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Nets lose second straight game in blowout fashion, 114-98

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

When Jason Kidd was head coach of the Nets and suggested they sign Shaun Livingston. When Livingston made his big comeback with the Nets, Kidd kept it very simple as to why he liked him from the start: “You can’t teach length.”

And that haunted the Nets on Saturday night.

Rodions Kurucs put home a layup with 4:59 left in the first quarter, and the Nets went more than seven minutes without a field goal, including 11 misses during that span. The Jazz went on a 29-4 extended run and led by as many as 20 in the first half.

Rudy Gobert and his 7’9” wingspan changed the entire dynamic of the game. He came up with a block in the first quarter and the Nets went ice cold. They started the game 6-of-15 from the field, but finished the half 8-of-34.

He finished the night with 23 points and 16 rebounds.

D’Angelo Russell was 4-of-15; Caris LeVert was 0-for-6; Joe Harris was 1-of-6. The Nets shot 29 percent. Those numbers didn’t get all that much better throughout the night. The Nets finished 34 percent from the field. DLo finished 8-of-25, LeVert 3-of-12, Harris 2-of-8.

“I don’t know, first half, second quarter, third quarter, fourth; I think they dominated us in every sense; physically first of all, through physical domination,” said Kenny Atkinson. “But listen, against an excellent defensive team like that we didn’t move the ball well enough. I think, 20 assists, we’ve got to do a better job moving the ball. And then defensively, I never felt like we slowed them down. They dominated us in every fashion.”

Final score: Jazz 114, Nets 98.

Brooklyn’s bench is typically pretty solid, but not this time. DeMarre Carroll was 2-of-9 from the floor while Treveon Graham was 1-of-5. Allen Crabbe was inactive due to a sore knee. The one positive off the bench was Spencer Dinwiddie (22 points) — the fifth straight game in which he’s led the Nets in overall scoring.

It’s Brooklyn’s second straight loss with five games left in the seven-game road-trip. At 36-35, they’ll remain the seven seed, but they’re one loss away from matching Miami’s 36.

The Utah Jazz are the seven seed in the West with a 40-29 record. They shot 43 percent and out-rebounded the Nets by 22.

We knew this wasn’t going to be easy, but they can’t keep slipping. They’ll have a chance to redeem themselves tomorrow against the Los Angeles Clippers.

OWNER IN THE HOUSE

Mikhail Prokhorov, dressed in Nets sweats —and Coogie socks!— sat courtside Saturday with his long-time personal trainer, Mike Ershov.

Ershov, it should be noted, is one of the top jet skiiers in the world.

Prokhorov is expected to make another appearance when the Nets play the Lakers next Friday. Yeah, the road trip is that long.

THREE-O

With his Long Island Nets teammates celebrating their division title back at Nassau Coliseum, Theo Pinson had a nice run, playing 13 minutes and scoring 12 points, all in the fourth quarter. It was his second highest scoring game of the season, behind a 19-point effort vs. the Knicks on January 25.

Pinson, who the Nets see as a big point guard down the line, was 3-of-6 overall including 2-of-5 from deep. He also went to the line six times, making four. Nets will have to make a decision on whether to give him a standard NBA contract soon.

Alan Williams also got time, playing five minutes, scoring four points and grabbing three rebounds.

PLAYOFF RACE

The Nets entered Saturday night (technically) owning the six seed due to the tiebreaker, but being that they’ve played more games than Detroit, their win percent is less... by .001 of one percent. Otherwise, they have a three-game advantage on the eight-seed Miami Heat and four games on the Orlando Magic, whom they own the tiebreaker with as well.

HOWEVER, with the loss to the Jazz, the Nets have dropped to seventh, a half game behind Detroit and two and a half ahead of Miami. The Heat have played three fewer games than the the Nets. The Magic are now four and a half behind the Nets in ninth.

DINWIDDIE KICKS

IS DLO THE MOST POPULAR PLAYER IN NEW YORK SPORTS?

With Odell Beckham Jr. now with the Cleveland Browns, D’Angelo Russell is the most followd professional athlete in New York — both on Instagram and Twitter combined. After him is LeVeon Bell, newly acquired by the New York Jets.

DINWIDDIE OFF THE BENCH (H/T Nets PR)

  • Spencer Dinwiddie is averaging 17.5 points and five assists per game this season (17.7 off the bench), good for second among all reserves (20.3 points per game for Lou Williams).
  • Dinwiddie is the first Net to score 19+ points in four straight games off the bench since Purvis Short did so in six straight in the 1989-90 season.
  • ISO: Just five players have scored at least a point per possession on at least 200 isolation possessions this season: James Harden (1.09), Kawhi Leonard (1.05), Kevin Durant (1.04), Dinwiddie (1.03) and DeMar DeRozan (1.01).

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Next up: Tomorrow against the Los Angeles Clippers, 9 p.m. ET.