The Nets’ quest for three straight wins for the first time this season fell short Saturday night, despite a fourth-quarter comeback that yielded 37 points. It was a frustrating game for the Nets who had played terrific at home of late, winning six of seven entering Saturday’s game.
Tonight, the Nets (7-16) welcome in the upstart Orlando Magic (12-11), loser of three of their last four including a 111-76 demolition at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Led by a LeBron James 25-point, eight-assist, four-steal performance, the Cavaliers shot 57 percent from the field while holding the Magic to 39 percent shooting, to go along with 19 turnovers. The 35-point deficit proved to be the second-largest home defeat in Orlando’s 27-year history.
The shoddy play over the last four games has head coach Scott Skiles considering other options. “I’m not saying we’re going to do it, but we have to consider it,” Skiles said regarding lineup changes. “Our formula is getting four, five, six, seven guys playing well on a night. That’s what we have to do. We’re going on four games in a row where it hasn’t happened. We won one. And, at some point, you have to look at all the options.”
The Nets have won seven straight at home against the Magic, including twice last season. On April 15th, the final game of the regular season, the Nets outscored the Magic 26-13 in the fourth quarter en route to a 101-88 victory to clinch a playoff berth. It marked the second time they’ve swept the season series (3-0) in the past three years.
The Magic possess one of the youngest rosters in the league led by Tobias Harris (14.2 points per game), Evan Fourier (15.1), Victor Oladipo (14), and Elfrid Payton (11.6, 6.3 assists), all 23 years old or younger. Center Nikola Vucevic, 25, posed the biggest threat to the Nets last season, averaging 21 points and nine rebounds in the three matchups.
What to watch for: STAR WARS Night. Tonight, Barclays Center will host Star Wars Night with the first 10,000 fans receiving a Brook Lopez “Jedi Brook” bobblehead. In case you missed it, Brook has already dueled his brother Robin in a lightsaber fight this month, but he’s more stoked for this honor bestowed upon him in action figure form. During the game, the Brooklynettes will perform special Star Wars routines and there will be a preview of the new film shown on the big screen. Be on the lookout for cloaks, droids, and Princess Leia bun hairdos. May the Force awaken a Nets resurgence tonight?
Tip-off is at 7:30 EDT at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.