The Brooklyn Nets choked away yet another game, losing a devastating double-overtime thriller against the Memphis Grizzlies.
- Memphis Grizzlies 131 (13-8)
- Brooklyn Nets 125 (8-15)
- NBA, Final, Box Score
- Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
In the best game of the 2018-19 season, the Brooklyn Nets, unfortunately, came out on the losing end.
During regulation, The Nets’ offense was fueled by their reserves, who are currently ranked fourth in the league in bench scoring, per Synergy. In a shocking turn of events, it was Shabazz Napier and DeMarre Carroll (who apparently took offense to my recent article) and put up 18 and 21 points, respectively.
D’Angelo Russell was also particularly impressive. Although he wasn’t scoring efficiently, Russell played an excellent all-around game. Not normally known for his defensive prowess, Russell got his hands into the cookie jar multiple times, picking off steals in clutch moments.
He also dished out one of the prettiest transition passes of the Nets season to a cutting DeMarre Carroll.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) December 1, 2018
With five minutes to spare in the fourth quarter, it appeared that the Nets were destined to take care of Memphis and their strong defense, ranked third in the league in opponents points scored (per Synergy). At long last, perhaps Brooklyn would be able to overcome their fourth-quarter demons that had been plaguing them for weeks.
Then things started to go awry. Up by seven points with four minutes to go, the Nets’ offense became tense, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson drove down the lane. As he got to the rim, he stopped, turned, but unfortunately moved his pivot foot. Turnover.
You could see it on the faces of the entire Nets team. The young squad was, once again, afraid of the moment. Spencer Dinwiddie wasn’t about to go down that easy, though. Dinwiddie hit two huge threes against the Grizzlies and swung the momentum of the game back in Brooklyn’s favor. Then, with 53 seconds left, the aforementioned D’Angelo Russell poked away a steal on a seemingly unstoppable Grizzlies breakaway. It seemed that at long last, the Nets would hang on in crunch time.
The Grizzlies were in desperation mode at this point, and by down 6 points with 20 seconds remaining, they handed the ball off to their rookie big man, Jaren Jackson Jr. Feeling the contact of Hollis-Jefferson, Jackson elevated and sunk a wing three-pointer while drawing a foul. In a split second, the Nets’ lead was cut down to two points.
At this point, the Nets had the ball up by three points with 24 seconds remaining. All they had to do was inbound the ball and take the foul.
Unfortunately, this proved to be too tall of a task, as D’Angelo Russell lost the ball off his leg on the inbounds pass. This was, by far, the most inopportune and upsetting turnover of the season.
One possession later, the Grizzlies again went to Jaren Jackson Jr. (who was truly sensational tonight). Jarrett Allen failed to pressure the spotting-up rookie, and Jackson elevated for yet another three-pointer. Bang.
ICE WATER IN HIS VIENS ?
Free basketball in Brooklyn!
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) December 1, 2018
The Nets had truly outdone themselves this time, blowing a 6 point lead in less than 20 seconds. It wasn’t over yet though.
In the first overtime, neither team could get the advantage. The Nets ended up with the ball with 9 seconds remaining as the score was tied, 117-117. This was a huge opportunity to rectify the mistakes made in the fourth quarter.
Dinwiddie readied his attack, holding the ball next to his side with both hands. The Grizzlies’ Kyle Anderson, a sneaky good defender, found room to wiggle his hand inside and poked the ball out of bounds. To most, this seemed like a pretty easy call, and the Nets would likely end up with the ball on the sideline.
The officials, however, had other plans. They reversed the initial call, giving the ball to Memphis.
This was really the last straw for Brooklyn even as the game advanced to double-overtime. This blown call completely took away any remaining momentum they had, and the Grizzlies went on to win the game, 131-125.
The Nets have now lost 9 of their last 11 games, with no end in sight to their now five-game losing streak. Given the heartbreaking nature of so many of these loses, Brooklyn is on one of the most gut-wrenching losing streaks in recent memory. Let’s hope they can break out of this funk. Soon.