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."
Crabbe had the Nets' highest point total at 24 points as he continues his red-hot shooting. But Crabbe can't take every shot, and after missing eight straight shots late in the fourth quarter, the Pacers took advantage by regaining the lead, and pushing it further from the Nets' grasp.
"We couldn't stop them. Defense again was our Achilles heel, 35 points [in the fourth quarter] is just too many," head coach Kenny Atkinson said. "They got too many easy baskets, too many easy looks. There were too many breakdowns. Until we fix up our defense it's going to be tough to get a W. That's the way it is."
It wasn't all bad throughout the game, though. Other than Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll and D'Angelo Russell had great games. Carroll posted a double-double (21 points, 10 rebounds), while Russell poured hom 18 points with nine assists as well. But Russell feels that the team didn't play a full 48 minutes, and that resulted in yet another loss.
"I just feel like we're doing just all right -- just enough to get by -- and not finishing games," Russell said. "And that comes with playing for all 48 minutes and not just three quarters or whatnot -- or forgetting to play in the last four minutes -- so making winning plays down the stretch, stuff like that. I think we'll figure it out sooner or later, realize we've got to do it together.
"Just taking up that individual challenge, everybody trying to win that one-on-one battle with you guy and help your teammates at the same time, having that mentality of I'm going to win that battle with my guy."
Now, the Nets have lost 11 of their last 12 games, and it didn't help that Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson have both been hurt during that span. Brooklyn is hoping the break will allow them not only to get healthy, but figure out what it going wrong with the team.
"We have to come back with a bit of a chip on our shoulder. We're struggling right now. See if we can make some money after the All-Star break, see if we can come back focused. That's frustrating for all of us. We have to turn it around," Atkinson said. "Hopefully we get back to whole. Rondae and Caris are two of our best defenders. … They're really going to help us. But that being said I do think even with the guys we had out there we should've done better defensively."