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The Nets get crushed by the Kings as Marcus Thornton scores 24 points.
SACRAMENTO – Jason Kidd immediately transformed the Nets into a winning team when he was traded 12 years ago. Kevin Garnett led Boston to an 8-0 start after he was dealt there in 2007.
Together, though, they are losing at an alarming rate and in embarrassing fashion.
In another defeat to a younger, quicker team, the Nets looked old, slow and generally awful while dropping an 107-86 decision Wednesday to the Sacramento Kings.
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Jason Kidd’s coaching career isn’t exactly off to a great start.
That high-powered offense? It shot 38 percent. The toughness brought along with Garnett? The Nets fell in a hole in the second quarter and never recovered. Maybe it’s time Kidd actually stands up and shows emotion, because sitting stoically and preaching “the process” isn’t eliciting much pride from his players.
It was a third straight defeat for Brooklyn (2-5). Kidd had no answers for DeMarcus Cousins (15 points, nine rebounds), Greivis Vasquez (17 points, 12 assists) and Marcus Thornton (24 points), and his team couldn’t shoot a lick – missing 51 shots, many from close range. Sacramento (2-5) snapped a five-game losing streak.
This was supposed to be the easy game of West Coast trip. Next up is Phoenix and the Clippers before the Nets head home, possibly with a 2-7 record.
“I feel like it’s around the corner, to be honest,” Garnett said before the game, referring to the moment the Nets start playing well.
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Ben McLemore dunks over Paul Pierce.
Apparently Brooklyn turned down the wrong street in Sacramento.
Garnett continued his month to forget, scoring just six points while missing seven of his nine shots. He is averaging six points this season, and was benched for the final 20 minutes.
The Kings went on a 24-6 run between the first and second quarters, a stretch defined by Brooklyn’s lackadaisical defense and poor shooting. Sacramento held a 43-25 lead with five minutes remaining in the second quarter, but the Nets cut the deficit to 12 by the half.
The Kings again went on a run in the second half, taking an 80-59 advantage into the fourth quarter. When the Nets cut the deficit to a semi-respectable 12 points early in the fourth quarter, veteran Jason Terry let his emotions get the best of him and lunged at Vasquez with his fist. Terry picked up a technical foul and Sacramento’s lead bulged.
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Nothing’s been easy for Paul Pierce and the Nets, who fall to 2-5 with loss.
It was a brutal showing from tipoff until the final whistle.
Deron Williams, who declared before the game “my legs are coming back to me,” was also miserable Wednesday: he shot 5-of-13 with 13 points and seven assists. Paul Pierce added 12 points on 4-of-12 from the field in 29 minutes.
Cousins established himself early for Sacramento, dropping 12 points in the first half with five rebounds. He outplayed center counterpart Brook Lopez, who scored 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, grabbing nine rebounds.
Kidd went to high-flying rookie Mason Plumlee near the end of the first quarter, trying to neutralize Sacramento’s advantage in athleticism.
It didn’t work. The Kings went on their game-breaking run to start the second quarter, and the Nets responded by shooting bricks.
As much as Jason Kidd likes to call this a “process” and says it will require time to establish chemistry, the Nets were lacking in two categories that shouldn’t require much time together: effort and defense.