The roles were reversed, but the results remained the same.
The Nets trailed by as many as 18 and came storming back behind the lead of Caris LeVert. On Thursday, the Nets blew a 20-point lead against the Philadelphia 76ers. On Monday, they blew a 19-point lead against the Orlando Magic.
All three ended in losses in the final minutes; the latest being a 110-106 loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. The Nets fell to 26-31 on the season and stand five games ahead of the Wizards for a playoff spot.
They had a chance to win the game. Spencer Dinwiddie had 11 points in the fourth quarter — two points off his hands at the rim with 24 seconds left to put the Nets up by one. Jerome Robinson answered with a 3-pointer to put Washington up two with 9.5 seconds left.
Dinwiddie had the hot hand in the fourth, but LeVert had the hot hand all night with 34 points, six rebounds, seven assists and four steals. He took two shots in the fourth quarter.
With the Nets down two, Kenny Atkinson called an isolation for Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie thrived in the fourth by driving downhill, but instead he went right, faded out and missed a fade-away step-back 3-pointer. Robinson sealed the game at the line.
The Nets took 35 free throws and missed 11 of them. They turned the ball over 18 times and shot 41.4 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from three. They fought back and put themselves in a position to win, but they were fighting an uphill battle the entire way. It came down to the final shot and they failed... again. They’re now 15-18 in clutch situations.
Dinwiddie missed 1-of-2 at the line, enabling the Wizards to take a two-point lead at the line with 29 seconds left.
“We had our opportunities” Atkinson said after the game, noticeably disappointed.
It was a tale of two halves, just the opposite of what we’re used to. The Nets committed 11 turnovers, missed eight free throws, shot 39 percent all while the bench was just 3-of-15 from the field. The only positive was LeVert, who had 19 points in 17 minutes.
Then, they came out hot in the third quarter. They went on a 9-0 run (21-9 extended) and brought the 18-point deficit down to one. It was a gritty and heads up play from Joe Harris who grabbed his own offensive board and hit a trailing DeAndre Jordan for a mean slam.
LeVert then tied it with a three on his 32nd point of the night, and Garrett Temple gave them a 3-point lead. They out-scored Washington 37-21 in the quarter — their biggest advantage in a third quarter since opening night.
It was back and forth all throughout the fourth, but perhaps Atkinson and the coaching staff should have gotten LeVert more involved considering the night he was having. He played the first couple of minutes, then subbed out up until the 5:10 mark of the fourth.
He only scored two points and attempted two shots, which is simply unacceptable and uncharacteristic if you want to talk about sticking with the hot hand. Dinwiddie scored 11 straight in the fourth, but LeVert was the guy throughout the night.
Bradley Beal finished with 30 points on the night, leading the Wizards to their biggest win of the season. For Brooklyn, DeAndre Jordan was phenomenal yet again with 16 points and 16 rebounds in 30 minutes. Jarrett Allen fouled out with 2:38 left in the fourth, five points and eight rebounds to his name.
Free throw shooting has been an issue all season. While it’s fair to question some of Atkinson’s decisions, he isn’t the one out there missing 11 free shots or turning the ball over 18 times.
Call it a collective loss, call it whatever you want: it’s a bad loss no matter how you put it.
LATE GAME NUMBERS
The Nets managed to blow a 20-point lead against Philadelphia and a 19-point lead against Orlando all in the span of a week. We took a look at their late-game numbers:
TWO YEARS AGO TODAY
Two years ago today Jarrett Allen caught his first body pic.twitter.com/Cm8UEq58Qq— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) February 26, 2020
Jarrett Allen approved.
Oh damn...— Jarrett Allen (@_bigjayy_) February 26, 2020
... And D’Angelo Russell want some credit!
You welcome— D'Angelo Russell (@Dloading) February 26, 2020
SPONGEBOB X NETS TWITTER (VIA: SQUILLS)
A day in the life on Nets Twitter pic.twitter.com/yn2sOyfcw2— Nets As Depicted By Spongebob (@NetsDepiction) February 26, 2020
For a different perspective, head on over to Bullets Forever, our Wizards sister site on SB Nation.
NEXT UP: NETS AT HAWKS ON FRIDAY, 7:30 PM ET
- Box Score: Washington Wizards 110, Brooklyn Nets 106 - NBA.com
- Recap: Washington Wizards 110, Brooklyn Nets 106 (Video) - NBA.com
- Kustok on Nets loss to Wizards (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson on Nets’ tough loss (Video) - YES Network
- LeVert on frustrating loss to the Wizards (Video) - YES Network
- Prince on lack of focus in loss (VIdeo) - YES Network
- Wear Brooklyn At? (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson on bouncing back (Video) - YES Network
- Robinson’s late 3-pointer lifts Wizards past Nets 110-106 - Harvey Valentine - AP
- Bradley’s 30 helps Wizards past Nets - Reuters
- Nets’ furious rally against Wizards ends in heartbreak - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Why Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving aren’t traveling with Nets - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets listening to veterans on how to turn into contenders - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- The Nets’ playoff scenarios are looking grim, but they do have one glimmer of hope - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Nets rally from first-half deficit, but lose to Wizards - Greg Logan - Newsday
- WIZARDS 110, NETS 106: BROOKLYN RALLY FALLS SHORT IN WASHINGTON - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- NETS VS. WIZARDS: GARRETT TEMPLE, DEANDRE JORDAN, AND KENNY ATKINSON TOP QUOTES - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- GALLERY: NETS VS. WIZARDS - Brooklyn Nets
- Wizards survive Nets thanks to clutch plays by Bradley Beal, Jerome Robinson - Ava Wallace - Washington Post