Nets fall to 3-10 with miserable showing against Pistons

Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett hit only two shots in the Nets’ loss to Detroit.
Credit: Getty Images

It was a little over a month ago the Nets took the court. Granted it was still preseason, but the crowd was filled with anticipation about what the new roster could do.

Since then, it has been a monumental struggle.

The Nets took another negative step Sunday afternoon as they were doomed by another bad third quarter in a 109-97 loss to the Pistons in a game that did not see Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett appear for the first seven-plus minutes of the fourth quarter.

“I think we are all disappointed,” head coach Jason Kidd said. “The third quarter is something that stands out right now that we got to better at — coaches and players. We’re getting good looks; we can’t finish the play.”

Joe Johnson did what he could offensively, with a season-high 34 points, but Pierce and Garnett made little impact. Pierce finished with 18 points on 5-of-13 shooting while Garnett had four points on 2-of-9 shooting.

“To be honest, I can’t even put my finger on it,” Garnett said. “If I knew, I would share with the guys in here [the locker room]. It’s an ongoing thing and it’s something that I don’t know.”

The Nets dropped to 3-10 and lost their fifth straight since losing Brook Lopez to a sprained ankle Nov. 15 in Phoenix. Lopez’s absence was felt since the Nets had few other scoring options inside and few ways to combat the Pistons from doing so.

The postgame theme was consistent with staying together, being positive and acknowledging these types of games are not acceptable. But as Pierce said, “It’s not about saying, it’s about doing.”

“We say it,” Pierce said. “Obviously we say it, but our actions have to speak louder than words.”

“We do a lot of talking,” Johnson said. “It doesn’t change the way we are [playing] on the court. It’s very embarrassing at this point.”

The Nets made points in the paint an emphasis in preparation for Sunday, though they did not hold practice following a 30-point loss in Minnesota on Friday. However, hearing coaches discuss that category did not seem to sink in.

The Nets were outscored 56-22 in the paint, and outrebounded 44-35 while turning it over 18 times for 29 Detroit points.

Yet even in spite of those numbers, the Nets took a 51-44 lead into halftime. It would have been a 10-point lead but Andray Blatche made the mistake of fouling Greg Monroe with two-tenths of a second remaining and the Pistons essentially got three free points.

Blatche’s gaffe was nothing compared to another poor third quarter, a period that has seen the Nets get outscored by 48 points this season entering Sunday.

The Nets were blitzed 34-15 in the third, turned it over eight times, were outscored 20-0 in the paint and shot 5-of-19. The Pistons converted those turnovers into 10 points, mostly in the paint, as they shot 10-of-11 there while the Nets were 0-for-7 in the paint during that time.

“We should be winning all, sh—, all of these games,” Blatche said. “It’s very frustrating and it’s very, very, very embarrassing. I don’t know. There’s no excuses. We’re all just playing bad.”

“We got to be the worst team in the league when it comes to third quarters, just unacceptable,” Garnett said. “As players we have to be accountable, including myself, and come out and do whatever it is that we got to do and apply it.”

Nobody seems to have a definitive answer for what happens in the third quarter. The common answers are “lack of energy” or “not making adjustments when teams become more aggressive.”

“I think tonight it was just clear cut: transition,” Kidd said. “We couldn’t get back, so we got to address that. We got to look at it. If it’s changes or whatever it may be but we got to be better in starting that third quarter.”

For most of the game, the fans restrained themselves from booing but it was noticeable when Pierce missed an easy reverse layup late in the third and they hardly could be thrilled when the fourth quarter began with Alan Anderson, Mirza Teletovic, Toko Shengelia, Tyshawn Taylor and Mason Plumlee on the court.

The Nets were within 96-88 on a wide-open 3-pointer by Johnson with 4:48 left. On their next possession he missed a mid-range jumper. Pierce and Garnett returned at the 4:02 mark and Johnson hit another 3-pointer for a 96-91 deficit with 3:19 remaining.

Moments later, Monroe easily soared in for a basket, Garnett blew a second-chance layup and portions of the crowd headed for the exits.

“I think everybody in here is embarrassed,” Garnett said. “You definitely don’t want that at home. Like I’ve been saying, we’re going to continue to work to try to change this as best we can.”

Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.

Local

Video: Car crashes into Cambridge store, man arrested…

A Cambridge man was arrested on gun and drug charges after crashing his car into a Massachusetts Avenue storefront early Saturday morning.

Local

Body found believed to be missing Fitchburg boy…

The body of a child found off of a highway in Sterling last week is likely that of missing Fitchburg boy Jeremiah Oliver, authorities said.

Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Parenting

Is camp right for introverts?

We ask an expert for tips on sending your introverted child to camp

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.