The Brooklyn Nets had their 7-game winning streak snapped Friday night, falling into an early hole to the Indiana Pacers in a 114-106 loss.
A few minutes after the Brooklyn Nets lost to the Indiana Pacers Friday night, their ninth straight loss to the Pacers and one that broke the Nets’ seven-game winning streak, I was reminded of the old movie Major League.
In that film, the protagonists, the Cleveland Indians, were always coming up short against the New York Yankees.
After yet another loss to the Yankees, the fictional manager Lou Brown (played by the late James Gammon) intoned:
"“Someday we’ll figure out how to beat those guys.”"
For the Nets, that day was not Friday. In a game coach Kenny Atkinson referred to beforehand as a measuring stick for Brooklyn’s progress. Afterward, he told the media (via Brian Lewis of the New York Post):
"“Not there yet.”"
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Indiana (21-12) threatened to run away with the game early, taking a 35-20 lead late in the first quarter before the Nets (15-19) rallied to get back to within 10 at the quarter break.
They played a very strong third quarter — helped by insanely hot shooting from 3-point range, where they were 7-for-8 — to get back into the game.
The lead changed hands seven times and the fourth quarter had two lead changes and four ties, but the mistakes by Brooklyn eventually became too much to overcome.
The Nets had 20 turnovers against the Pacers — again (they also had 20 giveaways in their 20-point loss in Indianapolis on Oct. 20) — with none as critical as a moving screen by Jared Dudley with 1:35 remaining that wiped out a go-ahead 3-pointer from Joe Harris.
Indiana closed the game on a 14-3 run after Rodions Kurucs gave Brooklyn a 103-100 lead with his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 3:08 remaining.
With the winning streak over, the Nets have to refocus on the suddenly red-hot Phoenix Suns, who have won four straight games after a 4-24 start heading into their game Saturday night at the Washington Wizards.
The Suns have put that streak together on the heels of 10 consecutive losses and 13 defeats in 14 games.
Sounds familiar — the Nets won seven straight immediately after losing eight in a row.
Here are the player grades from a gutty, if mistake-laden, loss to the Pacers.