Nets fall to 3-7 with poor second half against Trail Blazers

Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett started out hot, but finished with another poor shooting game.
Credit: Getty Images

The first quarter was about as good as it gets for the Nets.

Shots were falling, Kevin Garnett was aggressive and the offense seemed to be flowing in a way rarely seen through the previous nine games.

Unfortunately for them, there were still 36 minutes remaining and they were fairly awful, especially in the second half.

There was little to like from the Nets’ standpoint in Monday’s 108-98 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, who showed their youth and quickness in improving to 9-2, a record the Nets hoped to attain at this point when they talked about championship aspirations during training camp.

And about an hour after it ended, Garnett and Paul Pierce were nowhere to be found in a silent locker room, leaving Jason Terry, Shaun Livingston and rookie Mason Plumlee to explain things. The theme was mostly of patience, consistency and optimism.

“We don’t know when it’s going to happen,” Terry said. “But when it does, it’s going to be special.”

Nobody seems to be sure exactly when that will happen.

“There is no timetable,” Terry said. “We’d like it to happen sooner than later, but No. 1, you have to get healthy. We’re missing our key big man and our star point guard. S—, I don’t know how much success you’re going to have without them. You’d rather have it happen now than later.”

The comments from Nets players came after head coach Jason Kidd put the loss on himself, saying it was caused by “bad coaching.”

“I take the blame for this,” Kidd said. “Guys played hard. We got a little stagnant on the offensive end. It just falls on my shoulders.”

When Terry was asked about it, he maintained a togetherness theme while Livingston chided himself for not being more aggressive.

“We look in the mirror, we feel it’s our fault,” Terry said. “Everybody’s in this together. That’s what it boils down.”

“It’s on all of us,” Livingston said. “I take a majority of that [blame] as well because as the point guard you got to initiate the offense, make the right play calls to get guys involved.”

The Nets may get it together at some point but in the 10th game of the most-anticipated season in their NBA existence, they do not seem close. The belief was they took a decent step forward in gutting out an overtime win Friday in Phoenix and losing a close game the next night to the Clippers.

However, whatever energy expended in those games and in the first quarter seemed nonexistent during the final 24 minutes after the Nets took a seven-point lead into halftime. The Nets shot 3-of-18 in the third quarter, a period that often gave them trouble last season.

“This was definitely a setback,” Plumlee said. “I think the energy wasn’t there tonight that you saw in L.A. and Phoenix. Whatever we do offensively and defensively, there has to be energy and effort. Some guys did it tonight and not everyone did it and that has to be consistent for us to be a good team.”

Brooklyn did not trail until the 4:08 mark of the third quarter when LaMarcus Aldridge knocked down an 18-foot fadeaway jumper for a 71-68 lead. That shot came after Andray Blatche missed a 20-footer and on the next sequence Tyshawn Taylor turned it over and Wesley Matthews swooped in for an easy layup.

Portland led by double digits over the final 9:27 and by then the Nets were hearing boos and Portland fans in the upper deck could be heard chanting “Let’s Go Blazers” and mocking the Brooklyn chant with chants of “Portland, Portland.”

About the only thing worth liking was Garnett’s 6-for-6 start. But Garnett made just two of his next 13 shots, finishing the game 8-for-19.

And when Garnett’s hot shooting faded away, nobody except for Shaun Livingston (23 points) stepped up. Paul Pierce returned from a groin injury and had nine points on 2-for-12 shooting. Joe Johnson had 13 points on 4-for-12 shooting.

Meanwhile Portland’s backcourt duo of Matthews and Damian Lilliard were hot for most of the night while Aldridge made up for not being able to stop Garnett early by scoring 19 of his 25 points after halftime.

Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…