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Ahh... Moral Victories: Nets fight but fall in Golden State, 114-101

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Golden State Warriors John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

“A moral victory is like kissing your sister,” said Adolph Rupp, legendary Kentucky coach.

That’s what it was, again, on Tuesday night. The Nets fought all night, even after falling down 21, but lost all control in the fourth.

FINAL: Warriors 114, Nets 101

It was Brooklyn’s fourth straight loss. They have won a single game in the months of February and March.

The last time the two teams played back in November, the Nets lost by seven - one of many “moral victories” this season. They were down 22 at half in that one and brought it to five with less than two minutes left. This one had a similar script.

The Nets trailed by 21 in the first quarter and it looked like it would be another one of “those games” that Golden State plays so often against everyone.

But the Nets are weird. They’re weird in a good way. They do things we do not expect.

They kept fighting, and behind the lead of Caris LeVert and D’Angelo Russell, the Nets went on a 19-2 run in the second, outscored the Warriors 32-13 for the quarter and led by five (!) at half. The Warriors 13 points were the fewest allowed in any quarter by the Nets this season and the fewest scored by the Warriors in any quarter, too.

Unfortunately for Brooklyn, Golden State is the best third quarter team in the NBA.

The teams exchanged leads 13 times in the third quarter, but the Warriors finished on a 9-2 run and took a six-point lead entering the fourth. It was a 16-3 run bridging from the third and fourth quarter that put Golden State up by 12. They never looked back.

Of course, there are no moral victories, but the Nets fought. For that alone, we commend them. We don’t have much else at 20-45.

D’Angelo Russell played perhaps his most complete game of the season with 22 points, eight assists and two steals on 9-of-15 shooting. He’s looked much more poised since returning to the starting lineup, as evidenced by his ONE turnover.

DeMarre Carroll chipped in 19 points and seven rebounds on a career-high 19 field goal attempts. Spencer Dinwiddie finished with 13 points and five assists. Carroll also said it’s time for people to lay off DLo.

“The pressure a lot of people put on DLo, he doesn’t really deserve it,” Carroll said. “It’s not about him, it’s about the overall team. Pressure should be on the team, not one person like DLo. I just feel like it’s unfair.”

On the other side of the ledger, Stephen Curry killed the Nets all night. It’s Golden State, pick your poison. He finished with 34 points in 34 minutes. The Nets forced 17 turnovers but Golden State still shot 57 percent from the field.

Brooklyn on the other hand, shot 42 percent from the field and 9-of-34 (26.5 percent) from deep. Allen Crabbe was 0-of-5; Carroll, 2-of-10 and LeVert 1-of-5. Even Joe Harris had a bad night, missing on all three of his attempts from deep. Then again, he did this...

PLAY OF THE GAME

Bottom line perhaps? “I really enjoyed playing against those guys,” Kevin Durant said on the YES Network after the game. “They’ve got a bright future.”

DLOADING SINCE THE ALL-STAR BREAK

Since the All-Star Break (six games), Russell is averaging 15.5 points, 6.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds on 37 percent shooting from deep, 41 percent overall in 31 minutes. He’s also down to 2.3 turnovers per game.

CARIS LEVERT AND KEVIN DURANT REUNITED: [READ HERE]

GOOGLE ME THIS

Several of the Nets players and coaching staff members visited the Googleplex in Mountain View, California, on Monday. Considering Google’s place as an industry leader – the company is valued at $800 billion – the players were eager to learn what is behind its success.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was particularly moved the Google workforce’s desire to innovate. He saw similarities between how NBA players approach improving their games and the technologists and others at Google approach improving the world.

“You see how much people just want to be a part of their program, their organization,” he explained to BrooklynNets.com. “Just the best thinkers in the world are in that area, it’s great to see.

LIN AHEAD OF SCHEDULE?

Jeremy Lin made his first road appearance of the season in Golden State, not far from where he grew up in Palo Alto. Lin not only rooted on his team, but worked on his jumper before the game with Will Weaver, the Nets assistant. It looked like a normal pre-game shoot around.

After his patella tendon rupture on Opening Night, word was that Lin wouldn’t be able to run or jump until April. The Nets declared him out for the season after surgery and ultimately used his disabled player exception to acquire Dante Cunningham.

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For a different perspective, head on over to Golden State of Mind. But post-game, Kevin Durant offered his own...

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The Nets will finish the 5-game road-trip at Charlotte on Thursday.