Yet another hard-fought comeback crumbled before the eyes of the Nets in their 123-120 road loss to the Clippers Sunday night.
Down virtually the entire game, the Nets battled back from a 15-point deficit at one point to take a commanding 118-110 lead with about two-and-a-half minutes to play. That was all for nothing, though, as the Clippers rallied for a 13-2 run to finish the game, and send the Nets packing without a win.
"Yeah, very discouraging. We couldn't make the plays to put it away," Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson told The Post's Brian Lewis after the loss. "The hardest thing in professional sports is to close out a game. That's where we're at right now with our ability to close it out. We're not there yet. We've been in a lot of games like this. We have to do a better job."
The Nets were hoping to snap their losing streak that has been moved to three games now as well as losing 11 of their last 12 games. Joe Harris had two chances to tie the game in the final seconds, but Sindarius Thornwell blocked the first shot, and the second attempt was off the mark.
Spencer Dinwiddie noted it was the look the Nets wanted, but couldn't convert.
"Obviously I missed one down the stretch I'd love to have back," Dinwiddie said. "The timing was a little off on the last play, but we got it to the people we wanted to get it to, and that's all you can ask for."
Dinwiddie was among the group of guards that included D'Angelo Russell and Allen Crabbe who shot an abysmal 3-for-23 combined on the night.
Caris LeVert, on the other hand, carried the Nets' offense with 27 points -- 16 of which came in the second half.
"I was just trying to be aggressive and make plays. Coach talked about our competitiveness at halftime, and we didn't want to go out like that," LeVert said. "We don't like losing games. We fought back, but we should've never got ourselves in that position in the first place. We're just trying to get better."
At the end of the day, Atkinson couldn't point out one specific play that explained why the Nets' lost. Instead, it was an accumulation of what happened on both ends in the final seconds.
"I wish I could pinpoint one thing. The shot selection and the inability to get a key stop, it works both ways," Atkinson said. "That's why you lose an eight-point lead. It's not just one or the other. It's both."