Brooklyn Nets

Nets extend losing streak to 5 games, but break streak after win over Thunder

The Brooklyn Nets have not been starting their new year on a good note, winning only one game this week and struggling to find a rhythm, especially on offense. Their shooting slump extended their losing streak to as much as five games, and knocked them down lower on the standings. The Nets do get some rest until they face off against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday (1/11) where hopefully they can turn things around. They are now currently 16-21 and hold a 10th place spot in the Eastern Conference standings. 

The Nets had their worst shooting slump of the season so far in a 112-85 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. They shot their worst percentage of the season at 35.7% while also losing their fourth game in a row, compiling onto the misery that the Nets have had so far. The team struggled to get any points up, with Cam Thomas shooting 0 of 11 for the night. Thomas, who leads the team in average points per game at 22.4, could not make a single shot for the night and had a very tough outing.

Teammate Cam Johnson commented on Thomas’ performance, stating that the blame should not be put on him but on the team itself. The Nets did not give good chances for Thomas to score, oftentimes giving him the ball with only a few seconds left on the shot clock to put something up. This led to the Nets having a struggling performance for the night, along with coach Jacque Vaughn expressing that the Nets lack any sort of hustle.

The Nets had a very tough shooting night with Thomas, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Royce O’Neale having a combined field goal made and attempts of 0 out of 23 shots. The same could not be said for the Pelicans who shot 41% from 3 for the night and 46.6% in total field goals. 

For the Nets, Johnson had 17 points and four rebounds, while Mikal Bridges had 13 points. Off the bench, Day’Ron Sharpe had a near double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. 

For the Pelicans, CJ McCollum led with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Herbert Jones had 14 points, four rebounds and two steals. Brandon Ingram had 12 points, five rebounds and five assists, as he filled up the stat sheet. Jonas Valanciunas had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Zion Williamson had 10 points and five assists. Off the bench, Jose Alvarado had 13 points and Jordan Hawkins had 11 points and two blocks. 

The Nets added onto their losing streak with their fifth loss in a row coming from the Houston Rockets in a 112-101 loss. Similar to their previous losses, the Nets suffered the same fate as they struggled to keep up with the opposing team in the second half of the game. Holding onto a five point lead in the third quarter, it quickly slipped away as the Rockets took over and garnered a 24-6 scoring run to take back the lead in dominant fashion.

The Nets had no answers for Rockets’ center Alperen Sengun, who had 30 points on the night. This loss to the Rockets made it their fifth loss in a row and as well as dropping their record down to 15-20. At this point, the loss to the Rockets made it their 10th loss out of their last 12 games. The Nets clearly have a shooting problem along with problems holding onto leads and allowing large blowout losses. 

For the Nets, Bridges had 15 points and four rebounds, while Johnson had 15 points, six rebounds and five assists. Nicolas Claxton had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds, along with two blocks, while Dinwiddie had 11 points, five assists and two steals. Off the bench, O’Neale led the way with 13 points, four rebounds and two steals, while TJ Watford had 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Sharpe had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. 

For the Rockets, Sengun paced the team with 30 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. Fred VanVleet had a double-double with 21 points and 10 assists, along with 2 blocks, while Jalen Green had 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Off the bench, Cam Whitmore had 11 points, while Amen Thompson had 10 points and six rebounds. 

The Nets finally snapped their five game losing streak in a 124-115 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Nets started off hot, outscoring the Thunder in the first half with a 75-47 lead, extending their lead even further in the third quarter by leading by as much as 32 points. The Nets managed to click on offense, as Thomas broke a shooting slump of going 0 of 20 from the field in the past few games with 19 points for the night, with Dinwiddie and Claxton also scoring 20 plus points for the night as well.

Despite a 34-point outing by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, it was not enough to take care of the Nets as they were able to conclude their losing streak with a big win over the Thunder. 

For the Nets, Claxton had a double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Dinwiddie had 23 points and four assists, while Bridges had 17 points and eight rebounds. Off the bench, Thomas had 19 points, while Dennis Smith Jr. had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, along with seven assists and two steals. 

For the Thunder, Gilgeous-Alexander filled up the box score with 34 points, nine rebounds and six assists, while Jalen Williams had 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Chet Holmgren had 17 points and six rebounds, while Josh Giddey had 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Luguentz Dort had 12 points, four rebounds and three steals. Off the bench, Cason Wallace led with eight points. 

The Nets took a 134-127 loss in an overtime battle against the Portland Trail Blazers. Both teams had scoring machines who willed their way on the offense, but it was the Trail Blazers who came out victorious. A 42-point performance by Bridges was not enough to put away the Trail Blazers as they were able to slowly pick at a Nets’ fourth quarter lead which brought them to overtime.

The Nets had lost energy at that point as the Trail Blazers continued to attack and put up an 11-2 run in overtime, led by Anfernee Simons who had six points during the overtime period. He totaled 38 for the night which helped garner the win for the Trail Blazers but added another loss on the standings for the Nets, who have already been struggling throughout this new year. 

For the Nets, Bridges had 42 points and four rebounds, while Johnson had 17 points and six rebounds. Claxton had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, along with two steals and four blocks. Off the bench, Sharpe had 11 points and six rebounds, and Dennis Smith Jr had a double-double in back-to-back games with 10 points and 10 assists, adding on two steals as well. 

For the Trail Blazers, Simons had a double-double with 38 points and 11 assists, along with four rebounds, while Jerami Grant had 27 points. Duop Reath also had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds, including three blocks, while Scoot Henderson had 10 points and four rebounds. Off the bench, Shaedon Sharpe had 21 points, while Malcolm Brogdon had 18. 

The Nets could not get things right so far, starting off the New Year extending their losing streak to five and only winning one game in the new year. The Nets heavily need Ben Simmons back to have some sort of chance to get in the play-in. Outside of players needed for the Nets, they seem to be lacking hustle and will to play, as noted by coach Jacque Vaughn.

The Nets struggle to get their guys into positions to score and always give up large scoring runs in the second half.  The Nets need to find a way to carry their first-half energy into the second half which will win them more games, giving more minutes to their rookies for playing experience, and get surprise wins over opponents that outmatch them on paper.


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