Brooklyn Boro

Missed opportunities haunt slumping Nets

Bogdanovic Squanders Pair of ‘Wide-Open’ Looks in Loss to Wizards

February 9, 2017 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Bojan Bogdanovic goes up for two of his team-high 21 points, but the Nets’ sharpshooter misfired on a pair of chances to help Brooklyn end its season high-tying 11-game losing streak Wednesday night at Barclays Center. AP Photo by Kathy Willens
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Bojan Bogdanovic held the Nets’ destiny in his hands twice Wednesday night at Downtown’s Barclays Center.

And twice he failed to deliver as NBA-worst Brooklyn suffered its season high-tying 11th consecutive defeat and 13th in a row at home with a soul-crushing 114-110 overtime setback to the surging Washington Wizards in front of 13,179 fans on the corners of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.

The Nets (9-44) rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit and appeared on the verge of their first win since Jan. 20 at New Orleans when Bogdanovic, the team’s leading scorer with 21 points, pulled up for an open 27-footer with seven seconds left in regulation and the contest knotted at 100-100.

But one of Brooklyn’s most consistent players during this deeply disappointing campaign misfired, leaving the Nets to fend for themselves in overtime against the Wizards’ dynamic duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal.

The Wizards went ahead to stay, 109-107, when Otto Porter Jr. (20 points) knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:21 remaining in the extra session.

However, Bogdanovic again had a shot to draw the Nets even at 113 when he found himself alone from 24 feet out with just five ticks left on the clock. The Nets’ final opportunity to end a pair of embarrassing streaks came up empty, leaving the 27-year-old Yugoslavian to lament what could have been.

“It was a wide-open shot, but unfortunately I missed it,” Bogdanovic said as the Nets remained winless at Barclays Center since Dec. 26. “I was completely open.”

So were Wall and Beal for most of the evening as the tandem lit the Nets up for a combined 54 points, pacing Washington to its eighth victory in the last nine games.

“We knew going into this game that they were going to compete,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks told the Associated Press. “That’s what they do. We’re glad we got the win, but we have to play much better.”

Brook Lopez scored 20 points before fouling out, Trevor Booker added 14 points and 11 rebounds off the bench and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson finished with 13 points for Brooklyn, which will have to wait until Friday’s game against visiting Miami here to end its ongoing skids.

“We were really right there,” said Lopez. “This is a very good team. They’re playing as well as anyone in the league right now. And to compete with them, push to overtime and then be right there at the end of the game with a great chance — a great chance. We got a great look. There’s something to be said for us.”

What that something is may be unclear at this point, but the Nets are, at the very least, proving to be competitive during this long malaise.

They have lost 22 of their last 23 games overall, but each of the last six defeats have been by nine points or fewer, including back-to-back four-point defeats at Charlotte on Tuesday and Wednesday’s heartbreaker to the Wizards.

“We’re really showing a lot of grit and trusting one another,” added Lopez. “I think we’ve been consistent on that end. We need to stay that way, keep believing.”

Nothing But Net: The Nets have lost six straight meetings with Washington dating to a 117-80 victory on April 10, 2015 … Brooklyn fell to 0-9 this season in the second half of back-to-backs … The Nets announced Thursday that Oscar Schmidt, better known as Brazil’s answer to Michael Jordan, will be honored during their upcoming Monday night game against Memphis at the Barclays Center. Schmidt, a Hall of Famer who scored more points than any player in pro basketball history, was originally drafted by the then-New Jersey Nets in 1984, but never suited up for the franchise. Schmidt, who put up nearly 50,000 points as a pro and over 1,000 as an Olympian for his native Brazil, will receive a commemorative jersey from the Nets’ organization … After hosting Miami and Memphis, the Nets will wrap up this four-game homestand next Wednesday night against former head coach Jason Kidd and the Milwaukee Bucks.


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