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Jacque Vaughn was Orlando's head coach for three seasons. (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)
Jacque Vaughn was Orlando's head coach for three seasons. (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)

The Nets will hire Jacque Vaughn to be the team's lead assistant coach, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Vaughn was Orlando's head coach from 2012-15, going 58-158 in three seasons. He spent this season as a pro personnel director for San Antonio, working briefly with new Nets general manager Sean Marks.

The Nets hired Atlanta assistant Kenny Atkinson as head coach earlier in April.


Brett Yormark CEO of Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment talks at a press conference announcing the Long Island Nets D League team before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)
Brett Yormark CEO of Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment talks at a press conference announcing the Long Island Nets D League team before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Brett Yormark is excited about jersey ads coming in the NBA.

The Barclays Center CEO told the Sports Business Journal that he believes jerseys ads - which will be incorporated for the 2017-18 season - could bring the Nets in revenues of $4-to-$6 million per year.

"We're looking at it as something that will allow us to target companies which otherwise wouldn't buy us," Yormark told SBJ. "The uniform patch gives us a position that is local, national, and global - all in one."

Teams will reportedly keep half of the revenue generated by jerseys ads, with the other half being shared between the other NBA franchises.

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

So? Why do I care how much money the team is going to get by selling out the visual integrity of their jersey? Like I have said before, if someone wants to send me a check, then I'll get on board. But I don't want to hear about how this creates an interesting opportunity for anything but making rich people richer.

The reason why the NBA is hammering home how small the ads are, which SBJ reminds us is smaller than a Post-it, is because they know it's awful and most fans hate it. But they don't care. The only reason this didn't happen sooner is because the owners were too greedy. Don't be fooled into thinking this helps anyone but the owners of NBA franchises. It doesn't, all so you can be inundated with just one more advertisement. Isn't America great?


Point guard Jeremy Lin could be on the Nets radar this summer.  (Steve Mitchell)
Point guard Jeremy Lin could be on the Nets radar this summer. (Steve Mitchell)

The Nets' new head coach was the assistant that helped unleash "Linsanity" on New York back in 2012, and with the Nets in need of a point guard, a reunion may be in the cards. 

"I think you could see Jeremy Lin, who's going to be a free agent, I could see him looking at Brooklyn as a destination for him because a) he's coming back to New York where he can become a megastar again, but b) because that's the coach," Knicks analyst Alan Hahn said on ESPN Radio. Kenny Atkinson is the reason Linsanity was Linsanity. Jeremy will tell you that." 

NetsDaily cites sources that say Brooklyn offered Lin a multi-year deal last offseason, but the two sides were about $1.5 million apart on a starting salary.

Lin has a $2.2 million player option for 2016-17, which he is likely to decline. 

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

It would certainly be an interesting pairing. Lin had a great year this season, as he averaged 11.7 points, three assists, and a career-low 1.9 turnovers per game for Charlotte. Would he be a gigantic improvement over what the Nets used after Jarrett Jack's injury? Absolutely. Enough to anchor Brooklyn's offense? It's hard to say. 

The key for the Nets in the Brooklyn era has always been their point guard play. They have plenty of talent up front, between Brook Lopez and Thad Young. They absolutely need someone to be able to distribute and knock down shots from the outside when they're called upon. It's why Deron Williams seemed like the perfect fit, and was when he was healthy and motivated. But it will also be a question of just how lofty the Nets' expectations are for their $40 million in cap room, and how fast they want to spend it. With tons of teams in position to spend this summer, values will be inflated. So if the Nets feel a guy like Jeff Teague, who also loves Atkinson, is attainable, maybe they go that way. But if they want to bolster multiple positions, they could opt for Lin and another player.

Tags: Brook Lopez , Jarrett Jack , Thaddeus Young , Brian Erni

World Team head coach Kenny Atkinson of the Atlanta Hawks (left) instructs World Team guard Dennis Schroder of the Atlanta Hawks (17) during the second half against the U.S. Team at Barclays Center. (Bob Donnan)
World Team head coach Kenny Atkinson of the Atlanta Hawks (left) instructs World Team guard Dennis Schroder of the Atlanta Hawks (17) during the second half against the U.S. Team at Barclays Center. (Bob Donnan)

The Nets' new head coach will be missed in Atlanta.

ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk says that the Hawks, where Atkinson had been an assistant since 2012, all care deeply for Atkinson, and give him credit in their success as a club.

"It's easy to see just how much the Hawks players love Kenny Atkinson," Youngmisuk wrote. "All are beyond thrilled for him taking Nets job and each player who talked about Atkinson had their own personal story about what makes him so special to them and the Hawks."

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

It's great to hear, because I'd venture to say that the last few Nets coaches have not been particularly adored by their players. In fact, I'd argue that the Nets got a jolt once Tony Brown took over because they actually enjoyed playing for him. So in Atkinson, Brooklyn may finally have a head coach that can overachieve with the talent he's given. Wouldn't that be a nice change of pace?

The more I'm hearing about this hire from third parties, the more I like it. I've always championed getting the next big coach, as opposed to overpaying for the star that's out there. Though, I admit, I flip flopped on that when John Calipari's name was first floated, but I think that had more to do with wanting to write about a team that would be immediately made relevant again. I applaud the Nets' resistance to give into that urge (again), instead opting for pragmatism as opposed to making a big splash. I hope it pays off big with Atkinson.


Kenny Atkinson will be hired as the new coach of the Nets. (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Kenny Atkinson will be hired as the new coach of the Nets. (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

The Nets will hire Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson as their new coach. The story was first reported by reporter Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

The Nets bypassed the type of big names they've targeted for the bench in Brooklyn and turning to someone experienced with developing winning programs gradually.

"Aside from his tremendous skills and experience, he has the mindset we need to build a winning team day by day, step by step," owner Mikhail Prokhorov said in a statement. "Together, we can do great things."

Atkinson will remain with the Hawks until their season ends. The Nets said a press conference will be held at a date to be determined.

Resisting a lengthy coaching search and the allure of coaches such as Tom Thibodeau and Jeff Van Gundy, new general manager Sean Marks chose Atkinson for his first big move since taking over the Nets in February.

Atkinson, 48, is from Northport, N.Y. He served as an assistant with the Knicks from 2008 to 2012, when he joined the staff of Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer.

Before joining the Knicks, he was Houston's director of player development from 2007-08. He had a long career as a player in the minor leagues and overseas after graduating from Richmond in 1990.

Atkinson will be the Nets sixth coach since they moved to Brooklyn in 2012. >> Read more...

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

As a Long Island guy, I'll admit I'm a sucker for a local guy. So I'm excited to see Atkinson get a shot at the helm of the Nets. It make sense. Atkinson and GM Sean Marks both have the same agent, and they're both Gregg Popovich disciples. I like that it's not a splashy move, because it feels well thought out and calculated. Obviously, we'll see how it holds up over time.
 
There's a lot of work to be done, but Atkinson is in a nice position because Marks is committed to a full rebuild. Where other coaches here have been hampered by big (and somewhat unrealistic) expectations, Atkinson should have plenty of time to implement a system, set a course of attack and, most importantly, pick his own staff. That's more than essentially every coach in the Brooklyn era can say.


Brooklyn Nets new general manager Sean Marks (left) in a suite with team owner Mikhail Prokhorov during the first quarter against the New York Knicks at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
Brooklyn Nets new general manager Sean Marks (left) in a suite with team owner Mikhail Prokhorov during the first quarter against the New York Knicks at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Russia's main domestic security agency has searched the offices of a company controlled by the billionaire owner of U.S. basketball team Brooklyn Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov.

The Federal Security Service, the main KGB successor agency, said Friday the searches of ONEXIM group were part of a probe into alleged tax evasion. It added that the investigation is continuing.

Some Russian media have speculated that the searches could have been aimed at pressuring Prokhorov into surrendering control over his media assets. They include RBC, an online newspaper that has published reports critical of the Kremlin, including a detailed account of the so-called Panama Papers detailing offshore assets allegedly owned by top Russian businessmen and officials.

The searches on Thursday went on just as President Vladimir Putin held his annual call-in TV show. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov strongly denied any link between the searches and Prokhorov's media assets.

The 50-year-old Prokhorov, who is worth $8.2 billion according to Forbes, founded a liberal party and challenged Putin in the 2012 presidential election, winning 8 percent of the vote. He hasn't commented on the latest searches.

Russian authorities have frequently used accusations of tax evasion to crack down on unruly tycoons. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man, spent 10 years in prison on charges of tax evasion and embezzlement which were widely seen as a political vendetta for challenging Putin's power.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.


 (Bob Donnan)
(Bob Donnan)

Ads are coming to NBA jerseys.

The league announced on Friday that, beginning in the 2017-18 season, 2.5-by-2.5 inch patches of a corporate sponsor will adorn the front of the jersey where the NBA patch used to reside. Nike, who will take over the NBA uniform contract, will also have their mark on the front of the jersey: the first manufacturer to do that for regular season, on-court play in the league's history.

This year's NBA All-Stars wore small Kia patches on their jerseys, giving fans a glimpse at what advertising on basketball jerseys would look like.

"It's manifest destiny," Silver told ESPN's Rachel Nichols last month. "So let's begin by saying this isn't going to affect the competition. What we're talking about is a patch on the jersey. And one of the reasons we want to do it is that it creates an additional investment in those companies in the league ... the amplification we get from those sponsors, those marketing partners of the league, who want to attach to our teams and our players."

ESPN's Darren Rovell reports Silver says the league is estimating that the jersey ad patch program will generate $100M a year.

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

I find Silver's position on this so detestable, yet laughable at the same time. The only reason the NBA is doing this is money, and the only reason they haven't done it sooner is because they couldn't agree on how the money it brings in should be divvied up. It's a gross exercise, and I really hope none of the Big Four sports follow suit. Let the NBA look minor league on its own. There are so many other avenues of revenue available to teams without diluting the look and feel of your league's jerseys that this just reads like a greedy, needless move. And I love that Silver is trying to sell it as some masterstroke of inevitability. All this does is put millions into owners pockets. Want to cut me in on the deal, Adam? I'll gladly reconsider my stance.

ESPN's Paul Lukas frames the argument very nicely here, so I'll just echo his sentiments. In the meantime, start imaging a Barclays patch on the Nets jersey, because it'll be here before you know it.

Tags: Brian Erni

The Brooklyn Nets have named Ronald Nored the head coach of the NBA Development League's Long Island Nets, the team said.

"We are excited to welcome Ronald as head coach of the Long Island Nets," Brooklyn Nets General Manager Sean Marks said in a release. "Ronald is a bright young mind in our game whose experience under Brad Stevens as both a player and a coach, as well as his ability to connect with today's players, have prepared him for this role. His commitment to player development, along with his enthusiasm and passion for the game, are aligned with the vision we have for both the Brooklyn and Long Island Nets."

 

From the Nets:

Nored spent two seasons (2013-15) with the Boston Celtics organization, splitting time in his first season as a player development coach for the Celtics, while also serving as an assistant coach for their D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. Prior to the 2014-15 season, the Celtics named Nored as player development director, where he took the lead organizational role for the players' off-court development, in addition to his on-court coaching duties. Nored spent the 2015-16 season as an assistant coach at Northern Kentucky University. 

A 2012 graduate of Butler University, Nored was a member of the Bulldogs' team that reached back-to-back National Championship games in 2010 and 2011. At the conclusion of his collegiate career, Nored, a two-time Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year, held the school record for games played, with 143, was tied for the all-time lead in steals, with 207, and ranked second on the program's all-time assists chart with 497.

 (Anthony Gruppuso)
(Anthony Gruppuso)

Rookie Norman Powell scored a career-high 30 points and the Toronto Raptors wrapped up the best regular season in franchise history by beating the Brooklyn Nets 103-96 on Wednesday night.

With the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference already secured, the Raptors didn't even bring All-Star guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, plus Jonas ValanciunasJames Johnson and DeMarre Carroll to the game.

They won anyway, improving to 56-26 after coming into the season as the only NBA team that had never previously even won 50.

They will open the postseason at home against the No. 7 seed Indiana Pacers this weekend. Toronto won three of four meetings this season. >> Read more


 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

The Nets wrap up the season against the Raptors on Wednesday in Brooklyn at 8 p.m.

According to STATS...

  • Toronto extended its franchise record for single-season wins with its 55th of the season last night, 122-98 over the 76ers. The Raptors are locked in as the No. 2 seed for the playoffs and will face Indiana in the first round.
  • Toronto's 122 points Tuesday tied a season high, having also scored 122 in a win over the Knicks on February 22. The Raptors shot 50.5 percent from the field Tuesday, and are 14-0 this season when shooting higher than 50 percent.
  • Brooklyn's current nine-game losing streak is its longest since an 11-game skid in January 2010. The Nets have closed the season on a double-digit losing streak just once previously, in 1999-2000 (11-game streak).
  • Brooklyn has allowed at least 105 points in all nine games of the losing streak, and in 10 straight overall. Over the last 10 games they are allowing 116.0 points per game and a combined .523 opponent field-goal percentage.
  • Sean Kilpatrick has scored at least 15 points in all six April games, coming off the bench in each one. His 17.7 points per game off the bench this month ranks second in the NBA to the Suns' Mirza Teletovic (22.3; minimum 5 G).
  • The Raptors are one of four NBA teams this season with two players averaging at least 20.0 points per game, in DeMar DeRozan (23.5) and Kyle Lowry (21.2; minimum 0.75 G/Team G). It is just the second time the Raptors have had such a duo, after Chris Bosh (22.5) and Mike James (20.3) each averaged 20.0-plus in 2005-06.

Brooklyn Nets head coach Tony Brown reacts during first half against Washington Wizards at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray)
Brooklyn Nets head coach Tony Brown reacts during first half against Washington Wizards at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray)

The Toronto Raptors will enter the postseason as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference after accomplishing what they set out to do: improve defensively and win a third straight Atlantic Division title.

The Brooklyn Nets' run of three playoff appearances since relocating will end following their worst season since playing in New Jersey.

With nothing left to play for, Toronto concludes the regular season Wednesday night against a Brooklyn team that will finish with one of the worst records in the NBA but won't have its first-round pick in June.

After earning the fourth seed in the East last season, the Raptors were swept by Washington in the first round and allowed the Wizards to average 110.3 points.

Toronto has shut down opponents this season, ranking among the league leaders with 98.2 points allowed per game in going 55-26 to establish a team record for wins for the third straight year.

However, that hasn't led to any postseason success after the Raptors also lost in the opening round to Brooklyn in 2014. Toronto has appeared in the playoffs seven times with its only series win coming in 2001. >> Read more...

Tags: Toronto Raptors

Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) dunks the ball against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell)
Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) dunks the ball against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell)

Bojan Bogdanovic is one of the Nets' most attractive assets, but he believes he'll be in Brooklyn when the 2016-17 season opens next October.

"I didn't talk with GM about their plans for me, but I don't believe I will end up in some trade," Bogdanovic told Croatian outlet Jutarnji List. "I would like to stay."

Bogdanovic says he was happy with the adjustments he made during the season, and said both Joe Johnson's buyout and the appointment of interim coach Tony Brown helped him emerge in the second half.

"Johnson's departure went in my way, as did the coaching change," Bogdanovic said. "I took Johnson's portion of shots, and coach Brown adjust some game sets to me. Coach Brown always supported me, and we have great relationship."

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Bojan definitely had a major coming out party in March, where he shot a season-best 49.7 percent from the field and averaged 16.9 points over 28.5 minutes. That's incredible encouraging, especially when you consider just how much his performance fluctuated from game to game early in the season. It certainly appeared like he looked very comfortable having some plays run through him, and that's why I'm not so sure he'll be back next year.

Yes, I like Bogdanovic a lot, and think he can very a very effective player on a contender. But let's face it: Barring an outstanding offseason, the Nets probably won't be a playoff team next year. And with just $3.6 million due to him on an expiring deal, that's a chip the Nets might be able to cash in for a building block. Maybe the Nets won't want to spring for his 15 percent trade kicker, so I could end up being wrong. But it certainly wouldn't shock me to see him dealt, maybe as early as Draft Day.


San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina watches from the sideline against the Indiana Pacers during the first half at AT&T Center. (Soobum Im)
San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina watches from the sideline against the Indiana Pacers during the first half at AT&T Center. (Soobum Im)

An unlikely name is emerging as the leading candidate for the Nets head coaching job.

Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes that Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina is the most likely fit, citing his experience with both general manager Sean Marks and owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

"Marks told The Post he'll have some relationship and at least an indirect connection with whomever he hires, a la Six Degrees of Separation. Messina worked with Marks for the past three years," Lewis writes. "He also coached Nets assistant GM Trajan Langdon to two Euroleague titles at CSKA Moscow. Prokhorov owned the Russian team, and board member Sergey Kushchenko was the GM."

Lewis says the other likely fit is David Blatt, who was fired by the Cavaliers this season despite being at the helm for the team's run to the NBA Finals last season and getting the club off to a 30-11 start this year, the best record in the Eastern Conference at the time of his dismissal.

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

While I don't know that directly poaching people from the Spurs organization is actually the right way to become as successful as San Antonio, it makes sense that Marks would want to hire someone that he's comfortable with. Messina has a connection to CSKA Moscow as well, which obviously makes Prokhorov familiar with him, too. So even if Lewis is only making inferences off the murmurings of some of his sources and Marks' public remarks, it makes a ton of sense.

As far as Messina goes, you just never know how a coach is going to do running an NBA team until he does it. Messina has had a ton of success internationally, and spending time under Gregg Popovich's wing is certainly a great place to get a feel for how to be successful in the Association. I certainly think Messina would be a solid hire, but I have a feeling we have a ways to go before anything is set in stone. This search will be fascinating to watch play out.


Brooklyn Nets guard Markel Brown defends against Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat during first half at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
Brooklyn Nets guard Markel Brown defends against Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat during first half at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Ramon Sessions had 21 points and 12 assists, and the Washington Wizards recovered after blowing all of their 20-0 lead to beat the Brooklyn Nets, 120-111 on Monday night.

Marcus Thornton scored 19 points as he and Sessions did just fine in replacing injured starting guards John Wall and Bradley Beal. J.J. Hickson had 15 points as Washington put seven players in double figures.

The Wizards made their first nine shots before Brooklyn made one and looked headed for a blowout victory. Instead, they needed another big run in the fourth quarter to finally put it away.

The Wizards have won two straight since being eliminated from playoff contention and can finish .500 by beating Atlanta in their season finale.

Shane Larkin scored a career-high 20 points and added seven assists and six rebounds for the Nets, who have lost nine in a row and have their first 60-loss season since a franchise-worst 12-70 record in 2009-10. >> Read more

Tags: Shane Larkin , Washington Wizards

Milwaukee Bucks center Miles Plumlee guards against Brooklyn Nets guard Sean Kilpatrick in the second half at Barclays Center. (William Hauser/USA Today Sports Images)
Milwaukee Bucks center Miles Plumlee guards against Brooklyn Nets guard Sean Kilpatrick in the second half at Barclays Center. (William Hauser/USA Today Sports Images)

The Brooklyn Nets host the Washington Wizards at Barclays Center on Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

According to STATS:

  • The Wizards have posted 15- and 18-point victories over Brooklyn in their first two meetings this season, hitting at least 50 percent of their field goals in each. Washington is now 7-2 against the Nets since the beginning of 2013-14.
  • Washington defeated Charlotte on Sunday, 113-98, as the Wizards improved to 15-2 this season when making at least half of their field goals. Washington also has won its last 13 games when scoring at least 100 points.
  • Brooklyn fell behind by as many as 42 points on Sunday before ultimately falling at Indiana, 129-105. It's the first time in team history (since joining the NBA in 1976) that the Nets have lost eight consecutive games by at least 10 points each.
  • Marcin Gortat led the Wizards with 21 points and 13 rebounds on Sunday. In addition, Gortat connected on 10 of 11 field goals, producing his best percentage (.909) of 2015-16 (minimum 5 FGA).
  • After coming off the bench for his first 77 games of the season, Ramon Sessions has stepped in for John Wall (right knee injury) and started the past three, responding with an average of 15.0 points and 10.0 assists per contest. Those rates were 9.4 and 2.5, respectively, as a reserve.
  • Sean Kilpatrick hit 10 of 18 field goals Sunday and registered a career-high 26 points for Brooklyn. Kilpatrick has reached double figures in scoring in five straight games and in 17 of 19 games since March 4.
Tags: Washington Wizards

The Washington Wizards have two steps left to try to avoid their first losing season in three years and the first one shouldn't be too difficult even without John Wall and Bradley Beal.

The Wizards may be without their two best players Monday night when they visit a Nets team that also could be short-handed and is on a season-high eight-game slide.

Both teams are winding down the season, with Washington (39-41) getting eliminated Friday from playoff contention. Coach Randy Wittman then set a new goal for his club. >> Read more

 


Apr 10, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) takes a shot against Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Apr 10, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) takes a shot against Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

 

Myles Turner had 28 points and 10 rebounds and the Indiana Pacers beat the Brooklyn Nets 129-105 Sunday to clinch a playoff berth.

Solomon Hill had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Indiana while George Hill had 18 points, Ian Mahinmi had 16 and Paul George had 15. The Pacers jumped ahead 17-5 in the first quarter and led by as many as 42 points.

Sean Kilpatrick led the Nets with 26 points. Markel Brown had 18 points and 11 rebounds.

The Pacers have two games left and can still finish as high as seventh in the Eastern Conference if they finish with the same record as the Detroit Pistons. >> Read more

 

Tags: Indiana Pacers , Markel Brown

Paul George was unhappy with the Pacers' effort on Friday. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Paul George was unhappy with the Pacers' effort on Friday. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Paul George couldn't make sense of it. With an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth and playing against a team resting most of its starters, Indiana laid an egg in a performance that just won't cut it during the postseason.

The Pacers still control their own destiny, though, and can secure a playoff spot with a win at home Sunday night, but another dud against the lowly Brooklyn Nets certainly won't be tolerated.

Indiana (42-37) fell into eighth in the Eastern Conference after Friday's 111-98 loss to Toronto, which elected not to play Luis Scola or All-Star guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. It was mostly reserves carrying the Raptors, who shot 54.4 percent from the floor and 45.5 from 3-point range.

The Pacers came in allowing opponents to shoot an average of 44 percent and leading the NBA in 3-point defense at 33.1. Allowing undermanned Toronto to shoot so well - especially after Indiana beat East-leading Cleveland 123-109 on Wednesday - didn't sit well with George.

"When we think as a group we're making progress and progressing as a team, to have a letdown like (Friday), it's frustrating," he said after the Pacers had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Monta Ellis scored 17 points and George added 14 for the Pacers, who will face either the Raptors or Cavaliers in the first round. They trail Detroit by one-half game for the seventh spot, and coach Frank Vogel realizes his team needs to play much better considering the competition awaiting in the playoffs.

Read more. . . . 


Brooklyn Nets head coach Tony Brown looks on during the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. (Jeremy Brevard/USA Today Sports Images)
Brooklyn Nets head coach Tony Brown looks on during the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. (Jeremy Brevard/USA Today Sports Images)

Kemba Walker scored 22 points, Troy Daniels made his first five 3-point attempts and finished with 17 points, and the Charlotte Hornets completed a four-game season sweep of the Brooklyn Nets with a 113-99 win on Friday night.

With the win, the Hornets (46-33) assured they'll be no lower than the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Charlotte still has an outside shot of hosting a playoff series, but trails Boston and Miami for the fourth spot.

Walker tallied his 41st game with 20 or more points this season.

Nicolas Batum had 14 points and Marvin Williams added 12 for the Hornets, who improved to 29-11 at home.

Wayne Ellington had 21 points, and Thomas Robinson had 16 points and 17 rebounds for the Nets, who have lost seven straight. >> Read more

Tags: Charlotte Hornets , Thomas Robinson , Wayne Ellington

Brooklyn Nets guard Sean Kilpatrick (William Hauser/USA Today Sports Images)
Brooklyn Nets guard Sean Kilpatrick (William Hauser/USA Today Sports Images)

The Brooklyn Nets face the Charlotte Hornets on the road on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

According to STATS:

  • Charlotte (3-0) will be looking to sweep this season series for the fourth time in franchise history, and for the first time since 2000-01 (4-0).
  • The Nets have given up 105 or more points in each of its last seven, as well as in 12 of its last 13, contests.
  • Charlotte has won 45 games this season after finishing 33-49 in 2014-15. That +12 increase in wins is the second best among NBA teams (NY, +14).
  • Sean Kilpatrick had a career-high 25 points on 9-for-12 shooting (including 4-for-5 from three-point range) in the March 22 meeting between the Nets and Hornets.
  • Thomas Robinson has recorded a double-double in each of his last five games. That is the longest streak by any Brooklyn player this season. Robinson is putting up 15.2 points and 12.2 boards per game during this streak.
  • Kemba Walker is shooting 41.7 (93/223) from behind the arc in home games this season; that ranks ninth in the NBA (minimum 150 3PA in home G).
Tags: Charlotte Hornets , Thomas Robinson

Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic drives to the basket against Charlotte Hornets guard Nicolas Batum during second half at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic drives to the basket against Charlotte Hornets guard Nicolas Batum during second half at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

While earning home-court advantage remains an important goal, the Charlotte Hornets must weigh that objective against keeping their key players healthy for the playoffs.

They could see Nicolas Batum return Friday night after winning for the first time since he went down, but they certainly won't rush him back against the visiting Brooklyn Nets.

Batum had been hitting his stride, averaging 20 points, 7.1 assists and six rebounds over a 10-game stretch before suffering a left knee injury in Sunday's 112-103 loss at Cleveland.

Coach Steve Clifford says the versatile forward is feeling better and could be a game-time decision when the Hornets go after their first season sweep of the Nets since 2000-01. However, they're going to need Batum more in the playoffs than against a Brooklyn team that has lost six in a row by an average of 19.3 points.

"We start so much of our offense with him and he's so good at getting the ball moving," Clifford said. "He makes the game so much easier for us. He's such a big part of everything, our offense, our defense."

The Hornets struggled without Batum in Tuesday's 96-90 loss at Toronto before avoiding their first three-game skid in three months with Wednesday's 111-97 win at New York. Kemba Walker led the way with 34 points while hitting a career-high seven 3-pointers in 10 attempts.

"It was a must-win game," center Al Jefferson said. "We lost two games in a row because of, in my opinion, us, because of things we didn't do well. We just had to get back to the basics, get back to things we do so well, the reason why we've been winning games." >> Read more

Tags: Charlotte Hornets

 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Ramon Sessions scored 18 points and had a season-high 13 assists while starting in place of the injured John Wall to help the Washington Wizards defeat the Brooklyn Nets 121-103 on Wednesday night.

Bradley Beal scored 25 points, and Marcin Gortat had 16 points and 12 rebounds as Washington remained at least mathematically alive in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt.

Wall sat out for the first time this season with a sore right knee for the 10th-place Wizards (38-40), who remained 3 1/2 games behind Detroit for the final postseason berth. The Wizards (38-40) need to win out, have the Pistons (42-37) lose out and overcome Chicago (39-39) to make the playoffs. Washington visits Detroit on Friday. >> Read more

 


 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

The Nets play the Wizards in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

According to STATS...

  • Washington won its first game against the Nets this season back on December 26 (111-96) and has won six of its last eight overall against them. These teams will face each other again on Monday in Brooklyn.
  • The Nets have lost nine consecutive road games and will be looking to avoid dropping 10 in a row away from home for the first time since losing 12 straight from December 22, 2010-February 4, 2011.
  • After winning a season-high five consecutive games, the Wizards have now lost five of their last seven contests overall, including two in a row at home.
  • John Wall has had at least 10 assists in a career-high 13 consecutive games -- the longest active streak in the NBA and second longest streak this season overall (Rajon Rondo, 14 games).
  • Thomas Robinson has posted a double-double in a career-high four games in a row, averaging 13.3 points and 12.8 rebounds in that span. Robinson's current double-double streak is tied with Tyson Chandler for the third-longest active streak in the NBA (Karl-Anthony Towns, 13 games; Andre Drummond, 8 games).
  • Marcin Gortat led Washington with 21 points against the Clippers on Sunday -- his first 20-point performance since February 23. Gortat has scored 20+ points in each of his last two meetings with Brooklyn and led all scorers with 25 points in the first matchup between the clubs this season.
Tags: Thomas Robinson

A general view of Verizon Center (Geoff Burke)
A general view of Verizon Center (Geoff Burke)

The Brooklyn Nets have been eliminated from the playoffs for weeks, but their final five games could have a say in how the Eastern Conference's top eight shakes out.

The Washington Wizards have to hope they're still alive by the time they meet again next week.

With their postseason hopes almost as dim as can be, the Wizards try to avoid being eliminated by the end of Wednesday night's action as they host a Nets club that might need a media guide to identify its own teammates.

Washington (37-40) won twice and played Golden State and the Los Angeles Clippers tough on a five-game road trip, but it returns to the nation's capital with little hope of cracking the East's playoff picture.

Catching Detroit is likely the Wizards' only chance - they've already won the tiebreaker with the Pistons and play at The Palace on Friday - but Randy Wittman's team might not even make it off the floor with a mathematical shot Wednesday night.

"The fat lady hasn't started singing yet," Bradley Beal said after Sunday's 114-109 loss to the Clippers. "Some crazy things have happened at the end of the season, so anything can happen. It's just all a matter of time."

Washington should feel pretty good about its chances of at least handling its own business. The Nets (21-56) have lost their last five games by an average of 19.6 points, and prior to Sunday's 106-87 loss to New Orleans, they announced that Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young would be shut down for the rest of the season.

Brooklyn's starting lineup Sunday included rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and four players who have played for a total of 18 teams in their 18 cumulative seasons.


Brooklyn Nets center Henry Sims (14) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans center Kendrick Perkins (5) in the second half at Barclays Center. Pelicans defeated the Nets 106-87. (William Hauser)
Brooklyn Nets center Henry Sims (14) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans center Kendrick Perkins (5) in the second half at Barclays Center. Pelicans defeated the Nets 106-87. (William Hauser)

The Brooklyn Nets have signed C Henry Sims for the remainder of the 2015-2016 season, the team announced.

Per team policy, the terms of the deal were not released.

Sims was signed to his first of two 10-day contracts on March 17th. He has appeared in nine games with the Nets, starting in two of them, and has averaged 6.0 points and 4.4 rebounds in 17.1 minutes per game.

 


The Brooklyn Nets flag is run across the court in the first half at Barclays Center. Milwaukee defeats Brooklyn 109-100. (William Hauser)
The Brooklyn Nets flag is run across the court in the first half at Barclays Center. Milwaukee defeats Brooklyn 109-100. (William Hauser)

Frank Zanin will be stepping down from his position as the Assistant General Manager of the Brooklyn Nets, he announced on Twitter Monday. 

"I would like to thank the Brooklyn Nets for allowing me to be a part of their organization for the past six years. After speaking with Sean [Marks] this morning I have decided to step down from my position of Assistant GM. This will allow Sean to fill out his staff and give me a chance to pursue other opportunities," Zanin said in a series of tweets Monday afternoon.

Zanin served as Billy King's trusted assistant in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Brooklyn. After King was "reassigned" in January, Zanin served as the Nets' GM until Sean Marks was appointed the position in February. Zanin was one of eight candidates who interviewed for the GM position, and even received an endorsement for the position from Kobe Bryant.

Zanin spent the first three seasons of his tenure with the Nets as the team's pro personnel scout and director of player procurement before being promoted to Assistant General Manager in July 2013. Zanin has received credit for being a "big help" in several off-season moves of the Nets, including re-signing Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, trading for Joe Johnson, and signing Mirza Teletovic, among others. 


New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (4) drives to the basket past Brooklyn Nets guard Sean Kilpatrick (6) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger)
New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (4) drives to the basket past Brooklyn Nets guard Sean Kilpatrick (6) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger)

Should he opt out of the second year of his contract with the New York Knicks this upcoming offseason, shooting guard Arron Afflalo could be a target for the Brooklyn Nets, according to Chris Carrino of WFAN.

Afflalo signed a two-year, $16 million deal last summer, with a player option for the second year of $8 million. With Kurt Rambis' decision to demote Afflalo to the bench, many believe that the Knicks would prefer the shooting guard to opt out of his deal. 

Afflalo is averaging 13.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game this season, while shooting 44.5% from the field and 37.8% from the three-point line. 

As of now, only Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young, Bojan Bogdanovic, Sean Kilpatrick, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Chris McCullough have guaranteed contracts for the Nets next season.


Brooklyn's Wayne Ellington, right, guards New Orleans' Jordan Hamilton. (William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn's Wayne Ellington, right, guards New Orleans' Jordan Hamilton. (William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports)

Box score

NEW YORK -- Tim Frazier had 19 points and 13 assists, Luke Babbitt added 21 points and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Brooklyn Nets 106-87 on Sunday.

Alexis Ajinca added 16 for the Pelicans as the Nets lost their fifth straight game.

Sean Kilpatrick led the Nets with 15 points. Henry Sims and Markel Brown each had 12 for the Nets.

Thomas Robinson recorded his fourth straight double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds.

Read more. . . . .


Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young will sit for the rest of the season.
Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young will sit for the rest of the season.

Brooklyn coach Tony Brown said Sunday the Nets are shutting down big men Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young for the rest of the season.

The Nets, already out of playoff contention, have six games remaining and have recently been resting Lopez and Young.

Lopez averaged 20.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 73 games. Young averaged 15.1 points and 9.0 rebounds in 73 games. Both agreed to multiyear contracts last summer. 

The Nets (21-55) have the NBA's fourth-worst record. Their 2016 first-round draft pick belongs to the Celtics


Luke Babbitt leads the Pelicans into the Barclays Center Sunday. (Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)
Luke Babbitt leads the Pelicans into the Barclays Center Sunday. (Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)

The Nets host the Pelicans Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Barclays Center.

According to STATS:

  • The Pelicans have won the last four games in this series, including a 105-103 home victory on January 30 in which Jrue Holiday hit the game-winning jumper with 1.3 remaining in regulation.
  • New Orleans hit 13 three-pointers in its win over Denver on Thursday, improving to 10-4 on the season when making at least a dozen threes in a contest.
  • Luke Babbitt led the Pelicans with 22 points in Thursday's win over Denver, becoming the ninth different player to lead the team outright in scoring in a game this season.
  • Toney Douglas had 20 points and 10 assists in Thursday's victory over Denver. He is the fourth different Pelicans' player to have at least one 20+ point, 10+ assist performance in 2015-16 (Jrue Holiday (3), Tyreke Evans (3) & Ish Smith).

 (AP)
(AP)

(AP) -- Out of playoff contention and depleted by injuries, the New Orleans Pelicans have hope for a brighter future. The Brooklyn Nets are still trying to sort out theirs.

The Pelicans' makeshift lineup attempts to build on their latest effort and match the franchise's longest winning streak over the lowly Nets on Sunday.

New Orleans (28-47) has been decimated by injuries with star forward Anthony Davis out for the season due to his knee. The injured list also includes the rest of the Pelicans' top five scorers; Ryan Anderson (groin), Jrue Holiday (eye), Eric Gordon (finger) and Tyreke Evans (knee) while Norris Cole (back), Alonzo Gee (quadriceps), Bryce Dejean-Jones (wrist) and Quincy Pondexter (knee) are also lost for the season.

While the injuries are piling up and New Orleans has already clinched a last-place finish in the Southwest Division, there's hope for improvement in 2016-17 with Davis as the face of the franchise and another lottery pick coming this summer.

Brooklyn hosts the draft, but the Nets (21-55) don't currently have a first-round pick after trading it to Boston three years ago. That pick will at least be in the top five since Brooklyn's record is only ahead of league-worst Philadelphia, Phoenix and the Los Angeles Lakers. << Read more


Brooklyn Nets interim head coach Tony Brown reacts against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)
Brooklyn Nets interim head coach Tony Brown reacts against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)

Langston Galloway scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and the New York Knicks beat the Brooklyn Nets 105-91 on Friday night to split the season series with their city rival.

Derrick Williams had 16 points in place of injured starter Kristaps Porzingis as the Knicks avoided dropping the four-game series for the second straight season. Jerian Grant, also getting a start because of injury, finished with 14 points and Carmelo Anthony scored 13.

Porzingis has a strained right shoulder and Jose Calderon is out with a deep thigh bruise. It's unclear if either will play again this season.

Sean Kilpatrick scored 17 points and Brook Lopez had 16 in outplaying twin brother Robin on their 28th birthday, but the Nets fell apart in the fourth quarter of their fourth straight loss.

The Nets, who lost in Cleveland on Thursday, rested starters Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic. >> Read more

Tags: Bojan Bogdanovic , Brook Lopez , Carmelo Anthony , Derrick Williams , Jose Calderon , Kristaps Porzingis , Langston Galloway , Robin Lopez , Thaddeus Young

Brooklyn Nets forward Thaddeus Young during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. (Tim Fuller/USA Today Sports Images)
Brooklyn Nets forward Thaddeus Young during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. (Tim Fuller/USA Today Sports Images)

The Brooklyn Nets play the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

According to STATS:

  • The Nets have won six of the last seven games in this series. However, their one loss to the Knicks in this stretch came at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 4.
  • Brooklyn has dropped its last seven games when playing on zero days' rest. The Nets have allowed 100 or more points in every game during this skid, including 130+ points in the last two.
  • The Knicks have played 37 home games in 2015-16. More than half of those contests (19 of 37) have been decided by 10 or more points, including seven of the last eight.
  • Thomas Robinson has now recorded a double-double in back-to-back games after posting just two in his first 64 games of the season.
  • Thaddeus Young has had 10+ points and 5+ rebounds in each of his last nine games versus the Knicks. That is tied for the third-longest active such streak by any player against the Knicks.
  • Carmelo Anthony had 31 points in Wednesday's loss to the Mavericks. He has now scored 20 or more points in each of his last six, as well as in 14 of his last 15, contests.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Thaddeus Young , Thomas Robinson

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) drives against New York Knicks center Robin Lopez (8) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. The Nets defeated the Knicks 109-98. (Brad Penner)
Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) drives against New York Knicks center Robin Lopez (8) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. The Nets defeated the Knicks 109-98. (Brad Penner)

Carmelo Anthony and the rest of the New York Knicks veterans will see their minutes decreased in the final six games in order to give younger players more experience.

That may not apply Friday night to starting center Robin Lopez, who has one more matchup left to try to slow down his twin brother.

Brooklyn Nets star Brook Lopez will be rested and ready to try to torment his brother yet again and their sibling rivalry may be the only intriguing part of this city rivalry at Madison Square Garden.

These teams are led by interim coaches and would be the worst in the Atlantic Division if not for nine-win Philadelphia. The Knicks are losers of six of eight and 20 of 27 while the Nets (21-54) are seeking to avoid their first nine-game road slide since a 12-game skid in 2010-11.

Several Knicks approached coach Kurt Rambis on their road trip this week and asked to get their minutes reduced. Rambis and the Phil Jackson-led organization agreed to do so beginning with Wednesday's 91-89 loss at Dallas.

"We would like to cut down on guys' minutes who we feel secure with," Rambis told the Knicks' official website. "We know who they are as players and (they) play well for us and try to cut back their minutes to open up minutes for other guys."

Anthony, who scored 31 in 33 minutes against the Mavericks, was one of the catalysts for the move. >> Read more...


Brooklyn Nets guard Wayne Ellington (21) shoots against Cleveland Cavaliers center Timofey Mozgov (20) in the third quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. (David Richard)
Brooklyn Nets guard Wayne Ellington (21) shoots against Cleveland Cavaliers center Timofey Mozgov (20) in the third quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. (David Richard)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

The Nets have their eyes on their watches, as they wait for the remainder of the 2015-16 season to mercifully expire. After allowing 139 points to the Magic on Tuesday, the Nets folded against the Cavaliers on Thursday, trailing by as many as 32 in the fourth quarter. Is it over yet?
 
"I think the mindset of the whole team, myself included, I think guys are worried that there's not much time left, we're not fighting for anything," Thomas Robinson told reporters after Brooklyn's blowout loss on Tuesday. "No knock on our team, but mentally it's tough to keep fighting in games and showing up every night the way things are going for us, and the end of the season being so close. I think that's a problem we've got to shake real quick."
 
It's a candid thought, and one that I really can't blame anyone in a Nets uniform for having. This season has been a slog through the sobering reality of what happens when you mortgage your future and go belly up. There has been a coaching change and front office turnover to go along with injuries, regressions, and the buyout of the team's leader for the last three seasons. So if Brooklyn is finally ready to pack up shop, well…they're a couple months behind the rest of us.
 
Don't get me wrong, this team played hard for interim coach Tony Brown. They won some shockers (last week's triumph over King James and company comes to mind), and were in some tough ones late that they probably didn't have any business being in. That in and of itself is a victory. Sean Kilpatrick has been a mini-revelation, earning himself a three-year deal after coming out of obscurity, and we got some sneak peaks at future core players (like Chris McCullough), as they played some productive NBA minutes.
 
But the reality is that this is a situation that's going to get worse before it gets better, and it makes me feel for some of the veterans, specifically Brook Lopez and Thad Young, who committed to multiple years of this mess last summer. It's going to be a few years before basketball in Brooklyn gets people excited again. I think they finally have the right man for the job in Sean Marks, but he has a mountain of work to do.
 
So with seven games remaining, I'm giving the Nets a pass. If they're already mentally laying on a beach somewhere, or thinking about their first morning of sleeping in without a practice or a shoot around to get to, more power to them. Because the next few years are going to require a lot of work to get this franchise back to a respectable level. I just hope when the time comes, some of these guys will still be here and ready to answer the bell.

Tags: Brook Lopez , Thaddeus Young , Thomas Robinson , Brian Erni

LeBron James (23) reacts after a dunk in the second quarter against the Nets. (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
LeBron James (23) reacts after a dunk in the second quarter against the Nets. (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

Box score

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 24 points to move into 12th place on the NBA's career scoring list and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Brooklyn Nets 107-87 on Thursday night.

James passed Dominique Wilkins with a three-point play in the first quarter. The four-time MVP, who didn't play in the fourth quarter, has 26,689 career points.

Kevin Love added 19 points for Cleveland (53-22), which lost to the Nets last week in Brooklyn. The Cavs lead Toronto by 2 1/2 games for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Read more. . . .


The Nets' Bojan Bogdanovic tries to keep up with Cleveland's LeBron James in Brooklyn's win last week. (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)
The Nets' Bojan Bogdanovic tries to keep up with Cleveland's LeBron James in Brooklyn's win last week. (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)

The Nets visit the Cavaliers Thursday night at 7 p.m.

According to STATS:

  • The Cavaliers have won each of their last five home games versus the Nets, outscoring Brooklyn by an average of 12.8 points (102.8-90.0) over the five games. Cleveland has not won six straight home games versus the Nets since winning 14 in a row from December 26, 1986 to February 15, 1992 (its longest win streak versus the Nets all-time).
  • The Nets lost at Orlando, 139-105, on Tuesday. The 139 points allowed were the most the Nets have allowed in a single game since moving to Brooklyn for the 2012-13 season; prior to Tuesday's loss, the last time the Nets allowed at least 139 points in a game that did not go to overtime was on January 4, 1992 at Chicago (lost, 140-96).
  • LeBron James did not play in the Cavaliers' 106-100 home loss to the Rockets on Tuesday to get some extra rest. Since James rejoined the Cavaliers last season, Cleveland is 4-13 (.235) when James does not play compared to 101-38 (.727) in games James plays.
  • Thomas Robinson led the Nets with 18 points on Tuesday, just the third game in his career that he has led his team in scoring (and his first time leading the Nets in points). Robinson also added 12 rebounds in the game, his third double-double of the season (one shy of his single-season career high, set last season).
  • Kevin Love recorded his fourth consecutive double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds in Cleveland's home loss on Tuesday. The Cavaliers are 14-2 at home when Love posts a double-double this season, but just 2-2 in their last four such games.
  • With James out, Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 31 points on Tuesday. Since the start of last season, Irving is averaging 20.2 points and 15.7 field-goal attempts in games played with James compared to 26.7 points and 22.3 field-goal attempts in games played without the four-time NBA MVP in uniform.

 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

The best example of the Cleveland Cavaliers' recent issues surrounding LeBron James might have been last week's loss in Brooklyn.

That is until Tuesday night's miserable fourth quarter without him.

With James returning from a night off, the Cavaliers hope to rebound from yet another disappointing loss when the lowly Nets visit on Thursday night.

With what he's done off the court aside, James remains dominant on it. He averaged 29.0 points, 8.8 assists and 8.5 rebounds with two triple-doubles in four games last week, earning his record 52nd Eastern Conference player of the week honor. >> Read more


 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Aaron Gordon had 20 points and Elfrid Payton had 11 points and 12 assists as the Magic scored a season high in defeating the Brooklyn Nets 139-105 on Tuesday night.

Payton set the tone by keeping the ball moving and consistently getting his teammates involved in his second straight double-double.

Gordon was hot early, scoring 13 points in the first quarter.

Victor Oladipo and Evan Fournier had their moments and backup center Dewayne Dedmon, playing in place of injured Nikola Vucevic, scored 15 points. >> Read more


 (Steve Mitchell)
(Steve Mitchell)

The Nets face the Magic in Orlando on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

According to STATS...

  • After going 0-3 against the Nets last season, the Magic (3-0) have a chance to sweep the Nets in a season series for the first time since 2011-12 with a win tonight.
  • The Nets have lost nine consecutive road games against Eastern Conference opponents by an average margin of 12.1 points per game. The last time the Nets had a longer road losing streak against the East was their 11-game streak November 24, 2010 -- February 4, 2011.
  • The Magic (17) and Nets (16) are two of just five teams (also Nuggets, Pacers and 76ers, all 19) who have lost more than 15 games when leading at any point during the fourth quarter this season.
  • The Magic are coming off a 111-89 home win against the Bulls on Saturday night -- their largest margin of victory in a game since their 105-82 road win against the Nets on December 14.
  • Dewayne Dedmon scored a career-high 18 points against the Bulls on Saturday, after not scoring more than 12 points in any previous game during his NBA career. He also pulled down 13 boards against the Bulls -- tied for the second most he has had in an NBA game (16 vs. Celtics on March 8, 2015).
  • Brook Lopez, who has scored at least 22 points in four straight games, has scored at least 22 points in five straight games just twice in his NBA career (both during 2010-11 season).
Tags: Brook Lopez

Brooklyn Nets head coach Tony Brown reacts during the second half against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports Images)
Brooklyn Nets head coach Tony Brown reacts during the second half against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports Images)

The Orlando Magic are all but officially eliminated from playoff contention, but they're surely feeling good about Nikola Vucevic and Victor Oladipo potentially returning.

Matchups with the Brooklyn Nets usually help, too.

While the statuses of their top two scorers are unknown, the Magic attempt to sweep the season series from the Nets on Tuesday night.

With nine games left in the regular season, Orlando (30-43) is 8 1/2 back of Detroit for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Despite teetering on the brink of elimination from the postseason race, the Magic are looking for a strong finish. They ended a six-game slide by beating Chicago 111-89 on Saturday.

"It's been a long year," Oladipo said. "I think finishing out strong would be good for all of us individually and as a team going into the summer, and seeing what we need to work on. >> Read more

Tags: Orlando Magic

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez is fouled by Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside during the first half at American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports Images)
Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez is fouled by Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside during the first half at American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports Images)

Dwyane Wade had 30 points and nine assists, Hassan Whiteside scored a career-high 27 points off the bench and the Miami Heat pulled away to beat the Brooklyn Nets 110-99 on Monday night.

Josh Richardson finished with 16 points in a spot start and Justise Winslow added 13 for Miami, which clamped down defensively in the second half.

Brook Lopez scored 26 points for Brooklyn, which had its streak of seven straight games with 100 or more points - the team's longest in two years - come to an end. Thaddeus Young made his first 10 shots and scored 20 for the Nets, who got 14 from Sean Kilpatrick.

Wade is averaging 27.1 points in his last seven games against the Nets. He shot 14 for 19 from the field on Monday, helping ensure that Joe Johnson's first game against his former team would be a winning one. >> Read more

Tags: Brook Lopez , Miami Heat , Thaddeus Young

Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic drives to the basket against Charlotte Hornets guard Nicolas Batum during second half at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic drives to the basket against Charlotte Hornets guard Nicolas Batum during second half at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

The Brooklyn Nets face the Miami Heat on the road Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

According to STATS:

  • The Heat took out the Magic, 108-97, on Friday. Miami has now scored 100+ points in each of its last 11 home games, its longest such streak since a run of 12 games from April 12 -- Nov. 25, 2013.
  • The Nets traveled to Miami and beat the Heat, 111-105, on December 28. The 111 points were the most scored by Brooklyn in Miami since a 111-104 victory on December 5, 1992.
  • Hassan Whiteside had 26 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks off the bench Friday against Orlando. Whiteside became the first player with 25/10/5 off the bench since Chicago's Taj Gibson on Dec. 2, 2013.
  • Brook Lopez has three double-doubles in his last four games against the Heat, including each of the last two. Lopez is averaging 19.8 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 55.0 percent from the field over those last four matchups with Miami.
  • Dwyane Wade is averaging 25.5 points on 56.3 percent shooting from the floor in his last 11 games against the Nets, scoring 20+ points in all 11. Wade's 11-game 20-point streak is the longest active by any Brooklyn opponent.
  • Over his last six games, Bojan Bogdanovic has averaged 23.2 points on 52.7 percent shooting from the field, 46.3 percent from three, and 91.7 percent at the free throw line. Bogdanovic is the first Net to average 23.0+ points while shooting 50/40/90 over a six-game span since Vince Carter from March 18-26, 2008.
Tags: Bojan Bogdanovic , Brook Lopez , Miami Heat

 (Anthony Gruppuso)
(Anthony Gruppuso)

With a motivated Hassan Whiteside performing at his best, the Miami Heat opened an advantageous stretch in their schedule with a much-needed victory.

The Heat will try to give themselves another boost in two hotly contested races by topping the visiting Brooklyn Nets on Monday night.

Whiteside matched a career high with 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting, pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked five shots in a 108-97 victory against Orlando on Friday. Miami's super sub is averaging 18.0 points and 13.7 rebounds while shooting 60.5 percent in his last 18 games.

"I think about the days I sat out of the league and everybody said I couldn't do this, I couldn't play here," he said. "It was just a journey just to get here."

The win helped keep the Heat (42-30) within one game of Atlanta for the Southeast Division lead and one-half game back of Boston for home-court advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Miami is also one-half game ahead of Charlotte in both races. >> Read more


Brooklyn Nets guard Sergey Karasev (10) injured during the second quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. (Tim Fuller)
Brooklyn Nets guard Sergey Karasev (10) injured during the second quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. (Tim Fuller)

Sergey Karasev has been given a chance to find a home in the starting lineup, and he has embraced the opportunity.

On Saturday, Karasev scored a career-high 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 25 minutes to pace the Nets to a 120-110 win over Indiana.

Since Tony Brown inserted Karasev and Shane Larkin into the starting rotation, the Nets are 2-0 and boast wins over the Pacers and Cavaliers, both playoff teams in the East.

Karasev, a pending unrestricted free agent recently told a Russian station that he wants to remain in the NBA after this season (h/t NetsDaily).

"Everybody knows that this is my third year and I'm going to be an unrestricted free agent. I have an opportunity to play right now and work hard try to improve my game, try to show coaches and show this league I can be here and can be successful here," he told the network RT. "Because my main option, my first option is to stay here and not to go back to Europe. This is the best league in the world, and everyone is blessed to be here. So this is great."

 

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Karasev has really gotten a raw deal since the Nets acquired him. I think it took a while for Lionel Hollins to feel comfortable giving him a shot here because of his youth, but once he did, he rewarded him with a big December in 2014 before last season was derailed by injury. But this year, he just flat out never got an opportunity to do much...until now. He didn't average more than 7.5 minutes a game in any month until February, but since his minutes have lifted to 11.1 in Feb and now 15.8 in March, he's been a far more productive player.

This month, he's averaging 4.9 points per game (his second highest total of his career), and shooting 31.6 percent from deep. Yes, it's a small sample size, but this is a guy who isn't going to turn 23 until October. His defense leaves a little to be desired, but there's no doubt there's a boatload of potential here that is just waiting to be tapped into. The only question is if the Nets have alienated him too much already, and if this opportunity isn't too little too late.

Tags: Sergey Karasev

Indiana guard Rodney Stuckey battles for the ball with Brooklyn Nets guard Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)
Indiana guard Rodney Stuckey battles for the ball with Brooklyn Nets guard Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)

Box score

NEW YORK -- Brook Lopez scored 23 points, Bojan Bogdanovic added 18, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Indiana Pacers 120-110 on Saturday night.

Sergey Karasev added a career-high 17 points for the Nets, who took a 104-102 lead on Bogdanovic's 3-pointer with 5:41 remaining in the game.

Lopez then scored nine consecutive points for Brooklyn bere Bogdanovic nailed a contested 3-pointer to put Brooklyn ahead 116-110 with 39 seconds remaining.

Paul George then missed a 3-pointer with 25 seconds remaining, sealing the win for Brooklyn, which was coming off a victory over Clevleand Thursday.

Read more. . . .


Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez drives against Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez drives against Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

The Brooklyn Nets host the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.

According to STATS:

  • Indiana has won seven of its last nine games against Brooklyn, including both meetings so far in 2015-16.
  • Entering this weekend, the Pacers were second in the NBA in most points off of turnovers, averaging 19.0 per game. That is a major improvement over last season, when they finished 26th in the league (14.2) in this category.
  • The Nets outscored the Cavaliers 24-12 in their nine-point victory over Cleveland on Thursday. The 12 points are the fewest Brooklyn has given up in any fourth quarter this season; the Nets held the Cavaliers to just 19.0 (4/21) percent shooting in that quarter.
  • Myles Turner had 24 points and a career-high 16 rebounds in Thursday's win over New Orleans. The 16 boards were the most in a game by a Pacers' rookie since Chuck Person pulled down 18 against the Knicks, March 27, 1987.
  • Brook Lopez is averaging 22.2 points per game in March. The last Nets' player to post a higher scoring average in March was Vince Carter (23.8) in March 2009.
  • Since Sean Kilpatrick was signed to his second 10-day contract on March 9, he has averaged 15.7 points per game on 56.5 percent shooting, including 44.8 percent from behind the arc (although he was 0-for-6 from 3-point range on Thursday).
Tags: Brook Lopez , Indiana Pacers

Brooklyn Nets guard Shane Larkin (0) drives past Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Brooklyn won 104-95. (Anthony Gruppuso)
Brooklyn Nets guard Shane Larkin (0) drives past Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Brooklyn won 104-95. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Conference playoff picture, and they face another one Saturday night.

Yet, the woeful Brooklyn Nets just showed they're capable of beating any team in the East, and there's a chance the Pacers will play them without Paul George.

This is the only game on the road of Indiana's final nine in March, part of an easy remaining schedule for a team trying to claim a playoff berth. The Pacers (38-33) are seventh in the East but have Detroit and Chicago within two games of them. Only three of their final 11 games come against teams with winning records, and they've won nine straight against sub-.500 opponents.

They lost close games to division leaders Toronto and Oklahoma City last week before taking advantage of this week's matchups with league-worst Philadelphia and a New Orleans team missing its top six scorers. Still, Indiana led by only four in the final minute of that eventual 92-84 victory over the last-place Pelicans.

"A win is a win right now," point guard Ty Lawson said. "We'll get the wins any way we can get them. We're in a playoff run trying to move up in the standings, so we've got to win any way we can." << Read more


The Nets' Bojan Bogdanovic tries to keep up with Cleveland's LeBron James in Brooklyn's win last week. (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)
The Nets' Bojan Bogdanovic tries to keep up with Cleveland's LeBron James in Brooklyn's win last week. (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)

Box score

NEW YORK -- Brook Lopez scored 22 points and the Brooklyn Nets blew by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth quarter for a 104-95 victory Thursday night.

James was scoreless and missed both shots in the fourth quarter after he scored 30 points on 13-for-14 shooting through three quarters. Lopez had the final five points in a 14-0 run down the stretch as the Nets surged past the Eastern Conference leaders.

Shane Larkin added 16 points and seven assists for the Nets in his return to the starting lineup. Bojan Bogdanovic had 12 points.

Read more. . . .


LeBron James leads the Cavs into Barclays Center Thursday night. (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
LeBron James leads the Cavs into Barclays Center Thursday night. (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

The Nets host the Cavaliers at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Brooklyn. Willie Reed is inactive for the Nets.

According to STATS:

  • The Cavaliers have won each of the two meetings between these teams this season, outscoring the Nets 90.5 to 83.0 in those contests. Cleveland has won two of its last three road games against the Nets.
  • Cleveland has won two straight and four of its last five games, including a 113-104 victory over Milwaukee on Wednesday. The Cavs are 10-6 in the second of back-to-back games this season.
  • The Nets have lost three straight and seven of their last eight games. Brooklyn is averaging 106.4 points so far this March -- its highest scoring month so far this season.
  • Kevin Love had 24 points, 10 rebounds and four three-pointers against the Bucks on Wednesday and is averaging 20.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in his last three games against the Nets.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic is averaging 27.3 points on 55.9 percent shooting from the field over his last four games and has scored in double figures in a career-high six consecutive games.
  • The Cavs have made at least 10 three-pointers in a season-high nine consecutive games -- the longest active streak in the NBA. Cleveland has made 739 three-points overall on the season -- the second highest mark among Eastern Conference clubs.
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