‘Tis the season to be thankful – thankful that tonight’s game is no more.
One night after beating the Heat in Miami, the Nets fell in a close one to the Mavericks, in Dallas, 119-113.
That’s 32 straight losses in back-to-back road games for the Nets. Not good.
“We gave ourselves an opportunity, but this will make us a more resilient team,” said the ever-optimistic Kenny Atkinson.
The Brooklyn Nets took their talents to Dallas on Wednesday night to take on Luka Doncic and the somewhat-OK-not-so-bad Dallas Mavericks.
The night didn’t start off well at all for Brooklyn fans. Why?
Programming alert: @NetsDaily insisted I take tonight’s game off, but I said no. He said I’d be dropped to the G League if I opposed. Sad!
(The vet @TomLorenzo has you covered tonight)
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) November 21, 2018
Sorry about that – I’m bad luck.
D’Angelo Russell got off to a slow start – hitting just 1-of-5 baskets in the first, with two turnovers in the first. The Nets had to rely on the bench to keep them in it – with Ed Davis doing his thing, scoring 11 first quarter points on 5-of-5 shooting, while Shabazz Napier provided a spark off the bench and some much-needed three-point shooting.
The Mavs got off running, with their duo if star wings – Harrison Barnes and Doncic combined to score 21 points in the first, with Barnes going 3-of-3 from three, giving the Mavs a 34-32 lead after one.
Brooklyn didn’t force a single turnover in the first.
Russell 0-for-5 from three in the first half, with the Nets shooting 6-of-20 overall from three in the first. Meanwhile, the Mavs shot 52 percent from the floor (50 percent from three, 7-of-14) with Barnes going off for 18 points in 15 minutes.
Dallas carried a 61-50 lead into the half.
The Nets’s bench outscored the starters 26-24 in the first half, with Allen Crabbe, 13 points, the only starter making a dent.
Thankful for that Nets bench for keeping them in this one.
Russell found his way into getting a few buckets to start the third, but nothing much was doing for the Nets. Crabbe hit a three, Ed Davis was effective, Spencer Dinwiddie was aggressive in finding his way to the line – but, still, the Nets could not pull ahead of the Mavs. Turnovers, missed threes (some bad shots), and it felt like no matter what the Nets did they couldn’t grab the lead.
After three, Dallas led 85-81.
Crabbe did what he could to keep the Nets in this one. He was on fire from downtown, hitting
Russell was bad, though. All night. And the Nets needed him. Jarrett Allen was…somewhere, but not here. The Nets shooting was, you know, not good. This one felt winnable, just not able.
In the end, after shooting 44 percent from the floor and turning the ball over 14 times, the Nets fell to the Mavericks 119-113 in what felt like it could have been a serious winnable game.
Barnes scored a game-high 28 points, while the ghost of Devin Harris scored 18 points in 18 minutes off the bench. Doncic went for 21 points, with DeAndre Jordan doubling up, going for 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Next up for the Nets, Friday afternoon at home against the Timberwolves.
A big part of the Mavericks offense was former Nets Devin Harris, who despite being 35 years old, had a big game vs. Brooklyn, finishing with 18 points on only seven shots in 18 minutes. Harris hit several big shots in the fourth working with J.J. Barea. Harris averaged 17.7 points and 6.9 assists over four seasons with the Nets until he was sent to Utah in the Deron Williams trade.
MORE COACHING SUPPORT
Kenny Atkinson has said he’s tired of having rival coaches praising him, his staff and his players. He’d rather have them congratulate him on a win. But it won’t stop. Already Steve Kerr of the Warriors and Doc Rivers of the Clippers have had kind things to say. Add Rick Carlisle of the Mavs.
This is a brutally tough game. We have not matched up well with these guys. They beat us last year a few times,” Carlisle said before the game, “Typical of how they play. They keep attacking. They’re relentless, they don’t get discouraged if they’re behind; they hang in there. [Caris] LeVert is out: That’s a big loss. But Russell has stepped up his game in a major way this year, and Spencer Dinwiddie will be a Sixth Man of the Year candidate.”
In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving from the NetsDaily family. Let’s put this one behind us and be thankful that we get to do this again on Friday – without me!
For more on the Mavericks, see: Mavs Moneyball