D'Angelo Russell Brooklyn Nets
(Photo by David Dennis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Brooklyn Nets dropped their 11th of 12 games Sunday night against the Los Angeles Clippers out in Hollywood. Breaking down the tough loss brings three key takeaways. 

  • Brooklyn Nets 120 (20-44)
  • Los Angeles Clippers 123 (34-28)
  • NBA, Final, Box Score
  • Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

The Brooklyn Nets entered Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers coming off an overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings the previous Thursday.

Despite their weekend in between, the game against Los Angeles yielded similar results. The Clippers had a hard time putting the game away, and it came down to the Nets’ final possession.

With 8.5 seconds left on the clock, Caris LeVert inbounded the ball to Spencer Dinwiddie, who passed it off to Joe Harris. The shooting guard’s original shot was tipped by Clippers’ rookie Sindarius Thornwell.

Nonetheless, Harris got a (decently) clean look right at the buzzer from deep. It fell short and so did the Nets.

A loss is a loss, and they’ve become more common for Brooklyn these last few months. However, there were plenty of positives that emerged from this one in particular.

1) Caris LeVert’s Career Night

Brooklyn’s without-a-doubt player of the game, LeVert, reached a new career-high with 27 points on 58 percent shooting.

In addition, he tallied five rebounds, five assists, and buried five shots from deep. LeVert was everywhere, from offense to defense, as he scored 10 points in the fourth quarter alone.

As the season wanes on and with only 18 games left to play, hopefully, the young guard can provide a spark for the Nets.

They currently sit at 20-44, 13th in the Eastern Conference.

While Brooklyn doesn’t hold rights to their first-round pick in this year’s draft, they would still like to exceed last year’s win mark of 20 games.

2) Defense Is Still the Biggest Issue

At the beginning of the season, Brooklyn was winning basketball games. Not many, and only by way of offensive prowess.

Down the line, now it’s March, and their lackluster defense still lacks any sign of life. They gave up 115-plus points for the third straight game.

Two different Los Angeles players scored 25-plus points, Austin Rivers and Tobias Harris. With the game on the line, the Nets couldn’t prevent Lou Williams’ go-ahead bucket that eventually won the game.

The Clippers ended the fourth quarter on a 12-3 run where Brooklyn’s defense has seen it’s lowest moments. Brooklyn allowed them to shoot 52 percent from the field and 37 percent from deep altogether.

Once the season wraps up, and the coaching staff shifts gears to next year, defense must become the priority for this team.

3) This Season Is Far From Over

Since the return of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert, Brooklyn has proved they’ve still got plenty left in the tank.

It’s only been four games where the Nets have gone 1-3, but their losses were determined by an average of 5 points or less.

One of these games, something has to break. Whether it’s on this road trip, or once they return to Barclays Center at the end of the week.

There are 18 games remaining in the Nets 2017-2018 season. Dependent on how they’re played, a new impression could be formed on how Brooklyn handled the cards they were dealt.

Last night was yet another tough loss for the Nets. Caris LeVert’s career-high and the team’s resilience should not be ignored.

Brooklyn travels to San Francisco next, where they will face the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday. Tip-off is at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Writer, reader, entertainer. New York Knicks and the Carolina Panthers. Hoodie Melo is my spirit animal.