The Brooklyn Nets put up their worst shooting game of the season Monday night and the Milwaukee Bucks methodically pulled away for a 113-94 victory.
We haven’t seen an offensive performance as bad as the Brooklyn Nets had on Monday since, well, Super Bowl Sunday.
With starting shooting guard Joe Harris joining the ranks of the walking wounded with a sore right hip, the Nets put up their worst shooting night of the season and the Milwaukee Bucks took advantage, pulling away in the third quarter then they started to hit a few shots to take a 113-94 victory at Barclays Center.
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The Nets (28-27) lost their third straight game — their longest skid since losing eight in a row in late November and early December — and had their nine-game winning streak at Barclays Center snapped.
Milwaukee (39-13) maintained the best record in the NBA with its fourth consecutive win — all on the road and all by double-digits. The Bucks have now won 10 of their last 11.
Brooklyn never got into anything even resembling an offensive flow and shot a season-worst 32.4 percent (33-for-102) on the night. Their previous low point had been their 34.9 percent shooting in a Nov. 28 loss at home to the Utah Jazz.
And from 3-point range? It was painfully bad. The Nets’ 5-for-42 performance (11.9 percent) wasn’t just their worst mark of the season, it was the franchise’s fourth-lowest mark in a game with at least 20 3-point attempts since 1983-84, per Basketball Reference.
It was their worst 3-point shooting mark since Brooklyn was 3-for-33 in a road loss to the Chicago Bulls on April 12, 2017, and was the worst mark the Nets have had at Barclays Center, a mark that had been set on Jan. 5, 2015, against the Dallas Mavericks when the Nets were 3-for-25 from deep in an overtime loss.
Shabazz Napier made the worst kind of history Monday night, setting a new franchise record for 3-point futility by going 0-for-10. He is the 19th player in NBA history to miss at least 10 shots in a game without making a 3.
Napier was two attempts shy of the NBA record of 12 misses in a single game without a made 3, set on Nov. 23 by — coincidentally enough — Brook Lopez of the Bucks against the Phoenix Suns. Three players have gone 0-for-11 from 3-point range in a single game.
The Nets hung around in the first half on the strength of their defense and free throw shooting. Milwaukee led 51-42 at the half despite shooting just 35.4 percent (17-for-48) and making 5-of-22 (22.7 percent) from long range.
The problem was that Brooklyn hit just 24.4 percent of its shots in the opening half (11-for-45) and were 1-for-18 (5.6 percent) from 3-point range. Their 19-for-22 foul shooting in the first two quarters was about the only good thing the Nets had going offensively.
But the Bucks figured things out offensively in the third quarter, hitting 59.3 percent (16-for-27) in the period to blow the game open, leading by as much as 25 points while cruising to the blowout win.
Brooklyn’s shooting improved — slightly — after the break to 38.6 percent (22-for-57) overall and 4-for-24 from 3 (16.7 percent).
It really was as ugly as it reads.
Napier managed to score 15 points despite going 4-for-15 overall, making all seven of his free throw attempts, and Theo Pinson added 10 points on 2-of-9 shooting.
Milwaukee wound up at 42.6 percent (43-for-101) and made 10-of-39 (25.6 percent) from 3-point land. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 30 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists and three blocks, while Eric Bledsoe went for 15 points and a season-high five steals.
It doesn’t get any easier for Brooklyn on Wednesday, when they host the Denver Nuggets (37-16), who lost their share of the Western Conference lead Monday night when they were walloped on the road by the Detroit Pistons, 129-103. Tip off from Barclays Center will be at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
Here are three takeaways from a night when the offense was simply offensive.