The Brooklyn Nets struggled to contain Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo and for the first time in two months, they are on a three-game losing streak.
Brooklyn's next task is to contain Nikola Jokic on Wednesday night when they host the Denver Nuggets in a matchup of banged-up teams.
The Nets (28-27) are on their first three-game losing streak since dropping eight straight from Nov. 21-Dec 5. They went 20-6 in 26 games before the skid began with a 117-114 loss at San Antonio on Thursday.
Two days after a 102-89 loss in Orlando, the Nets allowed Antetokounmpo to get 30 points and 15 rebounds in a 113-94 home loss to league-leading Milwaukee. Besides being unable to stop Antetokounmpo, the Nets shot a season-low 32.4 percent and made just 5 of 42 3-point attempts as their nine-game home winning streak ended.
The Nets enter Wednesday's game after scoring less than 95 points in consecutive games for the first time since coach Kenny Atkinson took the job in 2016. They also are hoping to rebound from their worst shooting percentage since moving to Brooklyn in 2012.
The Nets played Monday with five players sidelined as Joe Harris sat out with a sore right hip to join Caris LeVert (right foot) Spencer Dinwiddie (right thumb) Allen Crabbe (sore right knee) and Jared Dudley (strained left hamstring) on the sidelines.
Harris leads the Nets in 3-point shooting at 45.3 percent and could return Wednesday while LeVert and Crabbe practiced with the G-League team Tuesday and may return before the All-Star break.
Even with the injuries, it is a struggle offensively in the last two weeks even in some of the wins.
Since getting a blowout win over Sacramento on Jan. 21, the Nets are averaging 106.6 points, shooting 40.7 percent and averaging 22.9 assists while losing four of their last seven games. Before then, they averaged 115.5 points, shot 47.4 percent and averaged 25 assists.
"Part of it is us not making shots. But we've been in a little bit of a -- the last seven, eight games -- a shooting funk for whatever reason. We've got to figure it out," Atkinson said. "We held the fort defensively, should've given us a chance to be in the game if our offense was at any kind of a normal level."
Getting their offense at a normal level includes more than just D'Angelo Russell, who scored 18 points but shot 7 of 20. Shabazz Napier finished with 15 but shot 4 of 15 and missed on all 10 3-point attempts and no other Net finished with more than 10 points. >> Read more
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