Nets Fall to 76ers After Slow Start, 82-77 by Derrel “Jazz” Johnson

The New Jersey Nets got off to a slow start, and ultimately, it cost them in the end.  The Nets trailed the Philadelphia 76ers by 11, 22-11 with 6:47 in the first quarter off a three-point play by Elton Brand.  The Nets would trail twice more by 11, 57-46 with 3:48 left in the third quarter after two Jrue Holiday free throws, and 73-62 with 4:22 left in the fourth quarter on a basket by Andre Iguodala.  The Nets would cut the lead to 78-75 on a three pointer by Travis Outlaw with 34 seconds left in the fourth quarter, but they would eventually lose, 82-77.
After the game, Nets head coach Avery Johnson expressed “Defensively, if you told me we would come in tonight, hold them to 40% shooting, only score 82 points and we would outrebound them 51-36, I would say it would probably be a win for us.  We shot 34% and were 6-20 in the first half in the paint.”  Coach Johnson added “I thought defensively we were here tonight overall.  Even though they had an 11-point lead over us, we fought back as normal, but we just could not close it.
When I asked Net guard Jordan Farmar what was missing to close out games, since he is now on the opposite end after spending his first four years playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, he replied “It’s tough to say.  We should be a lot closer to .500.”  Net forward Kris Humphries would add “I try to forget about it and approach every game as a new one.  We need to have short memories, that’s the only thing we can do.”
The Nets were lead by Brook Lopez, who scored 16 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and had 2 steals.  Devin Harris added 14 points and 6 assists.
Three Nets came off the bench to score in double figures, lead by Travis Outlaw, who scored 14 points and pulled down 7 rebounds, and Derrick Favors, who recorded his second-career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.  Farmar added 10 points as well.
The 76ers were lead by Jrue Holiday, who scored 19 points, dished out 5 assists and pulled down 4 rebounds, and Spencer Hawes, who scored 18 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, had 4 assists and blocked 2 shots.  Elton Brand contributed 15 points and 4 rebounds, Jodie Meeks added 12 points and 4 assists.
Philadelphia Head Coach Doug Collins said after the game “We did just enough to win the game tonight.  Humphries and Favors pounded us on the boards.”  Regarding the Nets, Collins said “I give credit to Avery.  Their defense was really good.  Jersey’s a much improved team.”
Brand said “It is a great road win for us.  We’ve been in this position many times on the road and just couldn’t finish it, so it  is a step forward.”  When I asked Brand about the reasons for his success this season, he replied “Number one is health” and added “Coach putting me in the right position to succeed.”
The Nets have lost eight straight, and six straight to the 76ers.
Anthony Morrow left the game after 14 seconds with a strained right hamstring and is day-to-day.
The Nets completed a three-team trade and will obtain Sasha Vujacic, the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2011 first round draft pick, and the Houston Rockets’ 2012 first round draft pick.  The Lakers get Joe Smith, and the Rockets get Terrence Williams.
When asked about his former teammate Vujacic, Farmar said “He will bring energy.  He will spread the floor.”
The Nets will try to end their eight-game losing streak when they host the Washington Wizards Thursday night at the Prudential Center at 7pm.

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About RazzandJazzSports

The Razz and Jazz Sports Blog was created by Marc "Razz" Rasbury and Derrel "Jazz" Johnson to create fresh opinions on New York Sports and beyond from two credentialed members of the media.
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