The Brooklyn Nets were held to less than 90 points for just the 3rd time this season in a sluggish 102-89 loss Saturday to the Orlando Magic.
There would be no comeback magic from the Brooklyn Nets in their second visit to Amway Center this season, as the Orlando Magic pulled away from the sloppy, sluggish Nets in the second half Saturday night for a 102-89 victory.
The win allowed the Magic (22-31) to avoid a season sweep at the hands of the Nets (28-26), who had come back from a 21-point deficit to win at Orlando on Jan. 18.
It is the first time Brooklyn has lost consecutive games in more than a month, since dropping back-to-back road games at Charlotte and Milwaukee on Dec. 28 and 29.
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The Nets have also lost three consecutive road games for the first time this season and are now 12-15 away from home this season.
It was Orlando’s second straight victory, their first consecutive wins since Jan. 12-13.
Brooklyn did have one rally in them, but could not recover from falling behind in the second half. Orlando took a 13-point lead with a 17-4 run in the first quarter before the Nets came back to take a 48-44 lead at halftime.
But the third quarter magic that has been a near constant for the Nets over the last eight weeks wasn’t there Saturday night as the Magic took control of the game with a 17-3 run in the third period, taking the lead for good at 59-58 with 6:45 remaining in the quarter.
Brooklyn wasn’t able to get closer than five points in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to 80-75 on a pair of free throws by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson with 10:30 to go in the game, but Orlandoi pulled away, pushing the lead into double figures at 89-79 on Nikola Vucevic‘s layup with 5:06 left.
The 89 points was the fewest by the Nets since scoring a season-low 87 in that Dec. 28 loss to the Hornets and it was just the third time all season Brooklyn has been held to less than 90 points.
The offensive execution by the Nets was sporadic at best. Their 36.3 percent shooting (33-for-91) was their second-worst performance of the season and Brooklyn was just 10-for-38 (26.3 percent) from 3-point range.
The Nets further hurt their cause with 19 turnovers that led to 22 points by the Magic. Brooklyn got just nine points off Orlando’s 14 giveaways. The Nets outrebounded the Magic 50-49, but were outscored in the paint 52-36.
Orlando hit 43.6 percent of its shots (41-for-94) and was 10-for-27 (37 percent) from deep.
D’Angelo Russell led the Nets with 23 points and six assists, but also committed five turnovers. Ed Davis posted his third double-double of the season off the bench with 11 points and 16 rebounds. Shabazz Napier scored 15 points for Brooklyn.
Vucevic shook off a slow start to finish with 24 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. He had 18 of his points in the second half. Jonathan Isaac added 10 poiints, 12 boards, three steals and three blocks for Orlando and D.J. Augustin finished with 12 points and eight assists.
The Nets return home for their next three games, beginning Monday when they host the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks (38-13), who beat the Washington Wizards on the road Saturday 131-115. for a 7:30 p.m. Eastern tip at Barclays Center.
Here are three takeaways from the Nets’ loss at Orlando.