D'Angelo Russell
Nicole Sweet, USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets have now lost three of their four games in February, despite Caris LeVert’s encouraging return to the court.

Collin Loring

  • Brooklyn Nets 105 (29-28)
  • Chicago Bulls 126 (13-42)
  • NBA, Final, Box Score
  • Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

The Brooklyn Nets missed Caris LeVert and it was apparent when he made his return to the court. After sitting for two and a half months with a dislocated foot, the third-year guard returned for Friday’s loss to the Bulls.

Barclays Center gave a standing ovation when LeVert checked in just minutes into the second quarter:

Immediately, he was making a difference and kept the Nets around for a majority of the fourth quarter. Brooklyn just couldn’t string together the stops required to make a run.

LeVert finished with 11 points, five steals, and four assists in 15 minutes on the floor.

Recently named All-Star D’Angelo Russell had an underwhelming night against Chicago. He finished with 23 points on a poor 8-for-21 shooting to go with six assists and two steals.

Fun fact, and something to keep an eye on, Russell has made 13 straight free throws to start the month of February. He’s often critiqued for not getting to the line enough. While that’s true, it looks like he’ll knock them down if he can get there.

Big man Jarrett Allen finished with a double-double tallying 12 points and securing 10 rebounds. He started the night with a shifty up-and-under drive against Bulls center Robin Lopez.

Allen Crabbe is finding his legs after missing significant time. He scored 19 points in just his second game back, on 5-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc.

It appears as if the young Nets need the All-Star break now, more than ever. And then Spencer Dinwiddie’s return beyond that.

Brooklyn again had a hard time containing Chicago’s Lauri Markkannen, who finished with 31 points and 18 rebounds. Guard Zach LaVine added 26 points and five assists.

The Bulls, as a team, shot 54 percent from the field and 50 percent from deep. Defensively, the Nets just weren’t present.

If Nets fans are going to take anything away from Friday’s loss, you’ve just gotta be super impressed with LeVert. He made a swift return to the court all things considered, and he looks ready to roll. After an injury as serious as the one he suffered, you don’t often see that.

Brooklyn has two games remaining ahead of All-Star weekend. They’ll face off against Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors on Monday, and then travel to Cleveland on Wednesday. Tip-off in Toronto on Monday is 7:30 p.m. ET.

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