After two months of injuries, the Nets won a five-game win against Utah on Tuesday. It didn't go as planned.
They were tuned by Jazz 118-107 at the Barclays Center.
The Nets wasted a double-double from Kyrie Irving, who had 32 points and 11 assists in his second game after a two-month break due to shoulder problems – both game levels. But it was in vain.
Brooklyn (18-21) did a really great job slowing Utah star Donovan Mitchell, but had no answers for Rudy Gobert – whom Kenny Atkinson praised as the best defensive center in the game – and was set on fire by Joe Ingles.
Although Ingles scored an average of only 10.8 points, the sniper set the nets on for 27, while Gobert had 22 and 18 rebounds at play level. By the time it was done, Utah (28-12) had beaten the Lakers for the longest winning streak in the NBA by 10 in a row, snatching the Nets' modest two-game series.
The Nets will play in Philadelphia on Wednesday in the second half of this duel. Then they meet Milwaukee (best NBA 36-6), the 76ers in rematch, and end the game against LeBron James and the leading Lakers of the Western Conference.
"Every game is a challenge in this league. Just take it bit by bit, quarter by quarter, bit by bit. I focus on the networks and we improve. I can't really control the schedule," said Kenny Atkinson. "It doesn't really matter. I don't really look at the jersey. Just make sure we are ready to survive at a high level. "
The Nets ran at Mitchell's corpses, with Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot getting him three out of three by three quarters to three points before he shook in the fourth.
Dinwiddie ended the game with 17 points and Joe Harris with 13. But they only shot 60 percent from the free throw line, let Utah shoot 50 percent off the ground and there are now four more bad games to play.
"Everyone knows the upcoming schedule," said LeVert, who finished with 11 points. “You know the last few games, we had to win them because we are on the way. So we are excited to see where we are as a team. "
The nets only followed 45-43 after a Taurian prince drove the layup at 4:58 in half, but they imploded from there.
They played the rest of the second quarter with a 1:11 tie. They had three Ingles 3-Pointers half shut in a 14-2 jazz run and went into the locker room dazed and at the wrong end of a 59-45 deficit.
Mitchell opened the second half with a 3-pointer and the jazz steadily expanded his lead with a methodical 17:11 run.
When Ingles drilled a 3-hand ricochet from Royce O’Neale, the nets were in a 76-56 hole. It turned out to be too deep to dig out.
They even have the advantage that the timeout has occurred, which could have stopped if the shot clock malfunctioned.
There was a long delay of about five minutes. And when the nets came to a standstill, they started running, moved within 82-69 and let jazz scurry into the break at 4:08.
A left 3-pointer from Rodions Kurucs brought Brooklyn within 83-72, and a fade from Irving brought it to 99-91 in the fourth. But they didn't get any closer.