Mavericks Snap Nets’ Win Streak as Offense Goes Cold

D+

Final: 02/27/2021

L 98 115

Screenshot via ESPN/Twitter

Brooklyn’s mistakes against the Mavericks were too much to overcome.

The Nets’ win streak has halted at eight after Dallas recorded a 115-98 victory at Barclays Center on Saturday. The loss is Brooklyn’s first in 18 days.

Brooklyn was shorthanded, but ultimately the team did not match up well against Dallas. The Mavericks had the clear size advantage as the Nets’ small-ball lineup did little to string together stops.

Beyond the mismatches, the Nets were their own biggest enemy. Their giveaways put them in a hole from the jump, as the Mavericks scored 32 points off Brooklyn’s 19 turnovers. 

That sloppy play made it difficult for Brooklyn to sustain momentum. The Nets had brief control in a game of runs, particularly during their 38-point second quarter, but the Mavericks went on to out-score Brooklyn 47-34 in the second half as they led by as many as 22 in the win.

The Nets were without Kyrie Irving (shoulder injury recovery) and Kevin Durant (hamstring strain), leaving James Harden as the player who would need to take on the bulk of the load. Though Harden had 25 points in the first half, the Mavericks did a good job of guarding him in the third quarter, limiting him to just four more points before sitting for a majority of the fourth quarter. 

Luka Doncic led the way for Dallas with 27 points and seven assists as six Mavericks notched double figures in scoring. Kristaps Porzingis added 18 points and four rebounds. 

The Nets have proven that their offense is not to be counted out, but they were not locked in on Saturday with an undermanned lineup. Brooklyn shot 40.7% from the field and an abysmal 14-of-44 from three as the Mavericks shot 52.3 and 14-of-36 from distance.

Brooklyn did end up out-rebounding Dallas 58-45 thanks to extended contributions from the bench, including 14 offensive boards. The Mavericks outscored the Nets in the paint, though, 50-36.  

Landry Shamet and Chris Chiozza deserve credit for positive performances off the bench, each tallying nine points. Andre Roberson also supplied good minutes with six points and eight rebounds. 

We knew a loss would come eventually, and the Mavericks happened to visit during their hottest stretch of the season. Would the Nets have had a chance if Irving played? Maybe, but the team was in an offensive rut overall, not even reaching the 100-point mark during a season they have averaged 120+. 

With some extended rest time for the starters, the team should be fresh against the Spurs on Monday. Onto the next one. 

James Harden

B

The stats: 29 PTS, 9-21 FG, 4-11 3PT, 7-8 FT, 7 REB, 6 AST, 1 BLK, 6 TO, 33 MIN

James Harden had to have a big game for the Nets to have a chance on Saturday, but his second half was underwhelming.

Harden had 15 points in the first quarter and 10 in the second, but just four more the rest of the way. Dallas did a good job adjusting as the Nets scored just 18 points in the third quarter.

The Beard sat almost the entire fourth quarter, which should bode well for Monday. We know Harden is capable of taking over games, but the task was just too great on Saturday. 

Bruce Brown

A-

The stats: 12 PTS, 5-9 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-2 FT, 9 REB, 3 AST, 1 TO, 32 MIN

As Bruce referenced before the game, he was a guard for a change!

Bruce started at shooting guard with Kyrie sitting out of the game, and he continued to make key impacts throughout. He did a good job at driving to the rim and even grabbed nine boards.

It would have been interesting to see Bruce get some more looks from three, but we’ll settle for the near double-double. He was one of the lone bright spots of the night.

Jeff Green

B+

The stats: 12 PTS, 5-7 FG, 2-4 FT, 2 REB, 2 AST, 1 TO, 23 MIN

Welcome back, Uncle Jeff!

After missing a few games due to injury, Green came out on Saturday looking as explosive as usual. He was efficient in his 23 minutes at center and even added two assists.

Green’s physicality was missed when he was out, but he still was out-matched by Kristaps Porzingis in his return. Green helped Brooklyn stick in the game throughout the first half before the Mavericks became too much to handle. 

Joe Harris

C+

The stats: 9 PTS, 3-8 FG, 3-8 3PT, 7 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2 TO, 27 MIN

No KD, no Kyrie, and all Joe gets is eight field goal attempts?

This has been an all-too-common occurrence for Joe throughout his Nets career, but he should have been featured more prominently in Brooklyn’s offense against Dallas. And when he was made the focal point, he was not always spot-on.

It is unlike Joe to have all his shot attempts be from three-point range, but the Nets’ shooting was a struggle across the board. He will likely bounce back against a better matchup against the Spurs. 

Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot

F+

The stats: 6 PTS, 2-12 FG, 2-9 3PT, 1 REB, 1 STL, 2 TO, 24 MIN

Saturday was a struggle for TLC, to put it lightly.

After starting at shooting forward, TLC was a bit clumsy throughout the night while shooting poorly. Not to mention, he was a team-worst minus-32 in his 24 minutes.

There’s only room for TLC to get better from here, right? 

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