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Durant, Westbrook stop Nets' win streak in OKC

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Kevin Durant scored 30 points, Russell Westbrook added 27 points and 13 assists and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Brooklyn Nets 110-99 on Wednesday night.

Dion Waiters had 16 points and Serge Ibaka contributed 12 points and eight rebounds in the Thunder's third straight victory.

Brook Lopez scored 26 points for the Nets, who had their three-game winning streak in Oklahoma City snapped. They were trying to join San Antonio as the only teams to win four straight games there.

The game was tied 10 times and the lead changed hands 14 times before Durant hit two 3-pointers and assisted on a third by Waiters to break an 85-all tie five minutes into the fourth quarter.

Durant and Waiters added two more 3s to stretch the lead to 13 and help the Thunder pull away down the stretch.

Thaddeus Young had 18 points and eight rebounds for the Nets. Rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson finished with 11 points and 11 boards.


Nets: Joe Johnson was just 2 for 11 for five points.

Thunder: Westbrook made his first appearance against the Nets since the 2012-13 season. He missed the previous four meetings due to injuries.


Nets: At Cleveland on Saturday night

Thunder: Host Detroit on Friday night.

Tags: Brook Lopez
Durant and Westbrook look to down Nets
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) dribbles the ball in front of Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) (Geoff Burke)

Kevin Durant made an instant impact in his return from injury, and the Oklahoma City Thunder continued to dominate offensively behind their superstar duo.

Durant and Russell Westbrook will look to lead Oklahoma City to its third three-game winning streak of the season Wednesday night against the visiting Brooklyn Nets.

The Thunder (9-6) won 111-89 at Utah on Monday behind Durant's 27 points in his first game since straining his left hamstring in a win at Washington on Nov. 10. They had gone 3-3 without him, averaging 103.0 points on 43.7 percent shooting.

Those numbers increase to 114.3 points and 49.3 percent when Durant plays after Oklahoma City shot a season-high 54.5 percent Monday.

The four-time scoring champion has averaged 28.0 points while shooting a career-best 52.4 percent. He was 10 of 13 from the field with six rebounds and four assists against Utah.

"When I was ready to get back on the court physically, I was there putting my work in making sure my body was ready, my fundamentals were right," said Durant, who has shot 58.5 percent in his last eight meetings with Brooklyn. "I just have the mindset that, no matter what, I just pick up where I left off. I think that is what separates good players from great players, is that mindset."

Russell Westbrook shouldered a larger load in Durant's absence, averaging 32.7 points and 9.3 assists. He remained effective Monday with 20 points - despite a season-low 10 field-goal attempts - and handed out nine assists. The Thunder are scoring 117.5 points per 100 possessions with both on the floor.

"You got 30 points that is not in the lineup, so that changes a lot for your team," Westbrook said, "and when you have that back it makes it easier. As you can see tonight, that makes it a lot easier for us as a team."

Brooklyn (3-11), meanwhile, has been disastrous defensively, giving up 104.4 points per game and 46.6 percent shooting - worst among Eastern Conference teams.

The Nets come off their first win in 11 games when allowing the opposition to reach 100 points, beating Boston 111-101 on Sunday. They shot 50.6 percent compared to a season-low 39.3 mark two days earlier in a 120-95 road loss to the Celtics.

Brook Lopez had 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Jarrett Jack added 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Those two had combined for only 25 points Friday.

Brooklyn also limited Boston to 32 points in the paint, down from the season-high 68 it allowed Friday.

"I think we took what happened the other night personal," Jack said. "Not necessarily per se toward that particular team, I think we took our performance personal."

The Nets are 1-8 on the road but have won their last three visits to Oklahoma City. Brooklyn has won four of the past five meetings overall, though Westbrook missed the last four and Durant the last two.

Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder
Brooklyn Nets fans can only dream of chance to draft LSU's Ben Simmons
LSU Tigers forward Ben Simmons (25) drives past North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Anthony Barber (12) during the second half in the consolation game of the Legends Classic at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Approximately 50 NBA personnel flocked to Barclays Center this week for the Legends Classic, some with legitimate aspirations of snaring LSU freshman sensation Ben Simmons at the top of the Lottery.

Nets Director of Player Personnel Gregg Polinsky was among those present on Monday evening when Simmons finished with 21 points, 20 rebounds and seven assists in an 81-80 loss to Marquette. Polinsky was there to watch more than just Simmons, but there was great irony attached to his presence.

Simmons played Monday and Tuesday at the home of the Nets, but there is virtually no chance the 6-foot-10 Australian-born lefty will make Brooklyn his NBA home. The Nets do not own their first-round pick in 2016, which went to the Boston Celtics as part of the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce draft night in 2013. Also in that now-failed deal, the Celtics get the Nets' 2018 first-round pick and have the rights to swap first-round picks in 2017.

On topic, the Celtics were represented at Barclays this week by GM Danny Ainge and Director of Player Personnel Austin Ainge.

Tied for the third-worst record in the NBA right now at 3-11, that Nets pick is looking like it will fall somewhere in the Lottery come springtime. All of this has led to frustration from Nets fans, a few of which sat behind press row behind the home basket Tuesday.

The Nets are in a bad place draft-wise, with no Simmons or anybody comparable coming to Brooklyn, but the Knicks are dealing with their own draft-pick calamity right now.

Just like the Nets, the Knicks do not own their 2016 first-round pick, which was given up as part of the Andrea Bargnani. The Knicks obviously got the bad end of that deal and are now left to wonder what having a player of Simmons' caliber would be like.

In fairness, the Knicks have played better than expected and could find themselves in the Eastern Conference playoff race down the road, but that likely won't be any consolation if Simmons pans out as people believe he will in time. 

Tags: Josh Newman
GEICO SportsNite: Brooklyn Nets 00:01:16
The Nets were able to beat Boston on Sunday night with solid chemistry, but know they need to keep improving moving forward.

The Nets' start-and-stop campaign revved back up on Sunday with a 111-101 win over the Celtics.

After getting blown out in Boston on Friday, the Nets hit 50.6 percent of their attempts from the field, and outscored Boston 48-32 in the paint. Brook Lopez led the way with 23 points and 10 rebounds, Thad Young had 12 boards of his own, and Jarrett Jack had a 22 points and four assists.

"I kind of felt like last game was an aberration and they proved me right tonight," Lionel Hollins said after Sunday's game.

Brian Erni

Well, coach. The team is 3-and-11, so was Friday the aberration…or was Sunday?

I guess that's been the most frustrating thing about the last two weeks of Brooklyn's season. After the 0-and-7 start, this has actually been anywhere from a halfway decent to pretty good basketball team. If not for some blown fourth quarter leads both on the West Coast and in Charlotte, we're looking at a 6-and-8 team with a whole different perspective. Therein lies the rub, however.

As they're contrasted, the Nets have zero margin for error. They can't let up, even for a second. Look at Sunday. Brooklyn dominated the first half, taking a 17-point lead into halftime. But Boston came charging back in the third and cut the lead to eight. The Nets were able to hold them off, but it speaks volumes.

The Nets need to fire on all cylinders to close out anyone and everyone in this league. It's not really sustainable, and I think most fans know that, but Brooklyn does have its flashes. If they're going to out-rebound teams 49-32 and dominate them in the paint, they'll be just fine, but I have a feeling efforts like this may be few and far between.

Tags: Brian Erni
Nets hold off Celtics 111-101 for home-and-home split
Nov 22, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) scores with a dunk over Boston Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko (8) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Brook Lopez had 23 points and 10 rebounds, Jarrett Jack scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Boston Celtics 111-101 on Sunday for a split of a home-and-home series.

Two nights after the Celtics won by 25 in Boston, the Nets dominated the second quarter that was pivotal in both games and held on after blowing most of a 22-point lead, their largest of the season.

Joe Johnson added 17 points for the Nets, who have won two in a row at home, where they have barely played this season.

Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley each scored 27 points for the Celtics, taking on more responsibility in the backcourt with starting guard Marcus Smart lost for possibly a couple of weeks with a lower left leg injury.

The Celtics outscored the Nets 43-23 in the second quarter Friday. This time, Brooklyn made 14 of 21 shots in a 35-point second quarter en route to a 59-42 advantage at halftime.

Brooklyn then pushed it to 67-45 early in the third, but Thomas scored 15 and Bradley hit three of his seven 3-pointers in the period to finally get the Celtics in the game.

The Celtics had won the last three meetings and every loss for the Nets is big for them this season, since Brooklyn owes Boston its first-round pick from the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade in 2013. The Nets have one of the NBA's worst records, so it's looking like the Celtics will get a good one.

But they couldn't help themselves further Sunday, as Jack steadied the Nets after Boston cut it to 90-86 with about 9 minutes remaining.


Celtics David Lee was scoreless and missed all three shots in 7 minutes off the bench after going 5 for 5 for 11 points Friday. ... The Celtics came in forcing an NBA-best 19.6 turnovers per game, but they coughed it up 17 times Sunday, leading to 25 points for the Nets. ... Boston fell to 3-2 on the road.

Nets: G Wayne Ellington sat out with a migraine. ... The Nets are nearly finished with a stretch that has them playing 11 of their first 16 games on the road. They visit Oklahoma City and Cleveland this week, then play nine straight in New York - eight at home and one at the Knicks.


Coach Brad Stevens said before the game that Smart could miss at least a couple of weeks. He said the second-year guard won't need surgery and the injury, which he said was the subluxation of a joint, isn't considered a long-term problem, but that doctors want to make sure he's fully healed before returning.


The teams play again Jan. 2 in Boston and Jan. 4 in Brooklyn. It's the first time the Nets play two home-and-home series against the same opponent in one season since Indiana in 2007-08.


Celtics: Visit Atlanta on Tuesday.

Nets: Visit Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

Tags: Brook Lopez , Jarrett Jack , Joe Johnson , Rondae Hollis-Jefferson , Thaddeus Young
Nets look to even up home-and-home series vs. Celtics
The Nets let a great chance to pick up a much-needed win slip away against the Kings. (AP)

(AP) -- The Brooklyn Nets were the latest team to suffer from Avery Bradley's contributions off Boston's bench, and they might be the first to see him back in the starting lineup.

Bradley has surged as the Celtics' sixth man but may be asked to step in for another injured guard when they visit the Nets Sunday night for the back end of a home-and-home set.

The Celtics (7-5) cruised past the Nets 120-95 on Friday for their fourth win in five games and Bradley has been a big reason for that success.

After sitting out two games with a calf injury, Bradley has averaged 18.5 points in his last four. He has made 55.4 percent of his shots since his return and 9 of 17 3-pointers.

Bradley opened the season as Boston's starting shooting guard and may be called back into that role. Point guard Marcus Smart will not travel with the team on its two-game road trip after suffering a lower left leg injury Friday. Boston initially said Smart suffered a left knee bruise, and coach Brad Stevens said he would undergo an MRI.

While starting the team's first six games, Bradley averaged just 10.7 points on 38.1 percent shooting. Isaiah Thomas, an offensive spark plug off the bench last season, has averaged 20.6 points and 7.8 assists in the last five after replacing Bradley in the starting lineup. Thomas likely will take over the point guard duties for Smart.

Bradley matched a season high with 21 points against the Nets, while Thomas finished with 18 and nine assists.

"I said before the game I like those guys coming off the bench because of the scoring pop they give us, and sometimes you really need that," Stevens said. "And (Bradley has) given it to us now four straight games."

It's a larger streak in which he has tormented Brooklyn (2-11), averaging 20.6 in his last seven games against the Nets while shooting 57.3 percent and making 17 of 33 3-pointers.

Boston, winner of three straight on the road, has won three in a row over Brooklyn, including two at Barclays Center. Each win this season pays twice as much because the Celtics hold the Nets' first-round draft pick as a result of the trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn in 2013.

While Boston scored a season high in points on Friday behind high-water marks in shooting (58.6 percent) and assists (39), Brooklyn struggled offensively again to suffer its fourth loss in five games.

The Nets, who rank toward the bottom of the league with 95.6 points per game, finished with a season-low field goal percentage of 39.3 while matching a low with 17 assists and committing a season-high 20 turnovers.

Brook Lopez and Shane Larkin were the only two Brooklyn players to shoot at least 50 percent while attempting more than four shots.

"That was a disappointing performance," coach Lionel Hollins said. "I'm surprised that we put up a performance like that, but they had a lot to do with it on the other side."

Thaddeus Young had averaged 23.0 points on 57.7 percent shooting in his previous three games but finished 7 of 17 for 14 points with 10 rebounds. Joe Johnson was held to 1-of-5 shooting for 3 points in a season-low 18 minutes.

"We played terrible," said Young. "That's the only thing you can say right now."

Bradley, Thomas lead Celtics to 120-95 win over Nets
Nov 20, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) drives the ball against Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) during the first quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

BOSTON (AP) -- Avery Bradley scored 21 points and Isaiah Thomas added 18 points and nine assists to lead the Boston Celtics over the struggling Brooklyn Nets 120-95 on Friday night.

The Celtics shot 62 percent in the first half and ran away with the game in the second quarter when they went 18 for 21 from the field (86 percent) and closed with a 26-7 run. Thomas scored all 14 of his first-half points - including four 3-pointers - during that stretch.

Jae Crowder had 19 points, Evan Turner scored 12 and David Lee 11 for the Celtics, who took the opener of a home-and-home set between the Atlantic Division rivals. Boston won for the fourth time in five games and pulled to 3-3 at home.

The 25-point margin of victory was the largest of the season for the Celtics.

The Nets (2-11) shot 42 percent in the first half and turned the ball over 11 times, including four times during Boston's second-quarter spurt. It was the ninth time this season they were held under 100 points.

Thaddeus Young had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, his fifth double-double after posting three last season. Brook Lopez also scored 14 points, and rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added a career-high 13.


Nets: Lopez and Shane Larkin were the only two Nets to shoot better than 50 percent. ... Lopez has led the team in scoring eight times this season. ... It was the Nets' worst shooting performance and defensive effort of the season. They shot 39 percent to 59 percent for Boston.

Celtics: All seven of Boston's wins have been by at least 13 points. ... The Celtics scored 66 points in the first half, their second-most this season. They had 72 in a Nov. 6 win over Washington. ... G Marcus Smart left in the fourth quarter with a bruised right knee.


Nets: Host Boston on Sunday.

Celtics: At Brooklyn on Sunday.

Tags: Brook Lopez , Rondae Hollis-Jefferson , Thaddeus Young
Tonight's Game: Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

The Nets are in Boston on Friday to take on the Celtics at 7 p.m.

According to STATS...

  • This is the front end of a home-and-home series, as the teams will meet in Brooklyn on Sunday. The Celtics have won three of the last four games in this series.
  • The Nets are shooting 47.7 percent before halftime, but just 40.5 percent in the second half of their games so far this season. That is the second-biggest differential in the NBA (second-half FG% worse).
  • The Celtics are getting an impressive 11.8 steals per game in 2015-16, which leads the NBA. Although it is early in the season, that is on pace to be the most steals per game by any team since the 1997-98 Celtics averaged 12.0 per contest.
  • Thaddeus Young is averaging 19.6 points and 8.4 rebounds while shooting 58.9 (43/73) percent from the floor over his last five games.
  • Avery Bradley has made at least half of his shot attempts in each of his last six games against the Nets. Bradley is averaging 20.5 points per game on 54.4 (49/90) percent shooting, including 50.0 (16/32) percent from behind the arc, during this streak.
  • Brook Lopez has had at least one blocked shot in each of his last 18 games. That is the longest active streak in the NBA.
Tags: Boston Celtics
Nets take on division leading Celtics on Friday night
The Brooklyn Nets flag is waved out on the court during pre-game ceremonies prior to the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Barclays Center. The Nets won 92-91. (Gregory Fisher)

(AP) -- While the Boston Celtics hope their latest loss doesn't throw off their rhythm, the Brooklyn Nets are hopeful they are as close as they think to finding theirs.

The Celtics will try to bounce back Friday night when the struggling Nets visit TD Garden for the opener of a home-and-home set.

Boston (6-5) pieced together three straight impressive wins - at home against Atlanta and on the road versus Oklahoma City and Houston - before blowing an 18-point lead in a 106-102 home loss to Dallas on Wednesday.

The Celtics get a chance to regroup against the sputtering Nets (2-10), who will host the back end of this home-and-home set Sunday night. Boston won three of four meetings in last season's series.

"I think you've got to keep your foot on the pedal, man," Isaiah Thomas said. "The best teams just stay the course and play the same way for the most part and go from there."

Boston certainly knows how to step on the gas, as Thomas leads a team that plays at the league's fifth-fastest pace. The Celtics average 14.4 fast-break points and a league-high 23.6 off turnovers. The Nets have surrendered 13.6 fast-break points per game and 17.2 off turnovers.

Thomas has averaged 21.3 points and 7.5 assists in the last four games, but Avery Bradley might provide the Celtics their biggest boost off their bench.

Bradley started Boston's first six games but was forced to miss two straight while nursing a calf injury. He returned off the bench Sunday against the Thunder and scored 14 points, a performance that triggered a switch in coach Brad Stevens' rotation.

"We won and played the next night and felt pretty good about it," Stevens said.

Bradley matched his season high with 21 points against the Rockets on Monday before scoring 18 against the Mavericks - including 12 straight in a 1:43 span in the first quarter.

Bradley has averaged 20.2 points in his last five games against Brooklyn while making 55.4 percent of his shots and half of his 26 3-pointers.

The Nets have one win in their last 13 away from home, including the final two in the regular season and three more in the playoffs last spring. The Nets have wins over Houston and Atlanta in their last five, but allowed the other three to slip away.

Opportunities were there in the final two minutes of Wednesday's 116-111 loss at Charlotte, but the Nets couldn't grab hold of any. Thaddeus Young missed an easy putback that would have made it a one-possession game with 2:00 left, and Brooklyn couldn't capitalize on two late Charlotte turnovers.

"It could be a little fatigue, but there are no excuses for missed opportunities," said Young, who scored a season-high 27 points. "We had every chance to win that game and it slipped by us."

The light at the end of the tunnel is nearing for the Nets, who open the season with 11 of 16 on the road. Friday ends a span of six of seven away from Barclays Center, but after Sunday's stop in Brooklyn they'll visit Oklahoma City in Cleveland before a home-heavy stretch.

Sergey Karasev wants out of Brooklyn

Sergey Karasev thinks the Nets are in disarray and wants out of Brooklyn as soon as possible, according to his father.

Karasev's father told Russia's SovSport that his son is healthy and that he's confused why Karasev has been fixed to the bench in the early-going of the Nets' season. (h/t to NetsDaily for the translation):

"It's totally confusing," Vasily Karasev told the Russian news outlet. "Sergey is totally healthy, but the coach seems to be thinking something different. He said that he does not see Sergey as part of the team. Based on what I've seen personally, the team is in total disarray. If I went there myself, even that would be better. The team has no game."

"Sergey is starting to discuss trade scenarios," the elder Karasev continued. "He's a young guy, he has to play. He feels that he's fully rehabbed, that his health is good. So to sit on the bench for a whole year is just not acceptable."

Karasev, 22, was acquired by the Nets along with Jarrett Jack prior to last season. He has played just six minutes this year.

Brian Erni

I can't really blame him for wanting out. Karasev is young and needs reps to sharpen his game coming off his season-ending injury last season. As it is, he's gone at the end of the year, when he will become an unrestricted free agent, but I can't blame him for trying to force the Nets' hand.

The Nets might as well see if they can coax a second round pick out of someone. I'm sure they've kept that dialogue open, too. But they can't be pleased that this became public, especially with how bleak things are looking in Brooklyn right now.

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Nets lose to Hornets, 116-111

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Nicolas Batum had 24 points and eight assists, and the Charlotte Hornets held off the Brooklyn Nets 116-111 on Wednesday night.

Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker chipped in with 18 points apiece for the Hornets, who have won six of their last nine games to get back to .500 on the season.

Marvin Williams scored 14 points and Jeremy Lin had 13 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Hornets (6-6).

Thaddeus Young had 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting for the struggling Nets. Brook Lopez added 23 points and Jarrett Jack and Joe Johnson each had 16 for Brooklyn.

Batum bounced back from a 1-of-9 shooting night on Tuesday against the New York Knicks and returned to the form that earned him Eastern Conference player of the week last week. He was 7 of 12 from the field and made all seven foul shots.

Charlotte won despite 16 turnovers.

The teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 84, but the Hornets began to pull away behind Batum, Lin and some stingy defense.

But they couldn't put the Nets away until the end.

Brooklyn battled back behind Jack, who had 10 points in the final period, to cut the Hornets' lead to 112-108 with two minutes remaining. But Brooklyn ruined a golden opportunity to make it a one-possession game after Young missed an easy follow shot.

The Hornets kept giving the Nets chances to win the game, but the visitors refused to oblige.

Lin turned the ball over with 33 seconds left, but Lopez missed a short jumper. Then Batum made an errant pass that sailed over the head of Spencer Hawes in the corner and out of bounds. Again, Brooklyn failed to take advantage as Lopez was called for an illegal screen at midcourt, giving the Hornets the ball back.

Finally, the Hornets capitalized as Williams made two free throws to make it a 114-108 game with 17 seconds remaining. Johnson missed a long jumper on the other end and Walker finally put the game away with a pair of free throws.


Nets: Lopez has scored 15 or more points 10 times this season along with five 20-point games. ... Johnson had three 3-pointers but the Nets were just 5 of 15 from beyond the arc. ... The Nets had a season-low nine turnovers.

Hornets: Rookie Frank Kaminsky had a career-high 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field. He saw more playing because starter Cody Zeller had a rough night, failing to score in 13 minutes of action. ... Walker's three 3-point field goals were a season high. .. The Hornets were 27 of 36 from the foul line and outrebounded the Nets 49-37.


Nets: Visit Boston on Friday night.

Hornets: Host Philadelphia on Friday night.

Tonight's Game: Nets at Hornets

The Nets are in Charlotte on Wednesday to take on the Hornets at 7 p.m.

According to STATS…

  • The Nets are 11-3 against the Hornets since the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign - their best record versus any opponent in that span. Brooklyn has won each of its last two trips to Charlotte.
  • After opening the season 0-7, the Nets have now won two of their last four games, including a 90-88 victory over Atlanta on Tuesday.
  • The Hornets were defeated by the Knicks on Tuesday, 102-94, and have now lost two of their last three contests. Charlotte has won each of its last three home games, averaging 110.3 points in those contests.
  • Brook Lopez has scored at least 31 points in four career games against Charlotte - the most 31+ point performances in his career versus any opponent. Lopez has posted a double-double in three of his last four games overall, while blocking at least three shots in each of those four contests (15 total blocks).
  • Jarrett Jack is averaging 24.5 points in his last two road games after averaging just 10.0 points in his previous five away from home. Jack will be looking to score 20+ points in three straight road contests for the first time in his career.
  • Kemba Walker led all scorers with a season-high 31 points on Tuesday, his 15th career 30-point performance and first since January 7, after averaging 11.5 points in his previous four contests. Walker has scored exactly 11 points in each of his last two meetings with Brooklyn.

(AP) -- Brooklyn made the most of a quick stop home by beating a first-place team and now has a shot at notching consecutive wins for the first time this season against an opponent tied for last.

The Nets visit Charlotte Wednesday night, where they beat the Hornets twice last season and can now start trying to turn around what's been an awful start to 2015-16.

A 90-88 win over Atlanta Tuesday followed a four-game road trip on which the Nets (2-9) earned their first victory in Houston after an 0-7 start. Thaddeus Young hit two free throws with 1.4 seconds left and finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Brook Lopez had 24 and 10.

There were no style points after a combined 14 turnovers led to a 19-17 Hawks' advantage after the first quarter.

"The game wasn't the prettiest," said Jarrett Jack, who has been impressive the last three games with 21.0 points and 9.7 assists per game. "I have a saying that it may not look pretty, but it all looks the same in the 'W' column."

Regardless of how it happened, coach Lionel Hollins was relieved after his club blew a late lead in Saturday's 107-99 overtime loss in Golden State. That was preceded by a two-point loss in Sacramento and the win over the Rockets. Dating back to a six-point home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 6, Brooklyn hasn't had any games over a 2-4 span decided by double figures, so results might be closer than its record indicates.

"This was a big win," Hollins told the team's official website. "The big difference between two games. One game we have three opportunities to execute and we don't. Tonight we have three opportunities to execute and we do and we come out a winner."

It's now back out on the road for two more and, if it begins well, a third straight win in Charlotte. The Nets won two of three last season with Lopez scoring 34 points with 10 rebounds in a 91-88 road win on March 25 to clinch the season series.

The Nets have dropped their last five without a day of rest dating to last season, while the Hornets won their only game on no rest this season and will also be completing a back-to-back set.

The Hornets (5-6), though, are seeking a split after falling 102-94 in New York on Tuesday. Kemba Walker scored a season-best 31 points on 12-of-21 shooting, but the rest of the starting five managed 22 points on 10 of 30. Walker's backcourt mate, Nicolas Batum, was 1 for 9 after scoring 25.5 points and making 15 of 26 from 3-point range in his previous four games.

"We missed shots, but we got some good-looking shots," Walker said. "We got it down to four, but unfortunately they just didn't drop."

Walker had been in a bit of a funk, averaging 11.5 points on 30.2 percent in his previous four games, and he's been held to 13.0 on 32.9 percent in his last five against Brooklyn.

Coach Steve Clifford's team has won three straight at home, though it figures to again be without starting forward P.J. Hairston, who missed the game against the Knicks with a bruised right thigh. Clifford said he thought there was "no chance" Hairston would return Wednesday, adding that the second-year player "tried to do some stuff (Tuesday) and he's not even close."

Nets home attendance in decline
The Nets' attendance is in sharp decline this season at Barclays Center. (AP)

Nets attendance is in a steep decline.

Barclays Center announced a paid crowd of 12,241 for Monday's victory against the Hawks. That's the lowest ever for a regular season game.

Overall, the Nets are currently ranked 27th in the league in attendance. They are averaged 15,070 paid fans per game, which is an average of 83.2 percent capacity.

Last season, the Nets ranked 20th in attendance with an average of 17,037 fans per game. In their inaugural season in Brooklyn, they were 16th and averaged 17,187, good for 94.9 percent capacity.

Brian Erni

This photo, taken by NetsDaily about a half hour before tip off, made the rounds on social media on Tuesday, and it's scary to look at. Yes, the crowd filled in a bit, but I seriously doubt they actually had over 12,000 fans in the house. And with the Islanders struggling to draw early in their Barclays Center tenure as well, one has to ask if there is an underlying issue here.

Let's be frank, the Isles' numbers are far more likely to rebound than the Nets', because the Islanders are legitimate championship contenders, while the Nets are not. But is this data telling us something else? To me, it says that Barclays Center isn't a destination area like Madison Square Garden, who sell out every game regardless of the Knicks' record. It says that, despite what we hear about the strength of the "Brooklyn brand," it's still all about putting a winning product on the floor. If that's the case, it may get worse before it gets better for the Nets.

Tags: Brian Erni
Starters lead Nets to first home win
Joe Johnson and the Nets' starters were too much for the Hawks to handle Tuesday night. (AP)

All five Nets starters put up solid numbers while on the court on Tuesday night.

Thad Young (+16), whose free throws with 1 second remaining were the difference in the game, led the way. Both Young (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Brook Lopez (24 points, 10 rebounds) had double-doubles.

"The game wasn't the prettiest," Jarrett Jack said. "I have a saying that it may not look pretty, but it all looks the same in the `W' column."

Brian Erni

Mark Cuban said the East was the better conference over the weekend. I'd invite him to watch the first quarter of this one back and give him a chance to reconsider, because Jack's right: it wasn't exactly poetry in motion. But the Nets' starters made all the difference. They forced turnovers, and - for the most part - didn't let Atlanta get open looks. Young and Lopez dominated the glass, and the Nets had their way with Atlanta in the paint to the tune of a 40-24 advantage.

The Nets' last three efforts have really been night-and-day compared to their tough 0-7 start. If they can replicate this effort, there's absolutely no reason they can't compete for the eight seed. The question is can they sustain it? Joe Johnson, for example, had nine assists. I'm not sure he can keep that up. But the defense was strong, the Nets played to their strengths, and they earned themselves an impressive victory on their home floor.

Tags: Brian Erni
Young's late free throws lift Nets over Hawks
The Nets earned their second victory this season with a late win over the Hawks on Tuesday night. (AP)

NEW YORK (AP) Brook Lopez had 26 points and Thaddeus Young hit two free throws with 1.4 seconds left to give the Brooklyn Nets a 90-88 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

After a timeout, Young knocked away Thabo Sefolosha's inbounds pass to Al Horford as time expired to give Brooklyn.

Young finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Jarrett Jack and Shane Larkin each had 14.

Horford scored 18 points for the Hawks. Paul Millsap had 17 and Kyle Korver added 13.

Sefolosha's 3-pointer with 41 seconds left gave the Hawks an 88-86 lead before Jack tied it on a short jumper with 33 seconds left.

Neither team led by more than four points in a sloppy first quarter when the teams turned it over 14 times, eight by the Hawks, who led 19-17 after the first 12 minutes.

The Hawks went up by a game-high 10 points, 35-25, after Korver hit a 3-pointer with 6:06 left in the second.

However, the Nets followed with a 15-5 run capped by Young's put-back layup with 1:36 left before halftime to tie the game at 40.

The Hawks led 46-45 at halftime.

Atlanta increased its advantage to 61-55 on Horford's 3-pointer with 6:22 left in the third quarter. But, Larkin hit back-to-back 3s to put the Nets up 68-64 with 1:56 remaining before Brooklyn ended the quarter up 72-68.

The Nets took a 76-70 lead in the fourth quarter before the Hawks responded with an 8-0 run to regain the lead and set up the dramatic finish.

Joe Johnson scored 13 points for the Nets and Lopez added 10 rebounds.


Hawks: Guard/forward Kent Bazemore, who started Atlanta's first 12 games, suffered a right ankle sprain in Monday's loss to the Utah Jazz and did not play on Tuesday. ... Tiago Splitter started his first game of the season as Bazemore's replacement.

Nets: The Nets had lost six straight games to Atlanta. Brooklyn's previous victory in the series was on January 16, 2014, 127-110 in London. . At 2-9, this is Brooklyn's worst start to a season since the 2009-10 team lost its first 18.


Hawks: Atlanta hosts Sacramento on Wednesday.

Nets: Brooklyn plays at Charlotte on Wednesday.

Tags: Danny Abriano
Nets look for first win at home against Hawks
Brook Lopez and the Nets are looking for their first win at home Tuesday night. (AP)

(AP) - If Jeff Teague is out, the Atlanta Hawks know they can count on Dennis Schroder to pick up the slack.

Both point guards already shined this season in a win over the Brooklyn Nets, and only Schroder is certain to play Tuesday night when the visiting Hawks seek to avoid a third straight loss and post their seventh straight victory in this series.

Teague missed his first game Sunday, sitting out a 97-96 loss to Utah with a sore left ankle. Schroder made his third start and had 11 points with season highs of nine assists and six rebounds.

"We're fortunate to have him to step in to replace Jeff Teague," said coach Mike Budenholzer, who returned after missing one game because of his wife's undisclosed medical emergency.

Teague suffered the injury in Friday's 106-93 loss at Boston. He averages 17.1 points and a team-high 6.5 assists.

The point guards have contributed to Atlanta (8-4) averaging 22.5 points off turnovers for one of the NBA's best marks. The Hawks converted 19 turnovers into 25 points in a 101-87 home win over Brooklyn on Nov. 4.

The Nets (1-9) said afterward that their sloppy play was a result of trouble they had running their pick-and-roll offense against the Hawks.

That contest marked the last time Schroder started before Sunday. He scored 20 points and Teague added 16, with each driving to the basket eight times.

Atlanta, which registers an assist on 20.0 percent of its possessions for the Eastern Conference's best mark, was efficient with 27 assists and just two isolations while Brooklyn used isolation plays 12 times. The Nets average 96.3 points per 100 possessions for one of the league's least efficient offenses.

Brooklyn is 0-3 at home for its worst such start since losing its first four in 2011-12.

The Nets are feeling better about themselves after three strong road efforts against the West. They posted their first win 106-98 at Houston last Wednesday, lost 111-109 to Sacramento two days later and fell 107-99 in overtime to Golden State on Saturday.

"I think you can see a progression pretty much every night," center Brook Lopez said. "Coach (Lionel Hollins) came in here and said, and each one of us agrees, we could have ended up 3-0 on this trip. You can say that but we really feel that we are making steps."

Jarrett Jack has totaled 49 points and 21 assists in the last two games while Thaddeus Young had a season-high 26 points and 10 boards Saturday.

Lopez's best game was his 27-point, 11-rebound effort against the Hawks. He made 11 of 16 shots with only six of his 60 touches in the paint as he forced Atlanta center Al Horford away from the basket.

The Hawks' Paul Millsap scored a season-high 28 points Sunday. Horford and Kent Bazemoreeach added 16.

The Nets are last in the league in 3-point shooting at 26.5 percent. The Hawks allow an average of 27.2 3-point attempts for one of the NBA's highest marks.

Atlanta hasn't lost to Brooklyn since a 127-110 defeat Jan. 16, 2014, in London.

Jarrett Jack is healthy and producing
Back from an injury, Jarrett Jack is starting to carry the load for the Nets. (AP)

Jarrett Jack finally looks like he can shoulder the load in the Nets' back court.

After Jack scored 21 points and dished out 12 assists in Sacramento on Friday, he tallied 28 points and nine assists against the Warriors on Saturday. The reason for the sudden renaissance? Jack says it's because he's finally healthy.

"To be honest, I'm just now fully getting healthy," Jack, who suffered a hamstring injury during the preseason, told the New York Post. "That's neither here nor there. There's no excuses […] Once you step between those lines, nobody wants to hear that, and neither do I, so I'm just coming out and trying to be healthy and do my best to lead this ball club."

Brian Erni

I was worried about Jack's hamstring coming into this season, because we saw first hand with Deron Williams how debilitating that injury can be for players, particularly point guards. But now that Jack is finally feeling himself, he looks more than capable of running this offense.

If it wasn't for the brain cramp that led to the eight-second violation on Saturday night, Jack would have had a near-flawless weekend on the West Coast. While the losses on Friday and Saturday may have felt like a cruel joke from the universe, the truth is that if Jack can play at that level for the rest of the year, Brooklyn should win more games than they lose.

Tags: Jarrett Jack , Brian Erni
Thad Young had his best game of the season
Young put in his best performance of the season in Brooklyn's loss to the Warriors. (AP)

Thaddeus Young turned in his best effort of 2015-16 in the Nets' heartbreaking loss to Golden State.

Young opened the night shooting 8-of-8 and finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists in just under 39 minutes. It was Young's third double-double of the season.

Despite his strong offensive night, Young couldn't help but lament his failure to foul Draymond Green with 5.9 seconds remaining that would have likely locked up a Brooklyn victory against the defending NBA champs.

"I definitely should have fouled Draymond when he caught the ball, or as soon as Andre Iguodala got the ball," Young said. "We should have fouled him also."

Brian Erni

I still can't believe he didn't foul on that inbound pass. Young was just kind of swiping at air. But looking past it for a second, Young was the best he has been all season, and that's saying something. Young has gotten better and better as the year has progressed, as he has shot 50 percent or better in seven of his last eight games, and has averaged nine boards a game over his last four contests.

I know the Nets are smaller than most upfront with Young at the four, but he really does so much to make up for it. When you think about the black hole power forward was with Kevin Garnett there the majority of last season, Saturday night was another great example of just how valuable Young is.

Tags: Thaddeus Young , Brian Erni
Nets failure against the Kings feels like a body blow
The Nets let a great chance to pick up a much-needed win slip away against the Kings. (AP)

The Nets led most of the way in Sacramento on Friday, but couldn't hold off the Kings' second half push.

DeMarcus Cousin scored 40 points, 30 of which came in the second half, and Brooklyn saw a lead that was as large as eight in the latter stages of the third quarter evaporate.

"It was tough," Jarrett Jack said. "I thought that was a game we had control of for the majority and we weren't able to stop the run that they made in the second half."

The Nets are now 1-8, tied for second-worst in the NBA.

So much for the afterglow of that win over Houston. It's almost hard to believe that the Nets lost this game, but I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Despite holding Sacramento just 42.1 percent from the field and outscoring them in the paint 46-44, Brooklyn had no answer for DeMarcus Cousins in the second half, and looked outmatched against Rajon Rondo, as the former Celtic again played more than 40 minutes. It just goes to show that even when they put together a halfway decent defensive effort, they still lack the ability to stop anyone in crunch time.


This one is killer. The Nets had a little momentum after beating the Rockets, and a win against the Kings would have been a shot in the arm. But if they can't hang to multiple second-half leads against the Kings, who exactly can they beat? It's time to resign ourselves to the fact that the win in Houston was an aberration, and we're in for a long, long season.

Tags: Brian Erni
Nets travel to Golden State to take on undefeated Warriors
The Nets have a tough task Saturday night against the Warriors. (AP)

(AP) - Stephen Curry hardly keeps track of how many 3-pointers he's putting up on a given night. His mindset is: See a chance and let it fly.

So, how about if he's on a record pace for 3s by season's end?

"I always believe 3 is better than 2," Curry said with a smile after a recent game. "If I can knock `em down, I'm sure that will help our team kind of open up games and it's kind of deflating for a defense. I know it is for us when a guy gets hot on the other side."

The reigning NBA MVP has had a hot hand so far this season while playing for the league's most dominant team. The defending champions appear to be even better than they were during their 67-win title run as they try to stay unbeaten Saturday night against the visiting Brooklyn Nets.

Curry is determined to show the rest of the league he's a far more polished player, capable of spectacular performances and leading the new-and-improved Warriors during another special season.

"I'm always confident. I'm not really surprised when I do something crazy," Curry said. "That's how I practice is the way I play out there, and trying to let that show."
Curry's sensational start has his name mentioned in the same breath as Michael Jordan, and interim Warriors coach Luke Walton projects he'll be the best shooter of all time. That is, if he isn't already there.

"I think he's setting the new standard as a shooter in this league," Walton said.
The 27-year-old has hit 52 of 110 from long range through 10 games in his seventh NBA season, putting him on pace for 426. That would shatter his record set last season of 286 on 646 attempts.


The Warriors won 129-116 at Minnesota on Thursday night for the best start in franchise history, becoming the fourth team to begin a season at least 10-0 immediately after capturing a championship.

Curry led the way with 46 points and hit 8 of 13 from 3-point range, giving him 24 more 3-pointers than any player ever through the first 10 games of the season. With 333 points, he's scored the most in that span of any player since Jordan's 338 to begin the 1992-93 season.

The two-time All-Star has averaged 24.5 points while sinking 21 of 46 (45.7 percent) from beyond the arc over his last six meetings with the Nets. He hit six 3s in the most recent matchup March 2 when Brooklyn earned a split of the season series with a 110-108 home win.

Curry had scored 18 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, including a tying bucket, as the Warriors rallied back from a 10-point deficit with under four minutes remaining. Jarrett Jack, however, made the winning jumper with 1.1 seconds left for Brooklyn.

Jack also finished with 23 points while making all 10 of his field-goal attempts in a 107-99 loss at Golden State on Nov. 13, 2014. He had 21 points and 12 assists in Friday's 111-109 loss at Sacramento in the third stop on this four-game western trip.

"I thought it was a game we had control for the most majority," Jack said. "But we weren't able to stop the run they made in the second half."

Brook Lopez added 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Thaddeus Young had 16 and nine as the Nets dropped to 1-8.

Golden State's Draymond Green, who had 23 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds Thursday, has totaled 35 points and 18 boards in his last two home meetings with Brooklyn.

Nets' rally falls short in Sacramento
The Nets couldn't hold off DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings on Friday night. (AP)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) DeMarcus Cousins had 30 of his season-high 40 points in the second half and added 13 rebounds,Rajon Rondo had a triple-double and the Sacramento Kings beat the struggling Brooklyn Nets 111-109 on Friday night.

It was the second straight victory for the Kings, who had snapped a six-game losing streak on Wednesday.

Rondo had his third triple-double in four games, with 23 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. Reserve Ben McLemore had a season-high 15 points and Marco Belinelli had 14.

Jarrett Jack had 21 points and 12 assists for the Nets, who have opened the season with a 1-8 record.

Brook Lopez had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Thaddeus Young had 16 and nine rebounds. Bojan Bogdanovic had 15 points and Joe Johnson scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Cousins, who fouled out with 43 seconds remaining, had a frustrating first half, missing 9 of 10 shots and collecting three fouls. He still had 10 points and nine rebounds Cousins produced a memorable third quarter, making a pair of 3s and scoring 21 points to help the Kings take an 85-82 lead into the fourth.

After Rondo missed two free throws, Bogdanovic hit a corner jumper to pull the Nets to within 111-109 with 1.8 seconds left. A turnover on an inbounds play by Rondo gave Brooklyn the ball back. But he made amends by stealing a deflected inbounds pass to end the game.

Kings forward Rudy Gay missed the game due to a stomach virus and key reserve Darren Collison missed his fourth straight game.

Tonight's Game: Nets at Kings

According to STATS…

  • Brooklyn has won three of its last four road games against Sacramento after dropping 11 of its previous 12 such contests.
  • Brooklyn's 106-98 road victory over Houston on Wednesday snapped both the Nets' seven-game losing streak to open the 2015-16 season and their six-game streak of being held below 100 points. Brooklyn grabbed 60 rebounds in the win over the Rockets; its most in any game since pulling down 67 boards in a win over the 76ers, April 9, 2013.
  • Sacramento is doing a much better job of scoring off opponent turnovers this season (22.2 ppg) than it did in 2014-15 (15.3 ppg); that 6.9 ppg improvement is the best in the NBA.
  • Brook Lopez had 14 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots in Wednesday's win over the Rockets. The Nets are 4-3 all-time when Lopez has 10+ points, 10+ boards and 5+ blocks in a game, but have won the last four.
  • DeMarcus Cousins has had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in each of his last three, and in four of his last five, games against the Nets.
  • Rajon Rondo has two triple-doubles in his last three games. This is the eighth straight season that Rondo has recorded at least one triple-double. Since the start of the 1991-92 season, the only player who has had a longer streak is Jason Kidd, who recorded 1+ triple-double in 17 consecutive seasons.
Nets look to continue winning ways against Sacramento
The Nets couldn't hold off DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings on Friday night. (AP)

(AP) - The Sacramento Kings and Brooklyn Nets posted rare victories their last time out thanks to outstanding long-range shooting that was surprising in one team's case but not for the other.

The Kings are insisting that some internal turmoil is behind them as they prepare to host the Nets on Friday night.

These teams entered Wednesday with a combined record of 1-14 before Sacramento (2-7) ended a six-game slide with a 101-92 win over Detroit while Brooklyn snapped an 0-7 start with a 106-98 victory at Houston.

The Kings shot a season-high 56.3 percent on 3-pointers, with four from DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins is 8 for 19 on 3s after entering the season shooting 15.9 percent in 69 attempts.

"I picked my spots tonight and I was pretty successful," Cousins said.

The added dimension to his game is a major reason why Sacramento is one of the best 3-point shooting teams at 37.9 percent.

Brooklyn is second-worst at 26.8 percent. The Nets shot a season-best 47.1 percent by making 8 of 17 against the Rockets after not being better than 33.3 percent in any game.

"If we go 8 for 22, I'll be happy with 8 for 22, that's what I said before the game looking at prior stats of other teams," coach Lionel Hollins said. "I said, 'Shoot if we can do that, get eight 3s, I'll be happy.'"

The Kings defend the 3-point line well, limiting foes to 31.3 percent shooting. Hollins doesn't expect his team to start firing away since it averages 15.4 attempts for one of the league's lowest marks.

"I hope that's not the equation to us winning, making 3s, but it's always nice to make a certain amount of 3s," Hollins said. "We hadn't even been getting 3s before."

Sacramento prevailed one day after a team meeting that was also attended by upper management, including general manager Vlade Divac. Cousins issued an apology in the wake of a report surfacing that George Karl wanted to suspend the big man for two games after the All-Star center yelled profanity at the veteran coach.

"I'm not sure a panic button was pushed as you all magnified it," Karl said. "Team meetings and six-game losing streaks happen. The newness to our team? I don't know. But I thought the last two days have been good for us."

Cousins had a season-high 33 points with nine rebounds while Rudy Gay made his first five shots and scored 25.

"The best thing that came out of the meeting? This win," Cousins said. "But I'll take the hit. If it results from this every night, I'll take the hit and I'll be the scapegoat."

Rajon Rondo played all 48 minutes for the second straight game, notching his second triple-double with 14 points, 15 assists and 11 boards. He has been forced to shoulder the entire point guard load with injuries to Darren Collison and Seth Curry.

Rondo guides an offense that averages 103.5 possessions per 48 minutes for one of the league's fastest paces. Brooklyn averages 96.7 for one of the more deliberate tempos.

Joe Johnson had 16 points and a season-high 10 assists Wednesday. He leads Eastern Conference players with a 4.6 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Nets' first win is a 'breakthrough'

How much does the Nets' first win of the season mean? Quite a lot.

"When you get a win, it validates all the preaching and all the working that you're doing," head coach Lionel Hollins said after the victory. "When you do get a victory, you can say: 'Hey, this is what we're talking about.' Because in that victory, there's a lot of things that I've been preaching and other coaches have been preaching."

The upset over the Rockets was the team's first since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals last postseason, and snapped the seven-game losing streak Brooklyn began the season on.

"We responded to their runs," Lopez said. "We played our most complete game of the season. Obviously it's good to get that first one. It's a breakthrough."

Brian Erni

It had to be frustrating for the Nets to get a clean slate of a new season, and immediately put themselves behind the eight ball. Hitting rock bottom like that before you even get a chance to celebrate your first win can be demoralizing. It would have been easy for the Nets to roll over for the Rockets in Houston, but they really played with an edge we hadn't seen all season. If anything, it makes me see that there is talent on this team to at least stay competitive deep into the season, and that's all it really takes to make the playoffs in the East.

That said, while I'm sure this is a huge boost to morale, the Nets need to get hot, and in a hurry. This can't just be a blip on the radar. If they have any chance of negating that seven-game slide, they need to get on a little bit of a run. It's possible. Sacramento, Charlotte, and a home-and-home with Boston account for four of the Nets' next six contests (let's just go ahead and write Saturday in Golden State off right now). If they can find a way to get to 5-9 by Thanksgiving week, maybe this will be the win that helped vault them in the right direction.

Nets top Rockets, 106-98, for first win of season

HOUSTON (AP) Bojan Bogdanovic came off the bench to score a season-high 22 points with nine rebounds and lead the Brooklyn Nets to their first victory of the season, 106-98 over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

The Nets entered the game 0-7 and the Rockets had won four straight after opening the season 0-3.

Brooklyn scored six straight points to turn a tie game into a 99-93 lead with 3 1/2 minutes remaining. Thomas Robinson led the way in that stretch, scoring four points highlighted by a dunk after a steal.

Marcus Thornton made a 3-pointer for Houston, but Bogdanovic hit one with 1:37 left to stretch the lead to 102-96.

James Harden led Houston with 23 points, cooling off after scoring 43 and 46 in the last two games.

The victory was Brooklyn's first in Houston since March 13, 2006, ending an eight-game skid.

Joe Johnson added 16 points and 10 assists for Brooklyn. Brook Lopez had 14 points and 12 rebounds.

The Nets scored nine consecutive points, capped by a 3-pointer by Wayne Ellington, to take a 91-87 lead with 6 1/2 minutes remaining. Dwight Howard missed two layups on consecutive possessions to leave Houston empty-handed.

Howard had 10 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks.

A layup by Trevor Ariza ended a drought of more than three minutes for the Rockets after that. That was the start of a 6-2 run that tied it at 93-93 with less than five minutes left.

The Rockets trailed by six at halftime but used an 18-6 run to take a 79-68 lead with just more than three minutes left in the third quarter. Harden, Ariza, Thornton and Patrick Beverley all made 3-pointers for Houston in that span.

An 11-4 spurt by Brooklyn cut the lead to 83-79 entering the fourth quarter.

Brooklyn scored the last six points of the first half, with four from Bogdanovic, to lead 55-49 at halftime.


Nets: Rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson started and played the first 7:49 of the game before sitting out until the fourth quarter. He finished with four rebounds and an assist. …. Thaddeus Young added 13 points.

Rockets: F Terrence Jones returned after missing the last five games with a cut on his right eyelid. He had four rebounds. … Beverley returned after missing the last two games with a concussion. … G/F K.J. McDaniels was assigned to Houston's D-League Rio Grande Valley on Wednesday. … Coach Kevin McHale said rookie Sam Dekker is dealing with a back problem, but will likely join McDaniels with Rio Grande Valley when he gets healthy.


Nets: Visit Sacramento on Friday.

Rockets: Visit Denver on Friday.

Tonight's Game: Nets at Rockets

The Nets are in Houston on Wednesday to take on the Rockets at 8 p.m. ET.

  • Houston has won 16 of the last 17 meetings with the Nets, dating back to December 27, 2006, including eight straight at Houston. The last Nets' victory at Houston was on March 13, 2006, 90-77, when Vince Carter has 29 points for New Jersey and Jason Kidd had a triple-double.
  • Brooklyn is one of two winless teams in the NBA still (also Philadelphia) at 0-7. The Nets' last loss was Saturday at Milwaukee, 94-86. One positive for Brooklyn on Saturday was that they did hold an opponent under 100 points for the first time this season. This is the second time in franchise history that the Nets have started 0-7 (also 2009-10). In 2009-10, the then New Jersey Nets started the season 0-18.
  • Houston is now 4-3 after winning 109-105 at Staples Center against the Clippers on Saturday. It was Houston's fourth straight win after beginning the season with three straight losses. Houston has averaged just 88.7 points per game in its three losses on 37.1 percent field goal shooting including just 24.5 percent from beyond the arc; In their four wins the Rockets are averaging 113.5 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting from the field and 32.6 percent shooting from three-point range. The Rockets allow 108.7 points per game in their losses and 108.5 points per game in their wins.
  • Brook Lopez has averaged 18.1 points per game in 11 career games against Houston, but he has never won against the Rockets. Lopez's 11 losses without a win versus Houston is tied for fifth most losses without a win against a single opponent among active players: Jrue Holiday 0-16 vs. Miami, Jason Thompson 0-13 vs. Atlanta, Omri Casspi 0-12 vs. Miami, James Johnson 0-12 vs. Dallas and Trevor Booker 0-11 vs. LA Clippers.
  • James Harden returns home after record 89 points in a set of back-to-back road games on Friday at Sacramento (43 points) and Saturday at LA Clippers (46 points). The last time a Rockets' player had 89+ points in a set of back-to-back games was Elvin Hayes with the San Diego Rockets on November 12-13, 1968 (94 points).
  • Dwight Howard collected 20 points and 20 rebounds on Saturday at the LA Clippers. It was Howard's 44th career 20+ point, 20+ rebound game of his career, most among active players, but his first since December 8, 2013 vs. Orlando (20 points, 22 rebounds).
Struggling Nets face Houston and a struggling Harden
(Jae C. Hong/AP)

(AP) - James Harden's slow start is now well behind him. The Brooklyn Nets' early struggles continue to linger.

While Harden's prolific scoring has fueled the Houston Rockets' four-game win streak, the reeling Nets try to avoid an eighth straight loss to begin their season in Wednesday night's visit to the Toyota Center.

Houston (4-3) has fared as Harden has through its first seven games, with the star guard's 22.2 percent shooting a key factor in the team's 0-3 start. He's averaging 38.5 points during the win streak and delivered a second consecutive 40-plus effort with 46 in Saturday's 109-105 road victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Harden followed a 43-point, 13-assist performance Friday at Sacramento by matching the third-highest point total of his career, which included him going 13 of 14 from the foul line. His final two free throws snapped a 105-all tie with 32.6 seconds left.

After going 3 of 32 from 3-point range during Houston's skid, Harden is 9 for 20 over his two-game binge. He's the first Rockets player with back-to-back games of at least 43 points since Moses Malone did so in three straight Feb. 26-March 2, 1982.

"He's making shots. He's being aggressive. He's playing faster," coach Kevin McHale said. "I thought our entire team played like they had cement boots on the first three games. We were just slow. When you watch the film we just looked sickly. We were able to turn the corner and get downhill."

Houston is averaging 113.5 points during the surge after scoring 92 or less in the three losses, two of which Dwight Howard missed. Howard has been hard to stop of late, going 18 of 20 from the field over his last two games and posting 20 points and 20 rebounds Saturday.

The Rockets are getting healthier as well, with forward Terrence Jones and guard Patrick Beverley both expected to be available Wednesday. Jones has missed five straight with an eyelid laceration and Beverley the last two due to a concussion.

Brooklyn's Brook Lopez also is probable despite leaving Saturday's 94-86 loss at Milwaukee with soreness in his surgically repaired right foot. The oft-injured center has been the Nets' one bright spot during an 0-7 start, the franchise's worst since dropping an NBA-record 18 straight to begin 2009-10.

Lopez is averaging 20.4 points, but the Nets are scoring a league-low 90.4 per game. They've been particularly bad from 3-point range, shooting an NBA-worst 23.6 percent. Joe Johnson is 4 of 23 from beyond the arc.

Turnovers have been an issue as well. Brooklyn committed eight in the third quarter and 18 overall Saturday, leading to 24 Milwaukee points.

"Once again, we come out in the third quarter and I don't know what happened," said Johnson, whose 10.3 scoring average is his worst since 2002-03. "It's just turnover after turnover and then they keep scoring and we are steadily putting pressure on ourselves to score and make plays, which kind of leads to another turnover."

A matchup with the Rockets hasn't usually been a remedy for the Nets' struggles. Houston has won 16 of 17 in the series including eight straight at the Toyota Center, where the Nets haven't won since March 13, 2006. The Nets are 3-20 in Houston since 1990-91.

The Rockets won both 2014-15 meetings, with Jones compiling 26 points and 12 rebounds in a 102-98 home win Feb. 27.

Can the Nets attract top tier free agents?

The Nets are on the fast track to being a lottery team, and they'll have to send that pick to the Boston Celtics. However, that doesn't mean they still can't plan for the future.

The New York Post's Tim Bontemps wrote that the Nets need to start thinking about what their next step is, and it could be spending money in free agency.

"But just because the Nets haven't used discretion in the past doesn't mean they shouldn't do so in the future. While the Nets don't have control over their first-round pick, they should have around $40 million in cap space next summer to begin rebuilding around Brook Lopez - who, Saturday's brief injury scare aside, has looked like an All-Star again - and promising rookie wing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson."

Brian Erni

Here's my question: Can the Nets attract free agents in their current form? I know it doesn't seem promising, but I think they probably can. If he's healthy, Lopez is a star. And in Hollis-Jefferson, a free agent can see the potential in a game-changing defender. Those are two pretty solid building blocks to move forward with in the years ahead, especially in an Eastern Conference that is wide open behind Cleveland. Don't get me wrong, if the money is equal, there are better places to go. This is where Joe Johnson's famous "it's not that bad here" line comes in. The arena is brand new and state-of-the-art, there are some pieces that will be here for the next three-to-four years that can easily be part of a winning club, and there has to be a star that's dying to be the player that resurrects the New York basketball scene. With the draft essentially off limits, the Nets will have to find that guy and hinge their hopes on him.
GEICO SportsNite: Nets' problems 00:01:03
Nets head coach Lionel Hollins and general manager Billy King discuss how the Nets can improve after getting off to a 0-7 start.

Nets head coach Lionel Hollins and general manager Billy King discuss how the Nets can improve after getting off to a 0-7 start.

Lopez's foot OK; return expected this week
(Aaron Gash/AP)

The winless Nets got a bit of good news Sunday when the team learned center Brook Lopez did not have damage in his surgically repaired right foot.

Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Lopez is expected to return to the lineup this week and that there was 'relief within the team' that he is unlikely to miss a game (November 8).

Lopez scored 20 points on 9-for-17 shooting before leaving Saturday's 94-86 loss in Milwaukee in the third quarter with soreness in the foot.

Lopez is averaging 20.4 points and 33.1 minutes through seven games and the only Net averaging in double figures in points. The Nets (0-7) visit the Rockets Wednesday.

Brook Lopez hurts right foot

On Saturday night, the Nets lost more than their seventh straight game. In the third quarter of Brooklyn's matchup against Milwaukee, Brook Lopez exited the game with a right foot injury - the same foot that has plagued the star center throughout the past few seasons. While initial X-rays were negative, Brooklyn can't help but be a little worried considering the center's injury history.

Lopez initially hurt his foot during the preseason of the 2011 season. That injury kept him out until March, where he would return for only 5 games before being shut down for the remainder of the year. The following season, Lopez played in 72 games and made his only All-Star appearance. However after the 2012-2013 season, Lopez had another procedure to remove a bent screw in the same foot.

In December 2013 against Philadelphia, Lopez broke the same bone in his right foot. This injury led to multiple procedures, ending the center's season after only 17 games. However last season, the Nets longest tenured player managed to miss only 10 games, averaging 17.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks.

Lopez had his first healthy summer in a few years this past offseason after signing a three-year max contract for about $63.5 million to stay in Brooklyn. Through the first 7 games of the season, Lopez has played like an All-Star, with averages of 20.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks.

The Nets are keeping their fingers crossed that this is only a minor injury that won't cause their star player to miss significant time.

Bucks hand Nets 7th loss in row
(Morry Gash)

Box score | Play-by-play

MILWAUKEE (AP) Greg Monroe had 20 points and eight rebounds Saturday night, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to a 94-86 victory over the winless Brooklyn Nets.

Monroe shot 8 of 16 from the floor and contributed his only two assists down the stretch for the Bucks, who handed the Nets their seventh straight loss to start the season.

Jerryd Bayless had 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting and 10 rebounds, and Khris Middleton chipped in with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Milwaukee (4-3) has won four in a row after starting 0-3 for the first time since 1976-77.

Brooklyn (0-7) was led by Brook Lopez with 20 points. He left after the third quarter with an apparent foot problem and did not return.

Thaddeus Young finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Nets, who also lost to the Bucks 103-96 on Monday in New York. The Nets had 18 turnovers after entering having made at least 16 in their previous three games.

Nets still looking for first win as they visit Kidd, Milwaukee
Brook Lopez looks to make a move in the post. (AP)

(AP) - After rallying past the sagging Brooklyn Nets for a breakthrough win, the Milwaukee Bucks haven't slowed down since.

The resurgent Bucks aim for a fourth consecutive victory and attempt to keep the Nets winless as the teams meet for the second time in six days Saturday night.

Milwaukee (3-3) opened the season with three straight losses prior to putting forth a 9-0 game-ending run to earn a 103-96 triumph Monday in Brooklyn. The Bucks then held off determined Philadelphia on Wednesday at home and never trailed in Friday's 99-92 triumph at New York.

Improved health has played a part in Milwaukee's turnaround. Forward John Henson returned from a four-game absence to score 22 points off the bench against the Knicks, and Jabari Parker has played in the last two after being sidelined since December by a torn ACL.

Parker is still on a minutes restriction and starting point guard Michael Carter-Williams may miss a third straight game with a sprained ankle, but the Bucks have survived by getting contributions throughout their roster.

Henson was 8 of 12 from the field in 23 minutes on Friday and Jerryd Bayless delivered 26 points while making 6 of 10 attempts from 3-point range in Monday's win over Brooklyn, the Bucks' fourth in five matchups since coach Jason Kidd left the Nets for Milwaukee after one season following the 2013-14 campaign.


"We played with a sense of urgency when we needed to and we've got ourselves a season now," Bucks guard Greivis Vasquez said. "We've got to keep building from this and understand these wins are really going to help us at the end."

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 21 points in Monday's victory and is averaging exactly that while shooting 58.2 percent in five games.

The Nets have had trouble getting shots to fall during an 0-6 start that marks the franchise's worst since losing an NBA-record 18 straight to begin 2009-10. They're shooting a league-low 22.7 percent on 3s after going 3 of 19 in Friday's 104-98 home defeat to the previously winless Los Angeles Lakers.

Brook Lopez had 23 points and 10 rebounds and is averaging 20.5 points overall, but no other Brooklyn player has more than 12.2 per game.

Joe Johnson did show signs of breaking out of his slump with a season-high 22 on Friday, two days after finishing 1 of 10 from the floor in a five-point effort at Atlanta.

Turnovers have also been a problem. The Nets have had at least 16 in their last three defeats, with Milwaukee scoring 25 points off 18 giveaways in Monday's victory.
"Our team is playing harder, trying to play more together. We just need to cut down the turnovers," coach Lionel Hollins said.

Despite Milwaukee's series success under Kidd, the games have usually been competitive. The teams split two decided in triple overtime last season and the Bucks posted a hard-earned 103-97 decision at the Bradley Center on Feb. 9.

Lopez is averaging 21.7 points while shooting 63.6 percent in his last six against the Bucks but totaled just 22 in Brooklyn's two 2014-15 visits to Milwaukee.

Watching Kobe Bryant and Joe Johnson go at it on Friday night was the basketball version of Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, except that fight actually had a winner.

With a shade under 20 seconds remaining in the game's first half, Kobe found himself isolated with Johnson in front of him. About 12 seconds and thirty jab steps later, in vintage Kobe fashion, he managed to rise above his fellow shooting guard and sink a fadeaway from about 14 feet away. The lead gave the Lakers a five-point cushion heading into the half and, for a moment, Kobe seemed to have forgotten that the shot was only his fourth conversion in his first 12 tries.

With the Lakers carrying a 52-47 lead into the half, Kobe put on his Mamba face as he strutted his stuff toward the locker room, nodding his head emphatically. The Lakers fans in attendance cheered wildly, and the entire scene nearly made me cry. And not because Kobe is my favorite player to watch, but because it is indicative of how far we've come.

Or, depending on how you look at it, how far we've regressed.

The winless Los Angeles Lakers brought their talents to the winless Brooklyn Nets on Friday night and the only reason anybody cared is because, deep down inside, we all know that it may have been the last time we see Kobe Bryant suit up in Brooklyn.

Heading into the game, Kobe and Johnson had combined to shoot 35-for-115 on the season, and if we have seen thus far over the course of the still young 2015-16 is any indication, the only thing the Nets and Lakers will be competing for come Christmas time will be who gets the most ping pong balls in this season's draft lottery. The Nets gave away their pick long ago and the Lakers will yield their pick if it falls outside of the top three, but I digress.

The point in all of this is quite simple: you don't exactly need to be MENSA material to know that Kobe and Joe Johnson's best days have probably passed them by. Still, though, when you're a 37-year-old all-time NBA great like Kobe, or a 34-year-old former NBA All-Star like Joe, you don't play just to play. You play to win the game!

But, of course, you also don't have to be MENSA material to know that, at this point, neither is capable of doing so by themselves, indicated by the fact that neither has exactly been lighting it up this season. Entering play on Friday night, Kobe and Joe combined to make 35 field goals over the course of the entire season. Stephen Curry, though, all by his lonesome, has made 28 THREE-POINTERS.

Consider that, entering play on Friday night, Kobe and Joe combined to score a mere 105 points on 115 field goal attempts, while Stephen Curry, all by his lonesome, scored 179 points on 101 field goal attempts.

This isn't to say that neither Kobe nor Joe have anything left to contribute in the NBA-such an assertion would be preposterous-it just goes to illustrate the point that neither is capable of carrying a team on their shoulders anymore. And as the season slowly crawls toward February, I simply can't wait for the Nets to trade Johnson, because that is exactly what needs to happen.

And I don't say that because I don't like Joe, I say it because I do.

As an aging NBA player who's out for more than simply earning a paycheck, there is nothing worse than whittling away during the latter years of your career on a team that you know is going nowhere. When you happen to know that your team is going nowhere before the season even begins, it does something negative to your spirit and your psyche. It affects your entire life and it literally makes you feel as if you're playing for nothing. When you're in the final year of your contract, though, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and believe me, in his mind, Joe Johnson is practically running through the darkness.

Even as Johnson was putting together his finest effort of the young season (22 points, 8-for-16 from the field), I couldn't help but to think about how seamlessly he would fit in with the Charlotte Hornets or how he could help a team like the Memphis Grizzlies or Sacramento Kings. And since the Nets have a dearth of draft picks over the coming years, one could easily find the merit in dealing the soon-to-be free agent for a draft pick or two.

In July 2014, when Pat Riley and Andy Elisburg of the Miami HEAT decided to re-sign Chris Bosh to a five-year maximum contract following the departure of LeBron James, they didn't agree to give the 30-year-old $118 million simply because they loved him, they did it out of a want to both increase their odds of retaining Dwyane Wade for the long-term and sending a message to to Wade.

We are merely pulling back, not pulling the plug.

Now, as we sit here just less than two years later, the HEAT discovered Hassan Whiteside, got their hands on Goran Dragic and lucked into Justise Winslow.

Now, in no time at all, with good health and good fortune, they have a chance to make some noise.

The Nets? Not exactly.

During the 2013-14 season, when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett found their way to Brooklyn and made the Nets into a team that we thought had a chance to contend for everything, there were nights when Johnson was the forgotten man. He was sometimes the guy that media members decided to chat to while they waited for Garnett, Pierce and Williams to get dressed.

Back then, it was hard to imagine Johnson being the last of the four to be standing. And frankly, today, it's even harder to witness.

In an NBA where Wesley Matthews earns $16 million and Cory Joseph earns $8 million, and in an NBA where the salary cap sits at $70 million and is expected to spike exponentially over the coming years, Johnson-whose talent has never been in doubt-can easily be dealt.

I'm looking forward to it, because he deserves better than being regressed to simply being the other old guy that gets to guard and square off against a Kobe Bryant who is still a shell of his 32-year-old self. Fittingly, as the Lakers were squeaking out a 104-98 victory that both gave Kobe's team their first victory of the season and dropped the Nets to 0-6 on their own, it was Johnson who missed the game's final meaningful shot. Bryant grabbed the rebound, hit the free throws, and put the game to bed.

On Friday night, though, as the winless Lakers squeaked out what will ultimately end up being a meaningless victory in a meaningless game, all I could think about was what lies ahead this season for these Nets.

A loss to the lowly Lakers says it all, though; whatever lies ahead, it ain't much. And in the best interest of both parties, hopefully, what lies ahead will soon cease to include Johnson-a player who still has a lot to offer to the right team.

Even the Lakers know: the Nets are rebuilding. And the sooner we stop pretending that Johnson will be the difference between a playoff run and not, for this team, is the better.

Tags: Moke Hamilton

NEW YORK (AP) - Kobe Bryant scored 18 points, his highest performance since opening night, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the winless Brooklyn Nets 104-98 on Friday night for their first victory of the season.

Rookie D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson each scored 16 points for the Lakers (1-4), while the Nets dropped to 0-6.

The Lakers' 11-point lead was down to three in the final half-minute but they forced a 5-second violation on an inbounds pass. Bryant then made four straight free throws for a 102-95 lead while receiving loud cheers, as he did all night.

Brook Lopez had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, while Joe Johnson scored 22 points.

The Lakers come to Brooklyn on Friday to take on the Nets at 7:30 p.m.

  • Brooklyn has won the last three games in this series after losing the previous 11 meetings. The Nets' longest win streak in the history of this series is four games (November 25, 1992-March 18, 1994). This will be the first time that two teams with records of 0-4 (or worse) will play each other since November 5, 2014, when the 0-4 Orlando Magic faced the 0-4 Philadelphia 76ers.
  • The Lakers have started a season 0-4 for a second straight year. They have allowed 40+ points in the paint, 15+ second-chance points and 15+ points off turnovers in all four of these games; that is the longest such streak to start a season by any team since the Sacramento Kings did it in their first four games of the 2008-09 season.
  • Brooklyn has lost its first five games of 2015-16. That is tied for the second-longest losing streak to start a season in franchise history (they also started the 1996-97 season at 0-5). The Nets set a NBA record by losing their first 18 games of the 2009-10 season.
  • Jordan Clarkson tied his career high when he dropped 30 points on the Nuggets on Tuesday; he also had 30 points against Oklahoma City last March 24.
  • Kobe Bryant was a career 45.4 percent shooter through the end of the 2012-13 season. That percentage has dropped to 37.4 since the start of the 2013-14 season.
  • Brook Lopez has averaged 24.8 points on 56.6 percent shooting in home games since last March 20. The ppg is fourth highest since that date (minimum 10 home games) while the field-goal percentage is fifth best (minimum 75 FGA).

(AP) - While Kobe Bryant believes they might play better on the road, the Los Angeles Lakers aren't likely to notch their first victory unless things improve defensively.

That could happen against a winless Brooklyn Nets team that's struggling to score.

As they open a five-game trip, the Lakers will try to avoid their second consecutive 0-5 start Friday night when the Nets look to put an end to their worst start in six years.

Los Angeles is hoping history doesn't repeat itself after their poor start last season led to the worst finish in franchise history. The Lakers ranked 29th in scoring defense (105.3) in 2014-15 but they've been even worse this season.

They've given up an NBA-high 116.8 points and forced a league-low 12.0 turnovers per game after allowing Denver to shoot 50.6 percent in Tuesday's 120-109 home defeat. The frustration boiled over in the fourth quarter when some players jawed at each other.

"We had a little bit of an altercation, which was good," coach Byron Scott told the team's official website. "That tells me that they care. I want to see more fight in our guys. We want to try to stop the bleeding as soon as possible."

Facing Brooklyn might give them the perfect opportunity. The Nets have averaged just 87.3 points in the past four of a five-game losing streak to begin the season and are among the league's worst from 3-point range at 24.4 percent.

"We'll probably play better on the road," Bryant said, perhaps conveniently forgetting a 132-114 loss to Sacramento in the Lakers' lone game away from home. "Because the energy of playing on the road and getting into the environment where it's just us against the world."

Brook Lopez finished with a season-high 27 points and 11 rebounds Wednesday, but Brooklyn committed a season-high 19 turnovers in a 101-87 loss at Atlanta. Lopez has been a bright spot with 20 points per game but no other player is averaging more than 12.

The Nets are off to their worst start since opening 0-18 during the 2009-10 season.

"I don't think anybody's happy to be in this position," guard Jarrett Jack said. "We've got to come out with a mentality of a desperate team trying to get a win on Friday."

Following a 11-game slide in the series, Brooklyn has won the past three meetings. The club averaged 110.5 points in sweeping last season's series for the first time since 2005-06. Lopez totaled 52 points and 25 rebounds, while Joe Johnson scored a combined 41.

The Nets enter this matchup having allowed 104.4 points per game and a 41.5 mark from 3-point range. The Lakers are averaging 106.8 points but shoot just 27.9 percent from 3.

Bryant and rookie D'Angelo Russell hope to end their shooting slumps. Bryant went 7 for 26 (26.9 percent) and Russell was 7 for 24 (29.2) in the past two games.

"Kobe's the last person I worry about," Scott said. "I know how he is."

Jordan Clarkson, averaging a team-high 18.3 points, will try to build on his career high-tying 30-point effort against the Nuggets. He finished with 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds in a 107-99 loss March 29 in the most recent meeting at Barclays Center.

Julius Randle, who missed most of last season with a broken leg, has totaled 38 points, 20 rebounds, five steals and two blocks over the past two games.

The Nets will have a new D-League team in 2016, sources told reporter Tim Bontemps (Nov. 5).

According to Bontemps, the D-League team will play at Barclays Center next season and Nassau Coliseum in 2017-18.

There will be a "major announcement" on Friday regarding a new basketball team coming to the renovated Coliseum on Long Island (Nov. 5)

The Nets dropped their fifth straight game to open the season, but their head coach is encouraged by their progress.

Despite being outscored 29-17 in the fourth quarter and shooting 6-for-16 from the field in the final stanza (43.4 percent overall), Lionel Hollins thinks Brooklyn is making strides toward getting that elusive first win.

"We are moving forward," Hollins told reporters after the game. "It doesn't look like it because we are still losing. But I think that we are moving forward."

"They made some plays, hit some big shots and we just didn't convert," Brook Lopez said. "They made a run and unfortunately we didn't really respond to that, which was unfortunate because we played so well for the entirety of the game up to that point."Brian Erni

That's great and all, but the Nets are now 0-5 with little reprieve in sight. Is it encouraging that the Nets hung with the Hawks for three quarters? I suppose, but their weaknesses were exposed when Brook Lopez went to the bench. The team couldn't do anything with their reserves. Atlanta went on a 15-3 run to end the game, and Brooklyn went down with a whimper.


I know the Nets got saddled with a tough schedule to start the season, and I know a team is never quite as bad as you look when it's in the middle of a losing streak. However, I can't find too much to take solace in, other than the Nets were competitive for three quarters, and I'd love to hear what Hollins thinks has gotten so much better. These little moral victories aren't a lot to hang your hat on. Brooklyn desperately needs a win on Friday against the Lakers, or we could be in for a very long winter.

(AP) Coach Mike Budenholzer got just what he wanted from the Atlanta Hawks in the second half.

The Hawks did nearly everything right offensively, scoring 60 points, hitting 59 percent of their shots, handing out 16 assists and committing just six turnovers on Wednesday night.

"When the ball moves and you get in rhythm, you're going to shoot a better percentage," Budenholzer said. "You're going to feel more confident."

Al Horford scored 21 points, Dennis Schroder added 20 and the Hawks won their fifth straight game, 101-87 over the Brooklyn Nets.

Brook Lopez finished with a season-high 27 points and Thaddeus Young had 14 for Brooklyn, which dropped to 0-5.

Lopez was disappointed in his team's 19 turnovers, which led to 25 points.

"They play the pick-and-roll very aggressively, and their hands are up and active," Lopez said. "It's tough to make plays out of that." To read more of this story, click here

The Nets are in Atlanta on Wednesday night to play the Hawks at 8 p.m.

  • Including the postseason, the Hawks have won five straight at home against the Nets. That is currently Atlanta's fourth-longest active win streak at home against any of its opponents. Brooklyn's last win in Atlanta was on January 16, 2014 when it won, 127-110.
  • The Nets have opened the season with four straight losses and have allowed 100 points in each of those games. The last time the Nets started the season with four straight losses, all by 100+ points, was at the start of the 1987-88 season.
  • Kent Bazemore is currently leading the Hawks with nine three-point baskets and he is shooting 56.3% from three-point range (9-for-16). Last season, it took Bazemore 29 games into the season before he made his ninth three-pointer and he shot 37.5% from three-point range in those 29 games (9-for-24).
  • Brook Lopez has led the Nets in scoring in three of their four games and is averaging 18.3 points so far this season. Since last season, Lopez has led the team in scoring 33 times, which is the most by any player on the Nets during this time.
  • Paul Millsap has had a double-double in three of his five games this season. Since last season, Millsap has had 18 games with 10+ points and 10+ rebounds, tied for the second-most such games among players 6'8″ and shorter.
  • After missing the first game of the season, Jarrett Jack has started each of the last three games, and has scored in double figures in each of them. Since joining the Nets last season, Jack has started 30 games, and is averaging 15.7 points and 6.6 assists in these games.

After just four games, is it time for the Nets to panic? Bleacher Report's Howard Beck says yes.

In the latest edition of Team Stream Now for Bleacher Report, Beck says there's no reason to think the Nets' poor play won't continue, which could mean surrendering a top-five pick to the Celtics this spring.

"It's not just that they're 0-4, it's that they lost those four games by an average of nearly 15 points per game. And yes, those were all playoff teams from last season, but the Nets were also plausibly a playoff team last season and they expected to be better than this. They are getting nothing from the guards, they waived Deron Williams in the offseason which left them just bereft in the back court. Joe Johnson looking every bit of his age of 34, and Brook Lopez really only the reliable thing they have."

Brian Erni

How can you not panic? This team looks pretty atrocious. They can't shoot, and they can't stop anyone. So, where's the silver lining? Everyone knows the extent to which Brooklyn mortgaged their future, but this season just stands to be the absolutely worst of all worlds. Their bridge club that is just trying to put it together enough to contend for the eight seed in the East looks soft, and if they end up as a lottery team, this fan base is just going to be beside themselves watching Boston laugh all the way to the bank with that pick. It's just a brutal situation.

(AP) - The last time the Atlanta Hawks met the Brooklyn Nets, they eliminated them from the first round of the playoffs.

The stakes clearly aren't that high this time, so coach Mike Budenholzer could give a starter the night off Wednesday when the Hawks go for a fifth straight win and try to continue their recent success over the winless Nets.

Atlanta (4-1) set a franchise record with 60 wins and finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference last season before ousting Brooklyn in six games to open the playoffs. The Hawks were eventually swept by Cleveland in the East finals, so a mere four-game winning streak early this season doesn't have them particularly excited.

They had six win streaks of at least four games in 2014-15. However, this team is on the cusp of giving Atlanta its best start since opening 6-0 in 2010-11.

"It's still very early in the season but we are optimistic about how we are playing," center Al Horford said after Tuesday's 98-92 win at Miami. "There is still a lot of basketball to play. We feel good about the team we have." To read more of this story, click here

The Nets looked like they may be on their way to a gritty victory on Monday, but it was not to be.

Brooklyn fought back from multiple deficits, and outscored Milwaukee 32-21 in the third quarter. The Nets took the lead twice down the stretch, but the Bucks' Khris Middleton gave his team a lead they would never relinquish with just over a minute to play.

"I thought we played decent," Joe Johnson told reporters after the game. "I thought we played well enough to win. Just down the stretch, we couldn't get stops when we needed them. They executed their plays, whether they were shooting free throws or almost getting layups. It was tough for us. We were coming down, grinding, offensively, trying to get the best shot available. Had some great looks, missed them. That's pretty much it."

Brian Erni

The problem with this Nets team is they have absolutely no room for error. If they miss open looks and lose one they should win, it feels like it sets them back even further than it would any other club. Don't get me wrong, Monday night had its encouraging moments. After being dominated in the third in their first three games, they finally looked competent and fought back from an 11-point hole at halftime. Shane Larkin (5-for-5 from the field) found his shot. The starters had probably their best game of the season. But if you can't hit shots down the stretch, you're not going to win in the NBA, especially if you need everything to break just right to stay in most contests. The Nets can't afford lapses like the 9-0 run to end the game. They're just not good enough to overcome them.

NEW YORK (AP) - Jerryd Bayless scored 26 points, Greg Monroe had 23 points and 13 rebounds and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the winless Brooklyn Nets 103-96 on Monday night for their first win of the season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 21 points and Khris Middleton had 17 for the Bucks.

Brook Lopez had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Jarrett Jack scored 15 points for the Nets.

Brooklyn led 96-94 after Shane Larkin's 8-footer with 2:45 left. After Monroe tied it, Michael Carter-Williams stole the ball from Bojan Bogdanovic at the 1:30 mark, leading to Middleton's 18-foot jumper for a 98-96 Bucks' lead. Brooklyn's Joe Johnson missed a 3, and Carter-Williams then attacked the rim and drew a foul on Thomas Robinson. Carter-Williams converted one of two free throws to extend the lead to 99-96.

With 23 seconds remaining, Jack missed a layup and Monroe corralled the rebound. Bayless made two free throws with 19 seconds left.

(AP) - Jason Kidd's second season in Milwaukee hasn't begun as planned, though his former team is experiencing its share of early problems as well.

Off to their worst start in 39 years, the Bucks visit the Barclays Center on Monday for a matchup between 0-3 teams coming off playoff appearances.

After orchestrating an abrupt exit following one season as the Nets' coach to take over a Milwaukee franchise that won a league-low 15 games in 2013-14, Kidd earned NBA Coach of the Year consideration by guiding the rebuilding Bucks to a 41-41 record and a surprise No. 6 seed in last season's Eastern Conference.

The follow-up hasn't gotten underway nearly as smoothly, with the Bucks losing their first three games for the first time since an 0-5 beginning in 1976-77. Milwaukee had the longest streak in NBA history without starting 0-3 end with a 106-87 defeat at Toronto in Sunday's road opener.

Just as Kidd's emphasis on sound defense triggered last season's turnaround, a lack of efficiency in that area may be most to blame for the Bucks' current struggles. Milwaukee has allowed an average of 115.3 points and opponents are shooting 46.4 percent from 3-point range.

The Bucks finished fifth in field goal percentage defense (.437) while yielding 97.4 points per game last season.

Injuries have played a part in the slow start as well. Jabari Parker is still nearing a return from December's torn ACL, O.J. Mayo also has yet to play due to a strained hamstring and John Henson, the team's best interior defender, will miss a third straight game with a sore Achilles.

Giannis Antetokounmpo sat out Wednesday's 122-97 season-opening loss to New York serving a one-game suspension but has totaled 47 points and 18 rebounds since returning.

Brooklyn slipped from 44 wins and a conference semifinals appearance under Kidd to 38 in Lionel Hollins' debut, and seems headed to a further drop-off in what's expected to be a transitional year intended to save cap space for a run at the anticipated 2016 free agent class.To read more of this story, click here

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Mike Conley scored 22 points, including 10 straight in the fourth quarter, and had eight assists to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 101-91 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night.

Conley, who was 7 of 12 from the field, including 4 of 7 from outside the arc, scored his 10 straight points to hold off the Nets who were trying to rally from a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit.

Zach Randolph and Courtney Lee scored 15 points each for Memphis with Randolph grabbing 13 rebounds. Jeff Green finished with 13 for the Grizzlies.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 19 points and Jarrett Jack finished with 15 for the Nets (0-3). Brook Lopez had 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Joe Johnson and Thaddeus Young added 11 points each for Brooklyn.

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