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In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the Nets giveth more to Dallas than they taketh, lose 119-113

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

‘Tis the season to be thankful - thankful that tonight’s game is no more.

The Nets and Mavericks traded buckets all night - but, once again, the Nets gave up more in a trade than they did receive.

One night after beating the Heat in Miami, the Nets fell in a close one to the Mavericks, in Dallas, 119-113.

Allen Crabbe showed up (27 points, 7 threes) and Ed Davis was there (a season-high 17 points on 8-of-8 shooting), but everyone else - turkeys.

That’s 32 straight losses in back-to-back road games for the Nets. Not good.

“We gave ourselves an opportunity, but this will make us a more resilient team,” said the ever-optimistic Kenny Atkinson before adding, “I thought the first half we weren’t locked in. Our defense was sub-par. We obviously weren’t making shots. But our defense was poor. But I thought the second half we were much better. We were a shot or two from making it a really tight game. Disappointed in the loss, but again, thought our second half was better.”

GAME RECAP

The Brooklyn Nets took their talents to Dallas on Wednesday night to take on Luka Doncic and the somewhat-OK-not-so-bad Dallas Mavericks.

The night didn’t start off well at all for Brooklyn fans. Why?

Sorry about that - I’m bad luck.

D’Angelo Russell got off to a slow start - hitting just 1-of-5 baskets in the first, with two turnovers in the first. The Nets had to rely on the bench to keep them in it - with Ed Davis doing his thing, scoring 11 first quarter points on 5-of-5 shooting, while Shabazz Napier provided a spark off the bench and some much-needed three-point shooting.

The Mavs got off running, with their duo if star wings - Harrison Barnes and Doncic combined to score 21 points in the first, with Barnes going 3-of-3 from three, giving the Mavs a 34-32 lead after one.

Brooklyn didn’t force a single turnover in the first.

Russell 0-for-5 from three in the first half, with the Nets shooting 6-of-20 overall from three in the first. Meanwhile, the Mavs shot 52 percent from the floor (50 percent from three, 7-of-14) with Barnes going off for 18 points in 15 minutes.

Dallas carried a 61-50 lead into the half.

The Nets’s bench outscored the starters 26-24 in the first half, with Allen Crabbe, 13 points, the only starter making a dent.

Thankful for that Nets bench for keeping them in this one.

Russell found his way into getting a few buckets to start the third, but nothing much was doing for the Nets. Crabbe hit a three, Ed Davis was effective, Spencer Dinwiddie was aggressive in finding his way to the line - but, still, the Nets could not pull ahead of the Mavs. Turnovers, missed threes (some bad shots), and it felt like no matter what the Nets did they couldn’t grab the lead.

After three, Dallas led 85-81.

Crabbe did what he could to keep the Nets in this one. He was on fire from downtown, hitting

Russell was bad, though. All night until the final moments when he hit two three pointers in the Nets futile comeback. The Nets needed him earlier. Jarrett Allen was...somewhere, but not here. The Nets shooting was, you know, not good. This one felt winnable, just not able.

In the end, after shooting 44 percent from the floor and turning the ball over 14 times, the Nets fell to the Mavericks 119-113 in what felt like it could have been a seriously winnable game.

Barnes scored a game-high 28 points, while the ghost of Devin Harris scored 18 points in 18 minutes off the bench. Doncic went for 21 points, with DeAndre Jordan doubling up, going for 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Atkinson pronounced himself a fan of Doncic.

“First time I saw him, very impressed,” said the coach. “Can’t believe how calm, cool and collected he is. He plays at his pace. You can’t dictate his pace. He gets where he wants on the court. Obviously has great size. We were making a comeback, he hit some tough shots. I thought he hit a couple daggers where I thought we played great defense. That’s what the really good ones do.”

The big positive had to be Crabbe who suddenly found his rhythm in the second half.

“Big time. Definitely capable,” said DLo. “It’s good to see him making shots and getting that rhythm back. It makes us that much more dangerous.”

“It felt good,” Crabbe said post-game. “It was a struggle the first 18 games. Probably felt like I was solid maybe two of those 18. It feels good. Like I told you the other night, I’ve been shooting and it’ll click. I’ve been doing all the things I needed to do, extra shots after practice, going to optional shootarounds. I knew if I stuck with the process, things would start clicking for me.”

Next up for the Nets, Friday afternoon at home against the Timberwolves.

DEVIN’S REVENGE

A big part of the Mavericks offense was former Nets Devin Harris, who despite being 35 years old, had a big game vs. Brooklyn, finishing with 18 points on only seven shots in 18 minutes. Harris hit several big shots in the fourth working with J.J. Barea. Harris averaged 17.7 points and 6.9 assists over four seasons with the Nets until he was sent to Utah in the Deron Williams trade.

MORE COACHING SUPPORT

Kenny Atkinson has said he’s tired of having rival coaches praising him, his staff and his players. He’d rather have them congratulate him on a win. But it won’t stop. Already Steve Kerr of the Warriors and Doc Rivers of the Clippers have had kind things to say. Add Rick Carlisle of the Mavs.

This is a brutally tough game. We have not matched up well with these guys. They beat us last year a few times,” Carlisle said before the game, “Typical of how they play. They keep attacking. They’re relentless, they don’t get discouraged if they’re behind; they hang in there. [Caris] LeVert is out: That’s a big loss. But Russell has stepped up his game in a major way this year, and Spencer Dinwiddie will be a Sixth Man of the Year candidate.”

In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving from the NetsDaily family. Let’s put this one behind us and be thankful that we get to do this again on Friday - without me!

For more on the Mavericks, see: Mavs Moneyball