Nets begin important final week against Houston at Barclays Center: Gameday

Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets forward Bruce Brown (1) and Houston Rockets guard Armoni Brooks (7) battle for the ball during the third quarter at Toyota Center.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets (20-59) vs. Brooklyn Nets (40-38)
Tuesday, April 5 @ Barclays Center

How to Watch/Listen:

7:30 p.m. ET on YES Network and WFAN 101.9 FM / 660 AM.

Rockets vs. Nets Odds, Lines, More

  • Spread: Nets -17
  • Nets Moneyline: -2000
  • Rockets Moneyline: +1000
  • O/U: 244
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The Nets are headed for the play-in round next week, but first, they have to get through the final four games of the regular season. That starts on Tuesday with a visit from the Houston Rockets.

Both sides are coming off losses, with the Nets falling to the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night and dropping down to 10th in the Eastern Conference. The Rockets fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.

While Brooklyn has locked themselves into the play-in round, they’ll need to string some wins together to try to put themselves in better seeding next week. As it currently stands Brooklyn would have to win two single-elimination games just to qualify for the first round of the playoffs.

The Nets may have to do that shorthanded for the remainder of the year with several players possibly out. Goran Dragic has been ruled out for Tuesday’s game against the Rockets while he’s still in Atlanta in health and safety protocol and Seth Curry was downgraded from questionable to out.

The Nets will have Bruce Brown back on the court after missing Saturday’s game with a non-COVID illness. Brown has been one of the Nets’ best offensive weapons not named Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving. He put up 23 points and shot 3-of-5 from beyond the arc last week against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Brooklyn has gone 2-4 over their last six points and their defense has continued to be an issue that has cost them games. The Nets have sent their opponents to the foul line a whopping 83 times in their last two games combined.

“We’re fouling early,” Durant said after the loss in Atlanta. “We put them in the bonus early every quarter; 37-14 (difference in) free throw makes. And it’s not ’cause of the refs, it was because we’re reaching and being undisciplined and just playing too aggressive. That’s the game. They shot 42% from the field which is great defense, 31 from the three. They outrebounded us by two, and one more assist than us. Turnover game, but we still got more shots up than them. So it’s like just fouls. And we can’t do that if we want to be a winning team.”

The Rockets own the worst record in the West and are tied with the Orlando magic for last in the league. However, the Rockets did topple the Nets in their last meeting back in December.

Brooklyn is 4-3 against Houston since the 2018-19 season.

Nets’ Playoff Push

The Nets occupy the 10th seed in the East, but would like to move back up to make their lives a bit easier in the play-in tournament. The Nets remain behind the Charlotte Hornets by way of the tiebreaker and are a game behind the Atlanta Hawks for the eighth seed.

Nets Notables

Measured across a full season, the point differential when Kevin Durant plays would be seventh in the league and third in the East, trailing Boston (+7.0) and Miami (+4.4). It would rank 25th in games he doesn’t play this season. … Kyrie Irving is fourth in the league in 3FG % (.424) and Seth Curry is fifth (.424). They trail Luke Kennard (.450), Cameron Johnson (.436) and Desmond Bane (.430) and are the only teammates in the top-10. … The Nets are 17-3 this season when scoring 120+ points and 19-4 when shooting .500+ FG %.

Injury Report

Nets: James Johnson (non-Covid illness) is questionable. Seth Curry (left ankle soreness) Goran Dragić (health and safety protocols), Joe Harris (left ankle surgery), David Duke Jr. (G League – two-way), Day’Ron Sharpe (G League assignment) and Ben Simmons (return to competition reconditioning/back soreness) are out.

Rockets: Eric Gordon (right groin soreness), Anthony Lamb (G League – two-way), Trevelin Queen (G League – two-way), Dennis Schröder (left shoulder soreness), John Wall, Christian Wood (left hamstring tightness) are out.