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Sloppy play and poor execution buries Nets in OT loss to Kings, 116-111

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets competed with the Cleveland Cavaliers for about 46 minutes on Tuesday night. The question entering Thursday: How would they handle the 18-43 Sacramento Kings?

Not well.

“Should-win” games are not in your vocabulary when you’re 20-41. They were 1-9 in the last 10. At this point, a win in any way is a good win for the Nets, but it never happened.

No excuses.

FINAL: Kings 116, Nets 111.

It was a six-point Nets lead entering the fourth, but the Kings turned things around immediately following a 15-3 run, giving them a six-point lead. It was tight the rest of the way.

D’Angelo Russell hit two 3-pointers in a row to give the Nets a 95-94 lead with a little under 3 minutes. Then, he turned the ball over two possessions in a row with less than two minutes remaining, and the Kings retained a 98-95 lead.

Who would get the big shot? Spencer Dinwiddie? Russell?

DeMarre Carroll.

Carroll nailed a huge 3-pointer to tie it up at 98 apiece, 29 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, Allen came up with a huge block. Nets ball.

Now who? Dinwiddie. He drove to the basket hard and actually got a foul called with 6.1 seconds left.

On the ensuing possession, De’Aaron Fox drove and Allen wasn’t getting to this one.

FREE BASKETBALL!

As Michael Grady described on Twitter, the teams exchanged punches throughout the fourth quarter and brought it right into overtime with them.

Down one, Crabbe stole the ball and the Nets advanced it with 36 seconds left. They had a chance to go two-for-one, but DLo made a questionable decision and pulled it out. The possession finished with an ill-advised, contested 3-pointer from Dinwiddie.

The Kings sealed the deal at the line.

Russell made some big plays on the night, hit some big shots down the stretch, but his decision-making was extremely puzzling late in the game. Growing pains at 22-years-old, sure, but he’s a better ball player than we saw in the final moments.

***

It was predictable from the start - the Nets attempt the 2nd most 3-pointers in the NBA, while the Kings who rank 28th in 3-point field goal attempts. And that’s how this game would be played.

Only, the Nets didn’t make Sacramento pay much from downtown. They hit 14-of-37 (five from Allen Crabbe) compared to Sacramento’s 4-of-11. Plus, the Kings feasted down low and outscored the Nets 58-36 inside the paint.

Jarrett Allen got the Nets off to a good start, leading the team on a 14-4 charge early as the Nets collectively picked up momentum. They trailed 14-10 early in the first, finished on a 21-8 extended run, and picked up a 31-22 lead.

Allen scored 8 of his 14 points in the first quarter. He also grabbed 11 rebounds, notching his fourth-career double-double.

The game changed once the Nets started turning the ball over. They committed 17 on the night.

As per usual, the opponent made their own run - a 13-0 run, took the lead, and finished the second quarter with a 31-20 advantage. Brooklyn’s second quarter consisted of sloppy play, missed shots, and poor defensive execution helped the Kings take a two-point halftime lead.

It helped Sacramento gain the momentum they owned for most of the fourth quarter.

STARS OF THE NIGHT

  • DeMarre Carroll: 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
  • Jarrett Allen: 14 points and 11 rebounds.
  • Allen Crabbe: 17 points (5-of-11 3-point).
  • Willy Cauley-Stein: 17 points and 7 rebounds

ALLEN CRABBE MOVING UP THE LADDER

With his fourth 3-pointer of the game, Crabbe moved into sole possession of 6th place in Nets single-season history in 3-pointers made with 149. He needs two more to pass Vince Carter.

FINAL 5-GAME TRIP OF THE SEASON

Since the Nets moved to Brooklyn during the 2012-2013 season, they have traveled on long ‘Circus Road-trips’ – the final one being an eight-game trip. Those ended because Barnum & Bailey circuses ended for good. Now, the Nets play five game-road trips four times this season.

They started in Cleveland, came to Sacramento and will finish the final three games in Los Angeles (Clippers), Golden State, and Charlotte.