It’s been awfully hard to watch the Nets lately.
The Orlando Magic handed them their sixth straight loss, 101-89, Monday night at Amway Center. The Nets, once three games above .500, are now three games below .500. Caris LeVert did not play, his absence deemed “injury management” after returning on Saturday. The Nets are being cautious with the second night of a back-to-back on Tuesday.
There’s only so much you can say about this one. The Nets couldn’t hit a shot if their lives depended on it, trailing by double digits for a good part of the first half. Orlando went on a 14-3 run, while Brooklyn shot 29 percent from the field and 6-of-25 from three.
They somehow only trailed by 13.
The energy shifted in the third quarter, though. They caught fire from the start and went on a 21-7 run extending into the early stages of the fourth, which gave them their first lead since 22-20 in the first quarter. At that point, it was 78-76, Nets lead.
They stayed afloat for a solid two minutes and 49 seconds. Orlando went on a 9-0 run in that time and regained a seven-point lead. Seven of the nine came from a scorching Markelle Fultz, who dropped 12 of his career-high 25 in the fourth quarter.
The run skyrocketed into a 15-1 run, 12-point Magic lead with four minutes remaining. The Nets went six minutes without a bucket from the 9-minute mark to 3-minute mark. The Magic scored 15 during that span. Fultz appropriately put the dagger home with an and-one to go up 12 with 2:31 remaining.
All throughout the night, the Nets just kept chucking away 3-pointers... and kept missing. There was a point when they missed 17 straight in the third and fourth quarter.
And yet, they just kept taking them.
They shot 10-of-47 from deep and 33 percent from the floor. At some point, you have to make some adjustments. Call it a make-or-miss league. Brooklyn has been the worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA since Kyrie Irving has been out.
Joe Harris was one of two players in double figures with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Spencer Dinwiddie also scored 16 but shot just 6-of-19 from the field. Taurean Prince was 2-of-11 and Garrett Temple was 2-of-13, continuing the struggles from the duo.
It wasn’t just the horrible shooting, though. The Nets were out-rebounded by 14 and allowed Nikola Vucevic to grab 24 rebounds on the night. They also shot 19 free throws to Orlando’s 31.
At this point, the Nets will just take a win any way they can get it.
MUSA, KURUCS PLAY WELL (ENOUGH)
With so many of the Nets vets putting up awful numbers from the field, the Nets two prodigals, Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs, did take some positive steps. Musa, 20, and Kurucs, 21, both have scorer’s mentality ... and that’s what the Nets need right now.
The two played a total of 13 points in 25 minutes, hitting a combined 4-of-9. Kurucs shot better but Musa provided the spark to the second unit. Look for both to get more minutes.
JUSTIN ANDERSON ON A 10-DAY
With all the recent injuries, the Brooklyn Nets have signed Justin Anderson to a 10-day contract. Anderson knows at least one of his new teammates quite well. He and Joe Harris overlapped at Virginia.
“He was kind of a vet for me in college,” Anderson said of Harris. “He’s helped me with the offense and whatever questions I had. We’ve only had a little bit of time together, so, it’s been good just with the little bit of time catching up and he’s just excited for me. It means a lot to be back with one of my college teammates. It helps a lot when you’re in a new locker room when you’re familiar with someone.”
Anderson joins Brooklyn from the Raptors 905 of the NBA G League, where he started the averaging 21.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals in 33.6 minutes per contest. He got a nice send-off from his teammates in Mississauga, the Toronto suburb where the 905 play...,
Brooooooooklyn bound.#NBACallUp | @JusAnderson1 pic.twitter.com/DO0a9VMf8M— Raptors 905 (@Raptors905) January 6, 2020
Over four NBA seasons with Dallas (2015-17), Philadelphia (2017-18) and Atlanta (2018-19), Anderson has appeared in 216 games and holds career averages of 5.3 points and 2.6 rebounds in 13.2 minutes per game. That’s more games than Caris LeVert or Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot have under their belts.
You've love this then. Kenny on Justin Anderson: "I think he brings obviously some experience. Very good athlete, the new-style #NBA player where he can play multiple positions, 4, 3, 2. Plus he’s really good friends with Joe Harris, so that helps too.” #Nets https://t.co/QhIexGp3Z5— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) January 6, 2020
Oh yeah, he weighs 231 pounds. Here’s his last G League game highlights...
putting in that work @JusAnderson1— NBA G League (@nbagleague) December 28, 2019
25 PTS | 10 REB | 3 AST | 3 | 9-14 FGM@UVAMensHoops ↗️ @Raptors905 pic.twitter.com/FEw5ppTG5y
For a different perspective, head on over to Orlando Pin-striped Post, our Magic sister site on SB Nation.
Next up: Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, 7:30 PM ET.
- Box Score: Orlando Magic 101, Brooklyn Nets 89 - NBA.com
- Recap: Orlando Magic 101, Brooklyn Nets 89 (Video) - NBA.com
- Nets drop sixth straight, 101-89 (Video) - Sarah Kustok & Ian Eagle - YES Network
- Atkinson on Nets loss to Magic (Video) - YES Network
- Dinwiddie on loss to Magic (Video) - YES Network
- Wear Brooklyn At? (Video) - YES Network
- Harris reflects on Nets loss (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson on Anderson addition (Video) - YES Network
- Fultz scores career-best 25 to lead Magic over Nets 101-89 - Dick Scanlon - AP
- Fultz scores career-high 25, Magic down Nets - Reuters
- Nets collapse again in costly loss to Magic - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Markelle Fultz has career night as Magic hand Nets 6th straight loss - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Bench leads rally, but Nets fall to Magic - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Anderson has old friend Harris as new Nets teammate - Greg Logan - Newsday
- MAGIC 101, NETS 89: BROOKLYN FADES AFTER RALLY IN ORLANDO - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- GALLERY: NETS VS. MAGIC - Brooklyn Nets
- NETS VS. MAGIC: SPENCER DINWIDDIE AND KENNY ATKINSON TOP QUOTES - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- Markelle Fultz powers Magic to win over Nets - Chris Hays - Orlando Sentinel