Nets must ‘embrace adversity’ in playoff chase
Brooklyn suffered an embarrassing loss to the Grizzlies Wednesday
One night after Caris LeVert’s 51-point effort lifted them to a dramatic comeback win in Boston, the Brooklyn Nets looked like a battle-fatigued team in their much-anticipated return to the Barclays Center Wednesday.
LeVert was limited to 14 points on 6-of-19 shooting in the follow up to the best performance of his career, and the Nets got run over by the playoff-hopeful Memphis Grizzlies in front of 17,732 fans in Downtown Brooklyn.
“I think collectively we didn’t like our compete level and our spirit wasn’t where it needed to be,” Nets Head Coach Kenny Atkinson said after his team fell behind by as many as 41 points in the fourth quarter.
“We talked about it in the locker room,” he added. “The coaches and players had a good old fashioned … great communication. These are the moments where you really have to embrace the adversity.”
Despite the defeat, Brooklyn maintained its half-game edge on Orlando for seventh place in the Eastern Conference playoff race, with ninth-place Washington five games back on the outside looking in at the postseason.
But the struggling Nets (27-34) have lost five of their last six games overall and didn’t show much fight here in Brooklyn following a 1-3 road trip that could have easily been a winless one if not for LeVert’s heroics in Boston.
“I think you build through struggles like this, games like this and stretches like this,” Atkinson noted. “But I’ll tell you this: We’ve got to play better if we’re going to stay in this playoff hunt.”
Taurean Prince scored 15 points and Chris Chiozza added 14 off the bench for Brooklyn, which will try to get back on track Friday night here against San Antonio.
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