Nets bid for back-to-back wins rims out
Lin Misfires on Potential Tying Shot as Brooklyn Flames Out in Atlanta
The Nets’ ongoing quest for their first back-to-back wins in nearly a year will continue despite the best efforts of Jeremy Lin.
Brooklyn’s $36 million point guard nearly helped the Nets erase a late deficit before they came up just short in a 105-100 loss to the Hawks in front of 11,391 fans at Atlanta’s Philips Arena.
Lin drained a 3-pointer with 13 seconds remaining in regulation to pull the league-worst Nets (11-52) within one point at 106-105.
After Tim Hardaway Jr. knocked down a pair of free throws on the other end, Lin got another opportunity to knot the game on Brooklyn’s ensuing trip.
But his running desperation heave with three ticks left on the clock rimmed out, leaving the road-weary Nets without consecutive victories since last March 24-26.
“It was a good look and I just didn’t hit it,” said a disappointed Lin, who finally appears fully healthy after missing 44 games during two extended stints of inactivity earlier this season due to a bothersome hamstring.
“I’ve got no excuses,” he added. “I’ve just got to hit that shot.”
Though Lin’s shot was off the mark, the Nets did plenty to give this one away before he even had an opportunity to tie it.
Brooklyn had 22 turnovers, marking the 13th time this season they have committed at least 20 — the second-highest total in the league behind Philadelphia’s 15.
The giveaways offset a strong performance from Sean Kilpatrick, who finished with a team-high 27 points.
The former D-League standout has scored at 20 points in each of his last three contests, including a 23-point effort in Monday’s 122-109 victory in Memphis, which was highlighted by a 16-of-17 performance at the free-throw line.
“I’m just playing a lot more [confidently] in my game and just taking the correct shots,” Kilpatrick said. “I think that’s what it is.”
Brook Lopez added 18 points, six rebounds and five blocked shots for Brooklyn, which will conclude its epic eight-game road trip Friday night in Dallas.
“We are definitely getting better,” said Lopez. “We have to take what we did well from this game and keep improving, learn from what we did wrong.”
Dennis Schroder scored a game-high 31 points and Paul Milsap added 24 for Atlanta, which ended a three-game skid at Brooklyn’s expense.
Lin finished with 16 points and eight assists and Trevor Booker added 12 points and eight boards off the bench for the Nets, who are doubtlessly eager to get back to Brooklyn, where they haven’t been since Feb. 15.
The Nets will host the Knicks at Barclays Center on Sunday evening, hoping to put an end to their franchise-record 16-game home losing streak.
Nothing But Net: The Nets haven’t won in Brooklyn since the day after Christmas, meaning it will be over 2 ½ months since they’ve done so if they fail to knock off the Knicks Sunday … Trade-deadline acquisition K.J. McDaniels logged five minutes of playing time off the bench Wednesday, scoring two points, blocking a shot and grabbing a rebound.
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Downtown Brooklyn’s last hope for an NCAA Tournament bid ended Sunday when the St. Francis Brooklyn women’s squad, champions of the 2015 Northeast Conference Tournament, suffered a 90-69 quarterfinal round loss to second-seeded Sacred Heart in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Sophomore Kat Phipps poured in a career-high 16 points and senior Olivia Levey capped her career as a Terrier with 14 points and six rebounds for SFC, which finished the campaign at 8-22 overall and 6-12 in NEC action.
Hannah Kimmel paced the Pioneers with 32 points, 10 rebounds and four assists as Sacred Heart advanced to the semifinals.
“In these games, it’s always important to get off to a great start,” said SFC head coach John Thurston. “Sacred Heart is a veteran championship team, and they play like it at both ends of the floor. Hannah Kimmel has been one of the truly great players in the NEC and she showed that today.
“I was happy with my team. We came back in the second half and scored the ball a little bit,” Thurston added. “We’ve got a lot of young players that hopefully will learn from watching players like Hannah and some of the other players on Sacred Heart. They were great, and we were okay.”
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