Brooklyn Nets

Nets extend losing streak in Paris game and home game

The Nets took their talents to Paris where they took a tough loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and returned home where they took another loss to the Miami Heat. They exposed their two main problems throughout these two games that has been permeating throughout the season. A struggle to keep momentum after the first half, and stopping opposing team’s star players on the defensive end. Because of this, the Nets now have a record of 16-23 and are now 10th in the Eastern Conference standings. 

The Nets took a 111-102 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers during a trip to Paris as Donovan Mitchell led the Cavaliers. His 45-point performance gave them a hard time for the entire night. The Cavaliers took a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. The Nets and Cavaliers headed to Paris last Thursday for the third NBA game played in Paris. The Nets could not put on a show for the crowd as they trailed for the entire game, unable to take a lead.

However, the Nets did cut their 26-point deficit down to single digits but failed to capitalize on the opportunity to take the lead. Mitchell scored 21 points in the fourth quarter alone, dissecting the Nets defense and taking over the game for the win. Despite a valiant effort by Mikal Bridges and Cam Thomas, as well as Lonnie Walker IV off the bench with 20-point scoring performances, it was not enough as the Cavaliers took the overseas win and were given their fourth straight win. 

For the Nets, Bridges had 26 points and six assists, while Nicolas Claxton had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Off the bench, Thomas had 26 points and six rebounds, and Walker IV had 20 points. 

For the Cavaliers, Mitchell had a double-double with 45 points and 12 rebounds, along with  six assists and four steals. Jarrett Allen also had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, along with four assists, two steals and four blocks. Isaac Okoro had 12 points and four rebounds. Off the bench, Caris LeVert had 21 points, while Georges Niang had 10 points and four rebounds. 

The Nets lose in a 96-95 overtime thriller to the Miami Heat on Monday after playing in Paris last Thursday. After being out with a sprained toe, Jimmy Butler returned to help beat the Nets with 31 points under his belt. They struggled once again to maintain first half momentum, as they allowed Butler and Tyler Herro to heat up in the second half and offensively carry the Heat.

The Heat were able to get their shots down and slowly chip at the Nets’ lead, in which the Nets had struggled to keep throughout the second half. They had little to answer as they gave up their lead in the second half, and Bridges narrowly sent the Nets to overtime with a pair of free-throws. The Nets could not muster the energy in overtime, as a 8-2 run by the Heat was all it took to take the victory. 

For the Nets, Bridges filled up the stat sheet with 29 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks. Claxton had nine points and 13 rebounds. Off the bench, Thomas led with 23 points, while Royce O’Neale had 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists. 

For the Heat, Butler led with 31 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Herro had a double-double with 29 points and 11 rebounds. Bam Adebayo also had a double-double with 11 points and 20 rebounds, along with four assists. Off the bench, Josh Richardson had nine points and five rebounds, while Caleb Martin also had nine points. 

The Nets again suffer through the same problem every week. While their momentum in the first half is great, playing great ball and leading at halftime, the momentum always slips away in the second half, allowing the opposing team to consistently go on runs and to slowly chop down their lead. Their other remaining issue is the struggle to stop star players such as Mitchell from having great scoring nights. The Nets are a great first half team, but a horrible second half team. They have a hard time maintaining their team energy for the entire 48 minutes and only time will tell if or when the Nets can get their act together.