Nets rally late, but fall to Mavericks
Updated: 2013-03-02 16:41
By Yan Weijue in New York (chinadaily.com.cn)
Two-thirds of the way into the 2012-13 season, the Brooklyn Nets found themselves still haunted by a third-quarter dismay, a standpoint that was made more valid following Friday night's game against the Dallas Mavericks.
With a 49-48 halftime lead, the Nets dug a big hole in the third quarter, outscored 29-14 by the visiting team, who extended the lead to as big as 20 points in the early fourth. The Nets used a 17-4 run to cut the deficit to 4 with 0:38 remaining, but the Mavericks closed out the game after making four of the last six free throws for a 98-90 win.
Dallas Mavericks forward Shawn Marion (0) matches Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams (8) step for step as he drives down the court in the fourth quarter of their NBA basketball game in New York, March 1, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
PJ Carlesimo, the Nets' head coach, attributed the loss to the inexplicably sluggish defense and countless turnovers.
"We came out flat (in the third quarter). We had a couple of turnovers early and really got very flat after that," said Carlesimo. "We were playing like we were running in the sand."
"We didn't execute well, but the worst is we didn't play with any defensive energy," he added.
Deron Williams paced the Nets with 24 points on an 8-for-18 shooting. But the point guard dished out only two assists – both of which came in the first 2:45 – and piled up as many as seven turnovers that were converted by the Mavs into easy buckets in transition.
Williams acknowledged he had committed unnecessary mistakes.
"It started with me. It is kind of a snowball effect. I was throwing the ball everywhere."
Brook Lopez had 19 points for the Nets and Joe Johnson finished with 11 points in his comeback game from a sore left heel.
"It's definitely frustrating," Johnson said of the Nets' lifeless second half. "It's been an ongoing thing the whole year, we talked about it after the game, and hopefully we can come out tomorrow against Chicago and have a better effort."
The Nets (34-25) currently sit at No 5 in the Eastern Conference, followed by the Chicago Bulls (33-25).
The Mavericks (26-32), on the other hand, keep the playoffs hope alive with this crucial win. They are five games behind the eighth-seed Houston Rockets (32-28) in the Western Conference.