Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. (Nicole Sweet)
Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. (Nicole Sweet)

When one thinks of an NBA journeyman, what comes to mind is a veteran player that has found his way around the league, playing for several teams throughout his career. Joe Smith is the perfect example. Smith played in the NBA for 16 seasons, and yet never played more than three consecutive years for the same team. That led to Smith moving around between 11 different organizations in his 16-year career (which doesn't even include his second time around with the Timberwolves or the 76ers).

The biggest move Brook Lopez has dealt with since entering the NBA has been the Nets' transition from New Jersey to Brooklyn. Although Lopez has stayed with the same team his entire career, the rollercoaster of an experience he has dealt with while with the Nets makes him a journeyman of his own kind.

The New Jersey Nets drafted Lopez with the 10th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. In his first NBA game, the rookie center came off the bench and finished with eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks in 25 minutes. Lopez would go on to win Rookie of the Month in both January and February, and finished the season averaging 13.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in only 30.5 minutes per game. He placed third in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting, trailing only Derrick Rose and OJ Mayo. Although they finished 34 - 48 and failed to make the postseason for the second straight season since the departure of the franchise's all-time great Jason Kidd, the Nets finally had a reason for hope, and it came in the shape of their 7-foot tall rookie center.



It did not take long for the Nets to crush the tiny bit of optimism fans had following the prior season. The 2009-2010 season began with 18 straight losses, setting the NBA record for most consecutive losses to start a season. Head coach Lawrence Frank was fired after loss number 16, and after two more defeats under then-assistant coach Tom Barrise, general manager Kiki Vandeweghe took over. While Vandeweghe seemed to find a little more success than Frank or Barrise, it was still a nightmare of a season. The Nets finished 12-70, tying them for the fourth-worst record in NBA history. However even though the season was a complete disaster overall, Lopez managed to take a big step forward in his development. Even though he played for three different head coaches, Lopez started all 82 games and finished the season averaging 18.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 blocks per game.

After two seasons in the NBA, Lopez had already established himself as one of the top scoring centers in the league. Not wanting to waste their center on a team with very limited talent, the Nets looked to make a blockbuster trade throughout the first half of the 2010-2011 season. For a while it looked as if New Jersey would land one of the league's top scorers in Carmelo Anthony. But in the middle of February, Anthony was traded to the Knicks, and Nets fans once again prepared for a miserable season. Then seemingly overnight, Billy King was able to swing a trade with the Utah Jazz that had All-Star point guard Deron Williams heading to the Nets. While it was too late to come back that season, things were looking up for the future of the Nets. Lopez saw his scoring average increase to 20.4 points per game in his third season, largely in part because of the pairing of him with one of the league's best point guards in Williams.

The 2011-2012 season got off to a poor start, with the lockout shortening the season to 66 games. Things got even worse for Lopez and the Nets when the big man, who had not missed a game during his first three seasons, broke his right foot during a preseason game. Now while most players are rehabbing an injury, their only concern is getting healthy again. That was not the case for Lopez. Soon after the lockout ended, Dwight Howard, at the time the top center in the NBA, demanded a trade out of Orlando. One of the three teams he wanted to go to? The New Jersey Nets.



From the start of the preseason in early December up until the trade deadline on March 15, the "Dwight Howard to New Jersey" rumor floated above the entire organization like a dark cloud. In order to obtain Howard, the Nets would obviously have to give up some key pieces. The most logical centerpiece of any deal with Orlando involved Lopez going to the Magic. So for months as he was working his way back onto the court, Lopez had to worry about being traded away from the only team he had ever played for. While Howard decided on the day of the trade deadline to stay in Orlando, things did not get better for Lopez. After missing the first 32 games of the season, Lopez finally made his return to the court. However it only took until his fifth game back to re-injure his right foot, leading to management shutting the center down for the remainder of the season.

After enduring the toughest season of his life, Lopez was faced with a very significant decision during the offseason. He was entering free agency for the first time in his career, and had to decide whether or not he wanted to make the move to Brooklyn with the Nets, or take his talents to another organization. While the team had struggled mightily since Lopez was drafted, management finally showed that they were willing to do whatever it took to put a good team on the court. First, Billy King traded for Gerald Wallace at the deadline of the 2011-2012 season. Then on July 11, 2012, Wallace was re-signed, along with Deron Williams and Lopez. On the same day, King also traded with Atlanta for shooting guard Joe Johnson. For the first time in Lopez's career, the Nets were expected to compete in the Eastern Conference.

Brooklyn gave Lopez a 4-year, $61 million contract extension that offseason, and in the first year of the deal, the center looked worth every penny. In his fifth NBA season, Brook averaged 19.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, and a career-high 2.1 blocks per game. He started in 74 games, and after Rajon Rondo tore his ACL, Lopez was named to his first All-Star Game. The season was not all smooth sailing for Brooklyn, though. On December 27, Avery Johnson was fired as head coach after the team lost 10 of 13 games. P.J. Carlesimo took over as interim head coach, becoming Lopez's fifth head coach in only five NBA seasons. The Nets would end up winning 49 games that season, the highest win total since Kidd led them to 49 wins during the 2005-2006 season. Brooklyn received the four seed in the playoffs, and lost in seven games to the Chicago Bulls in the first round. Although the team had higher expectations on the season, making the playoffs was a step in the right direction, and the most success Lopez had experienced thus far in the NBA.

During the 2013 offseason, Billy King and the Nets made several moves to try to catapult them to the top of the Eastern Conference. It started when King pulled off one of the biggest trades in Nets history. A handful of low-profile Nets players, and first round picks in 2014, 2016, and 2018 (along with the right to swap picks in 2017) were shipped to Boston in exchange for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry. This move represented King going all-in on the 2013-2014 season. In addition to the big trade, Brooklyn also signed former Nets legend Jason Kidd as the team's new head coach, only months after Kidd retired as a player. Free agent veterans like Andrei Kirilenko, Alan Anderson, and Shaun Livington all agreed to relatively cheap deals with Brooklyn, and for the first time since Lopez was drafted, the Nets looked like they had the roster to potentially be one of the top teams in the league.



While the Nets knew reaching the NBA Finals would be an incredibly tough feat to accomplish, they felt very confident heading into the season with Hall of Famers Pierce and Garnett now in their starting lineup, and another Hall of Famer (Kidd) calling the shots from the bench. Those feelings of optimism took a big hit on December 21 when Lopez fractured his right foot, stationing him on the sidelines for the remainder of the season. The seven-footer was off to the best offensive season of his career, averaging 20.7 points on 56.3 percent shooting from the field. The loss of Lopez was a big blow to the Nets, who would go on to lose in the Conference Semifinals to Miami, four games to one.

The next season saw another coaching change for the Nets, as Kidd, who attempted to gain control over personnel decisions, was shipped to Milwaukee in exchange for two second-round draft picks. Lionel Hollins was hired as the new head coach, and entering Lopez's seventh season with the Nets, the center was now paired with his seventh head coach. To make matters worse, two thirds of the players Brooklyn received in the Boston trade (Pierce and Terry) were no longer with the team, only a year after the deal was made.

While the Nets still had some talent on their roster, they were not expecting to compete too seriously. This became obvious halfway through the season when once again, Lopez was right in the middle of trade talks, this time between the Nets and the Thunder. Brooklyn was looking for an upgrade at point guard, and Oklahoma City was dangling Reggie Jackson in front of Billy King's face. How close were the Nets to trading Lopez? At one point the center was asked to get off the team bus because the team believed the trade was about to get done. However the Thunder backed out at the last second, and Lopez got back on the team bus, still a member of the Nets.

As if he hadn't already gone through enough with the Nets, Lopez endured yet another coaching change last season, when Hollins was fired after the team began the season 10-27 and Tony Brown took over. This change in head coach was different from the previous ones though, as Billy King was relieved of his duties as general manager on the same day. The Nets knew they were not going anywhere last year, and waived the white flag on the season early, releasing All-Star Joe Johnson on February 25. Brooklyn would go on to end the season 21-61, while Lopez finished the season averaging 20.6 points on 51.1 percent shooting, to go with 7.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.

Now we finally get to this season. Lopez is entering unchartered territory as the Nets are just beginning what is sure to be a very long rebuild of the franchise. Sean Marks was brought in as the team's general manager in hopes that he can turn the team around over the next few years. No one expects a significant change overnight, something that the old management attempted to do several times. Every free agent signing over the offseason was made while thinking about the future of the team, and not so much this season. That is why you did not see Brooklyn overpaying for veteran players over the summer. And for a team that consists of mostly new faces this season, the Nets now turn to Lopez to take over as the captain and leader of the team. Not an easy feat considering almost every NBA analyst is projecting Brooklyn to be one of the league's worst teams this year.



To call Brook Lopez's experience as a member of the New Jersey / Brooklyn Nets an emotional rollercoaster would be an understatement. The man has already gone through more ups and downs in his career than a minor league baseball taxi squad, and he is only 28 years old. The hiring of Kenny Atkinson this past offseason represents Lopez's ninth head coach in as many seasons. You would be hard-pressed to find another professional athlete that has endured as many coaching changes, trade rumors, injuries, and general turmoil than Brook Lopez has since being drafted by the Nets on June 26, 2008. Yet he shows up to practice everyday with a smile on his face, happy to still be a part of the Nets franchise.

With the light at the end of the Nets' tunnel still a few years away, it would not be surprising to see Lopez traded to a contender near the deadline. While it is painful to even think about the franchise's second all-time leading scorer leaving Brooklyn, Lopez deserves a legitimate chance at winning an NBA Championship. And with the team in full rebuild-mode, Marks has to at least attempt to obtain as many assets for the future as possible. That being said, I sincerely hope Lopez remains a member of the Nets for years to come. As a fanbase that had to endure Kidd, possibly the franchise's most important player, force his way off the team not once but TWICE over a six-year span, it would be nice to see Lopez's devotion to the Nets rewarded by not trading him.

No matter what happens, Brook Lopez will always be beloved and appreciated by the Nets and its fans for his loyalty to the team.

Tags: Brook Lopez

Team LeBron forward LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and forward Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors celebrate after defeating Team Stephen in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center. (Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)
Team LeBron forward LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and forward Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors celebrate after defeating Team Stephen in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center. (Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)

LeBron James picked a winner in the NBA All-Star Game.

James scored 29 points and hit the go-ahead layup with 34.5 seconds to play, winning his third All-Star Game MVP award while his hand-picked team rallied to win an uncommonly entertaining showcase, beating Team Stephen 148-145 Sunday night.

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Feb 17, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) dribbles in the skills challenge during the 2018 All Star Saturday Night at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Feb 17, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) dribbles in the skills challenge during the 2018 All Star Saturday Night at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie called it: He "didn't come here to lose."

Dinwiddie won the NBA Skills Challenge Saturday night, beating three straight opponents in a series of passing and shooting competitions en route to victory. He rallied in the first two rounds to beat Buddy Hield of the Kings and Jamal Murray of the Nuggets respectively. In the final round, Dinwiddie held on to beat Lauri Markkanen of the Bulls.

The win was a full-circle moment for Dinwiddie, who has been all over the place in his young career...

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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

The Nets frustration continues to boil over, and they won't get to take it out on the court until next week. 

They were on the verge of snapping their six-game losing streak against the Pacers Tuesday only to crumble in crunch time to lose 108-103 at Barclays Center. Luckily, their crosstown rival -- New York Knicks -- own the longest losing streak in the league with eight straight games. But after seven straight losses, that is certainly no pat on the back. 

"It's frustrating. It sucks that we keep putting ourselves into good situations and we keep coming up short," Allen Crabbe told The Post's Brian Lewis. "We were definitely looking forward to getting this big win going into the All-Star break. Now we've got a week before our next game. Hopefully this break gives us some time to get our minds right, attack this second half of the season really well."

Tags: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
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Feb 14, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Allen Crabbe (33) dribbles the ball against Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo (4) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 14, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Allen Crabbe (33) dribbles the ball against Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo (4) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

NEW YORK (AP) Victor Oladipo scored 25 points, Corey Joseph added 15 points and 11 assists, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Brooklyn Nets 108-103 on Wednesday night.

Myles Turner had 11 points and 14 boards, and former Net Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 14 points for the Pacers, who won their third straight game as they head into the All-Star break.

Allen Crabbe scored 23 points for the Nets, who went into the break with their seventh straight loss. >> Read more

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

NEW YORK -- Last week, general manager Kevin Pritchard was pondering ways to improve the Indiana Pacers. As the trade deadline came and went, no moves were made.

Then the Pacers justified the lack inactivity with two more victories and continued a strong push toward the All-Star break.

The Pacers hope to get one more win before the break Wednesday night when they visit the struggling Brooklyn Nets.

Indiana (32-25) is a season-high seven games over .500 after a 97-91 victory at Boston on Friday and a 121-113 win over the New York Knicks on Sunday. >> Read more

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Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard Lou Williams drives around Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie during the second quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard Lou Williams drives around Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie during the second quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Lou Williams scored 20 points, DeAndre Jordan had 16 points and 17 rebounds, and they got plenty of help from a balanced Clippers lineup in a 114-101 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night.

Tags: Los Angeles Clippers
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Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie goes to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis during overtime at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie goes to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis during overtime at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The losses are starting to pile up for the Brooklyn Nets and, locked in a tight race in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Clippers are hoping to be the latest team to win at Barclays Center.

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

Calling the Nets' loss to the Pelicans Saturday night a tough one to swallow would be an understatement. 

After battling back from a 28-point deficit at one point, the Nets managed to force a tie at 116 at the buzzer for overtime. But it was the ultimate teaser just to fight back and lose 138-128 at the end of the second overtime period. 

The Nets thought they had the momentum to snap their four-game losing streak. Instead, it was another night they tasted a win on the tip of their tongue, but could enjoy it in the end. 

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Feb 10, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic (3) goes to the basket against Brooklyn Nets defenders during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Feb 10, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic (3) goes to the basket against Brooklyn Nets defenders during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

NEW YORK (AP) Anthony Davis had 44 points and 17 rebounds, Rajon Rondo had a triple-double, and the New Orleans Pelicans recovered after blowing a 28-point lead to beat the Brooklyn Nets 138-128 in two overtimes on Saturday night. >> Read more

Tags: D'Angelo Russell
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Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague (0) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King) (AP)
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague (0) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King) (AP)

NEW YORK -- Since losing DeMarcus Cousins to a season-ending Achilles injury, New Orleans has struggled. And against the 76ers on Friday, the Pelicans reached their lowest point since Cousins was injured.

The Pelicans attempt to get going Saturday night when they visit the Brooklyn Nets, who also are struggling.

New Orleans (28-26) will make the short trip after a hideous showing on offense in a 100-82 loss. The Pelicans set a season-low in points and field-goal percentage (34.7) while also scoring 11 points in the third quarter, also a season-low.

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 (Steve Mitchell)
(Steve Mitchell)

The Nets have acquired F Dante Cunningham from the Pelicans for G Rashad Vaughn, per Yahoo! Sports' Shams Charania.

Cunningham, 30, has been with the Pelicans the 2014-15 season coming off the bench. This season, he is averaging five points and 3.8 rebounds in 21.9 minutes.

Prior to his time in New Orleans, the 6-foot-8 forward has spent seasons with the Trail Blazers, Hornets, Grizzlies, and Timberwolves. 

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 (Rick Osentoski)
(Rick Osentoski)

DETROIT (AP) Andre Drummond had 17 points and 27 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons extended their winning streak to five with a 115-106 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.

Blake Griffin scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter for the Pistons, who have not lost since acquiring him in a trade last week. Griffin will face his old team Friday night when the Los Angeles Clippers are in town.

Allen Crabbe had 19 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter for the Nets. They have lost four in a row and eight of nine. >> Read more

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Feb 6, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jahlil Okafor (4) drives against Houston Rockets point guard James Harden (13) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 6, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jahlil Okafor (4) drives against Houston Rockets point guard James Harden (13) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

There's been so much chatter about Blake Griffin's impact on the Detroit Pistons that Andre Drummond's accomplishments have gone overlooked.

Drummond was named as an All-Star replacement last week. He was selected as the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 19.3 points, 19.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 3.3 steals and 2.7 blocks in three victories.

He didn't let up that evening, posting 17 points, 17 rebounds and five assists in a 111-91 victory over Portland. He also did some things that didn't show up on the stat sheet, such as playing solid defense on pick-and-rolls. >> Read more

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Feb 6, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Houston Rockets point guard James Harden (13) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets small forward DeMarre Carroll (9) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 6, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Houston Rockets point guard James Harden (13) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets small forward DeMarre Carroll (9) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

NEW YORK (AP) James Harden scored 36 points, surpassing 15,000 for his career, and the Houston Rockets beat the Brooklyn Nets 123-113 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.

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Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague (0) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King) (AP)
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague (0) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King) (AP)

NEW YORK -- The Houston Rockets are humming along nicely of late, armed with effective chemistry on both sides of the ball.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Nets may be in a rebuild, but that doesn't mean head coach Kenny Atkinson can't get angry when his team underperforms. 

Brooklyn has been reeling of late, losing six of their last seven games. And they haven't been close losses with four of them by a 14-point or more deficit at the final buzzer. 

A rebuild is fine as long as the team is giving their all, and understands what kind of team they are together. Atkinson feels as if his team has lost their identity during this skid. 

Tags: DeMarre Carroll
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Brooklyn Nets center Tyler Zeller comes down with a rebound against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets center Tyler Zeller comes down with a rebound against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)

The Nets traded center Tyler Zeller to the Milwaukee Bucks for guard Rashad Vaughn and a second-round pick, according to Yahoo! Sports' Shams Charania.

If the Bucks' second-round pick lands between 31 to 47, it becomes Phoenix's pick, and Brooklyn would then acquire the Bucks' 2020 unprotected second-rounder, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks
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 (Nicole Sweet)
(Nicole Sweet)

With the Nets looking for ways to dig themselves out of their rut, something as fundamental as rebounding could be the key to success. 

The Nets have just five games left before the All-Star break, and they are aiming to reach it on a winning note. However, after dropping six of their last seven, Brooklyn is having issues with their opponents. And things won't be getting any easier as they will face teams like the Rockets and Pistons. 

SG Joe Harris knows the team must stay focused on the games ahead and not the break from the court. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Nets lose 00:00:29
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson discusses the Nets' home loss to the Bucks on Sunday, Brooklyn's sixth defeat in its last seven games.

NEW YORK (AP) Eric Bledsoe scored 28 points, John Henson had 19 points and 18 rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks easily extended their winning streak over the Brooklyn Nets to 10 games with a 109-94 victory Sunday.

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 (Jeff Hanisch)
(Jeff Hanisch)

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn (19-34) has dropped five of six since beating Miami and Detroit on Jan. 19 and 21. The Nets are 10-10 in games decided by five points or fewer after falling to the Los Angeles Lakers 102-99. >> Read More

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Feb 2, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez (11) signs an autograph for Nets fan Mr. Whammy during warms up before a game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 2, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez (11) signs an autograph for Nets fan Mr. Whammy during warms up before a game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

For the first time since being traded to the Lakers, Brook Lopez returned to Brooklyn to play the Nets. In familiar surroundings, Lopez scored a team-high 19 points on 8-13 shooting. 

This season with the Lakers, Lopez is averaging career lows in points (11.8) and minutes (20.8) per game. Lopez admitted it was a little weird being back in Brooklyn, but he felt like he was home. 

"It was exciting. It was a little weird, but once it got to it, it was just like playing back home on that court," Lopez said, via Brian Lewis of NY Post. "Most importantly, it was great to get a win. … It was cool coming back seeing the fans. I appreciate them so much, so it was great to see that, and so many people, so many teammates."

Tags: Brook Lopez
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Nets couldn't spoil Brook Lopez' return to Brooklyn as he poured in 19 points to help defeat his former team, 102-99. 

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen
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 (Richard Mackson)
(Richard Mackson)

NEW YORK -- For nine seasons, Brook Lopez survived numerous coaches and teammates, played home games in three arenas and avoided getting traded several times. >> Read more

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Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague (0) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King) (AP)
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague (0) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King) (AP)

Spencer Dinwiddie will participate in the Skills Challenge at All-Star Weekend, the league announced. Dinwiddie joins Lou Williams, Donovan Mitchell and Jamal Murray for the smalls and Kristaps Porzingis, Joel Embiid, Lauri Markkanen and Al Horford for the bigs.

Dinwiddie is the Nets lone representative at All-Star weekend this year. Porzingis won the Skills Challenge last season, Dinwiddie will look to knock down his crosstown rival.

This season, Dinwiddie is setting career highs across the board. He's averaging 13.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game for the Nets. 

The All-Star game will be played at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. The skills challenge will be played on Saturday, Feb. 17 night amid the dunk and three-point contests. Those events will begin at 8 p.m.

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Jan 31, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) shoots over Brooklyn Nets forward DeMarre Carroll (9) and center Jarrett Allen (31) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Jan 31, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) shoots over Brooklyn Nets forward DeMarre Carroll (9) and center Jarrett Allen (31) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

NEW YORK (AP) Spencer Dinwiddie scored 27 points, D'Angelo Russell added 22 in his best performance since returning from knee surgery, and the Brooklyn Nets snapped a four-game skid with a 116-108 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

Rookie center Jarrett Allen, making his first start at home, had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets, who took charge of a close game with an 11-0 run early in the fourth quarter.

Dinwiddie had six points during the spurt and a pair of recent 76ers contributed the other five points in the first meeting since a trade between the teams last month. >> Read more

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen
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Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and forward Michael Beasley (8) defend as Brooklyn Nets guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) makes a pass during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and forward Michael Beasley (8) defend as Brooklyn Nets guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) makes a pass during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

NEW YORK -- In June 2015, Jahlil Okafor walked on the stage at Barclays Center and doffed a Philadelphia 76ers cap as the No. 3 pick in the draft.

After leading Duke to a national title in his lone collegiate season, Okafor was tabbed as another piece in Philadelphia's rebuilding efforts.

It did not work out and last month Okafor was traded to the Brooklyn Nets. On Wednesday, it will be a reunion between the center and Philadelphia when the teams get together in Brooklyn.

Okafor only appeared in two games for the 76ers this season after dealing with knee issues last season. He was acquired by Brooklyn along with Nik Stauskas for Trevor Booker on Dec. 7. >> Read more

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Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

NEW YORK (AP) Kristaps Porzingis scored 28 points, Enes Kanter had 20 points, 20 rebounds and five assists, and the Knicks completed a New York City sweep of the Brooklyn Nets with a 111-95 victory Tuesday night.

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Jan 1, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) and guard Joe Harris (12) react in the third quarter against Orlando Magic at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Jan 1, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) and guard Joe Harris (12) react in the third quarter against Orlando Magic at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets, losers of nine out of their last 12 games, head just a short way over to Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night to face the New York Knicks.

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GEICO SportsNite: Jahlil Okafor 00:00:54
Nets center Jahlil Okafor discusses being compared to fellow draft class member Karl-Anthony Towns and his time in Brooklyn thus far.

Jan 27, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson is held back by guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) after being ejected during the third quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Jan 27, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson is held back by guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) after being ejected during the third quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Nets coach Kenny Atkinson confronted referees in the fourth quarter of the team's game Saturday night and had to be held back by players and coaches.

Atkison was upset with referee Tony Brothers, leading to a technical foul, but he then entered the court -- when he had to be restrained -- and was ejected after receiving a second technical foul. 

Jahlil Okafor scored 21 points and Nik Stauskas had 15 points to pace the Nets in the losing effort. The Nets went on to lose to the Timberwolves, 111-97.

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Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague (0) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King) (AP)
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague (0) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King) (AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Jimmy Butler scored 21 points in his return to the lineup, Karl-Anthony Towns had 16 points and 19 rebounds for his NBA-leading 43rd double-double and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Brooklyn Nets 111-97 on Saturday night.

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Jan 10, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris (12) and forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) defend against Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver (43) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 10, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris (12) and forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) defend against Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver (43) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

MINNEAPOLIS -- One reason the Minnesota Timberwolves hold the fourth spot in the Western Conference this season has been their ability to avoid losing streaks.

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Nov 11, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto (25) defends against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the second half at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Isabella)
Nov 11, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto (25) defends against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the second half at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Isabella)

When the Nets play the Timberwolves on Saturday night at 9 p.m., they will be without Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (groin) and D'Angelo Russell (rest), via Alex Labidou of the Nets.

Hollis-Jefferson is averaging 14.3 points on 47 percent shooting with 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, all career highs.

Russell is averaging 17.3 points on 44 percent shooting with 3.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. He's played in 16 games total this season, with his last four coming off the bench in his return from injury. He's averaging 16 minutes since his return. 

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
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Jan 26, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) looks to pass the ball as Brooklyn Nets forward DeMarre Carroll (9) defends during the first quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)
Jan 26, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) looks to pass the ball as Brooklyn Nets forward DeMarre Carroll (9) defends during the first quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 41 points to pave the way for a 116-91 victory for the Bucks over the Nets on Friday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

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Dec 17, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts in the fourth quarter against Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Dec 17, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts in the fourth quarter against Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

MILWAUKEE -- Speaking publicly for the first time since the Milwaukee Bucks fired head coach Jason Kidd earlier this week, Giannis Antetokounmpo admitted that he has had a hard time adjusting to the news.

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Jan 23, 2018; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jahlil Okafor (4) blocks a shot attempt by Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports (Mark D. Smith)
Jan 23, 2018; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jahlil Okafor (4) blocks a shot attempt by Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports (Mark D. Smith)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Russell Westbrook made a go-ahead layup with 3.3 seconds left to help the Oklahoma City Thunder rally from a 15-point second-half deficit and beat the Brooklyn Nets 109-108 on Tuesday night.

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Jan 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) shoots against Toronto Raptors power forward Serge Ibaka (9) during overtime at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) shoots against Toronto Raptors power forward Serge Ibaka (9) during overtime at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

OKLAHOMA CITY -- More than halfway through the season, the Oklahoma City Thunder are still searching for consistency.

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 (Tim Fuller)
(Tim Fuller)

The Pistons may have gottent the best of the Nets earlier this season, but one of their former draftees, Nets SG Spencer Dinwiddie, wanted some revenge this time around. 

The Nets were down one with 4.7 seconds left on the clock when Dinwiddie took the inbound, dribbled around PG Ish Smith, and managed to toss a fadeaway floater over C Andre Drummond with just enough time left to give Brooklyn a 101-100 lead. It was only right that Dinwiddie, who was drafted by the Pistons 38th overall back in 2014, put the dagger in Detroit on the road. 

Tags: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
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Spencer Dinwiddie (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
Spencer Dinwiddie (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Spencer Dinwiddie's jumper with 0.9 seconds left lifted the Brooklyn Nets over Detroit 101-100 Sunday, the Pistons' fifth straight loss.

After a basket by Andre Drummond put the Pistons ahead with 4.7 seconds left, Dinwiddie took the inbounds pass, drove to 14 feet and drained a jumper against his former teammates.

Tags: Detroit Pistons
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Jan 10, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris (12) and forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) defend against Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver (43) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 10, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris (12) and forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) defend against Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver (43) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Detroit Pistons haven't won since their last game against the Brooklyn Nets. The Pistons will try to end their four-game slide against the same opponent.

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Oct 20, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard D'Angelo Russell (1) plays the ball against Orlando Magic point guard Shelvin Mack (7) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 20, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard D'Angelo Russell (1) plays the ball against Orlando Magic point guard Shelvin Mack (7) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

After missing 32 games with a knee injury, D'Angelo Russell made his long-awaited return to the court for the Nets in their 101-95 comeback win against the Heat on Friday night. 

Russell was predictably rusty. In 14 minutes off the bench, he missed all five shots from the field and scored just one point, with two assists and two turnovers. The stat line wasn't of the utmost importance-- Russell and the Nets know the shots will fall. Everyone was just happy to have him back on the court. 

"That was the main test, so getting the opportunity to go out there and be with my teammates again was great," Russell said...

Tags: D'Angelo Russell
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GEICO SportsNite: Nets 00:00:26
Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson believes the team's defense has come a long way which showed in Friday night's 101-95 victory over the Heat.

Nov 11, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto (25) defends against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the second half at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Isabella)
Nov 11, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto (25) defends against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the second half at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Isabella)

NEW YORK (AP) DeMarre Carroll scored 26 points, Spencer Dinwiddie had 15 and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Miami Heat 101-95 on Friday night.

Brooklyn snapped a five-game losing skid at Barclays Center and a seven-game home losing streak to the Heat.

Caris LeVert and Joe Harris each added 12 points for the Nets. D'Angelo Russell played 14 minutes and went 0-for-5 from the field for Brooklyn in his first action after missing 32 games following left knee surgery.

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll
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Oct 27, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) takes a jump shot against New York Knicks guard Jarrett Jack (55) during second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 27, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) takes a jump shot against New York Knicks guard Jarrett Jack (55) during second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Nets guard D'Angelo Russell is active and will play against the Heat on Friday night, via Anthony Puccio of SB Nation.

Russell has missed 31 games since injuring his knee on November 11, which required arthroscopic surgery to fix. 

The 21-year-old Russell averaged 20.9 points, 5.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds, all career bests, in 12 games with Brooklyn before undergoing surgery. His 46.3 percent shooting percentage was also a career high through his first three seasons.

Tags: D'Angelo Russell
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Jan 10, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris (12) and forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) defend against Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver (43) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 10, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris (12) and forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) defend against Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver (43) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Nearly six weeks ago, the Miami Heat withstood the elevation and turned on the defense in a "road win" over the Brooklyn Nets in Mexico City.

It began a run of 15 wins in 20 games for the Heat, who visit the Nets on Friday night at Barclays Center.

When the Heat took the court Dec. 9 they were two games under .500 at 11-13 and entered the game by allowing 100 points in five straight games. They wound up holding the Nets to 36 points in the second half of a 101-89 win and are allowing 98.4 points in their last 20 games.

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Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson gestures to one of his players during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. Orlando won 115-107. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
		
		 (John Raoux/AP)
Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson gestures to one of his players during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. Orlando won 115-107. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (John Raoux/AP)

On Wednesday night, the Nets found themselves in a familiar scenario: on the wrong end of a close loss. The Nets fell 100-95 to the Spurs, but head coach Kenny Atkinson sees positives amid the loss. 

Atkinson believes the team is close to turning those close losses into close wins. 

"I feel like we're getting close," Atkinson said, via the Nets official site. "This is San Antonio, Toronto and Boston, these are elite teams in our league and there are no moral victories. But I do think they're encouraged, we're improving and getting better..."

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Jan 17, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets center Jahlil Okafor (4) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 17, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets center Jahlil Okafor (4) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

NEW YORK (AP) LaMarcus Aldridge scored 34 points, Patty Mills made seven 3-pointers and the San Antonio Spurs responded to the latest absence of Kawhi Leonard by beating the Brooklyn Nets 100-95 on Wednesday night.

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Dec 17, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts in the fourth quarter against Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Dec 17, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts in the fourth quarter against Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

The road has not been kind to the San Antonio Spurs of late, where they have suffered a rash of losses.

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GEICO SportsNite: Nets' Russell 00:00:49
On GEICO SportsNite, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reports on the status of D'Angelo Russell and when he might possibly return to action.

On GEICO SportsNite, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reports on the status of D'Angelo Russell and when he might possibly return to action.