Harris had seven points.

Still, Kenny Atkinson was reasonably happy.

“I felt like we did get stronger as the game went on,” said Kenny Atkinson after the game. “I thought that the guys really made a second push. I thought it was a good effort in the second half. Listen, I don’t think the crowd was pleased with our first half, the coach wasn’t pleased, the players weren’t pleased, so we were –

“At halftime it wasn’t pleasant in there because I don’t think we played up to our capabilities. So, just to see us play Nets basketball in the second half, that gives us some encouragement going in to tomorrow night’s game,”

The Nets are now 2-4 on the season.



“I think they’re on their way,” Golden State GM Bob Myers told The Post before the game. “I think they’re on the way. They play in a great city, and Sean [Marks] is smart. They’re in a position now with their picks and cap space where they’ll be able to make some change, and it’ll probably be positive. Sean’s smart, and he’ll do a good job.”


Early Sunday morning, the Brooklyn Nets elected to send 2018 first round pick Dzanan Musa to their G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets. Then Sunday afternoon, the Brooklyn Nets elected to bring him back in time for Sunday evening’s game with Golden State.

In 2016-17, the Nets sent Chris McCullough to Long Island —and back— a total of 21 times for practices and games. They did the same for a while with Isaiah Whitehead last year. There are no limits to the number of times an NBA roster player can be moved back and forth, so expect a lot of movement especially since the Nets have more depth than they have in the past.

We will be monitoring it throughout the season...


YES announced that Yankees play-by-play announcer, John Sterling, will call Nets-Hawks on December 16. Sterling handled play-by-play duties for the New York/New Jersey Nets and later for the Atlanta Hawks and will cover both franchises in a matinee affair in December. Working alongside him doing color will be Sarah Kustok.


I know it’s difficult to discuss moral victories with the Nets in year three, but they’re a young team that just brought it down to the wire in two straight games against two of the NBA’s best teams.

With cautious optimism I can say: These guys have something going for them.

For a different perspective, head on over to Golden State of Mind, our sister site.

They’ll look to redeem themselves against the Knicks tomorrow night at MSG.