Brooklyn Nets: Player grades from disastrous finish(es) against Grizzlies

Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets D’Angelo Russell. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets Friday night lost their 5th straight game — their 3rd straight when leading in the 4th quarter — in particularly agonizing fashion.

Mirror, mirror on the wall; which Brooklyn Nets‘ loss is the gut-punchiest of them all?

Friday night’s double-overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies would have to be a contender.

For the third straight game, the Nets coughed up a fourth quarter lead before losing. But on Friday, Brooklyn took it to a whole new level.

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The Nets (8-15) led 111-104 with 33 seconds remaining after Spencer Dinwiddie‘s floater off the glass. A three-possession lead with 33 seconds to go ought to really be safe.

That was until Rondae Hollis-Jefferson cried, “Hold my beer!”

Hollis-Jefferson’s close-out on Memphis rookie Jaren Jackson Jr.’s 3-point attempt with 26.8 seconds to go was linebacker-worthy and had a similar result. Hollis-Jefferson — completely out of control — smacked into Jackson before tumbling into the Nets’ bench.

Jackson, of course, swished the shot and then made the and-one free throw to make it a one-possession game.

A simple hand up near Jackson would have been more than sufficient, because the absolute worst possible outcome was fouling a 3-point shooter. Rondae missed the memo and showed no situational awareness whatsoever.

Then came a veritable America’s Most Tragicomic Home Videos reel on a couple of inbounds plays that resulted, eventually, in a turnover that Jackson made the Nets pay for with a deep 3 to tie the game with 15.9 seconds left.

Brooklyn, of course, wasn’t done. The Nets built a four-point lead in overtime before surrendering it by going 0-for-5 in the final 2:34 and again failing to complete the relatively simple act of getting the basketball inbounds.

D’Angelo Russell gave the Nets their last lead with 2:49 to go in the second overtime, but Mike Conley erased that with a long 2 17 seconds later.

Then Russell went heat check for a couple of possessions and Memphis wound up with the 131-125 win, complete with pretty holiday gift-wrapping and a nice bow.

Let’s get this one out of the way, as well: In no way did the officiating cause the Nets to lose Friday night. But the officiating didn’t do Brooklyn any damn favors, either, considering the Last 2 Minute Report for this game could rival Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace for sheer length.

  • There was the missed foul — potentially a flagrant — by Marc Gasol against Jarrett Allen under the basket with 17.2 seconds to go in overtime.
  • There was the missed travel by Gasol, having successfully executed Allen with a blow to the neck, who changed his pivot point from his front side to his back side before calling a timeout.
  • There was the incorrect ruling on Dinwiddie’s foul of Conley early in the second overtime, which happened before Conley started his shooting motion but was ruled a shooting foul with three free throws awarded anyway.

That’s what popped immediately to mind, at least, but it makes the point: yeah, some gaffes by the referees to be sure.

The unmistakable bottom line is this: For the third straight game, the Brooklyn Nets put themselves in position to win late in the game. For the third straight game, they failed to close the deal.

As for the grading, Brooklyn had the maximum of five players inactive. Two were due to injury in Joe Harris (left adductor tightness) and Caris LeVert (subtalar dislocation of right foot).

Two were players on two-way contracts currently with the Long Island Nets in the NBA G League (Theo Pinson and Alan Williams). The fifth was rookie Dzanan Musa, on G League assignment.

Treveon Graham was on the active list, but did not dress as he missed his 21st consecutive game with a right hamstring strain.

Rodions Kurucs had been recalled from Long Island for this game, but took his ninth DNP-CD in 16 active games. Kenneth Faried‘s DNP-CD was his 15th in 22 games active.

Here are the player grades from another fourth-quarter fold.