First depleted, then defeated.
The Nets misplaced the Protocol Bowl to the Magic — 15 gamers between the 2 sides had been sidelined by the NBA well being and security pointers — in a 100-93 contest Saturday evening at Barclays Heart that snapped a four-game successful streak.
Brooklyn (21-9) appeared like a group that was gutty however nonetheless determining each other’s names whereas falling to the woeful Magic. Orlando snapped a seven-game shedding streak, however despite the fact that they lacked Terrence Ross, Moe Wagner, R.J. Hampton and Mo Bamba, asterisks may be required.
The Nets — or whoever it was who was carrying the Metropolis Version, blue jerseys, a number of of whom had been signed hours earlier than sport time — appeared like a group missing expertise, depth and cohesion, if not coronary heart.
Brooklyn was with out the Huge 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and the returning Kyrie Irving, all misplaced to the COVID-19 protocols. Ten Nets had been within the protocol, and two extra (Nic Claxton and Joe Harris) had been out due to damage.
Nonetheless, the Nets fought again from a 17-point, third-quarter deficit and tied the sport up at 93-all within the fourth with a 3 by rookie David Duke Jr. (18 factors, 14 rebounds).
However Orlando’s Chuma Okeke responded with a 3 of his personal, and the Magic (6-25) didn’t relinquish the lead once more.
Blake Griffin, Patty Mills and Cam Thomas fashioned the brand new Huge 3 for the ReplaceNets and mixed for 55 factors, protecting Brooklyn afloat however by no means getting excessive.
The Nets began three rookies (Kessler Edwards, Duke and Thomas) for the primary time since 2009 and had simply eight accessible gamers. No gamers on their bench (Langston Galloway, James Ennis III and Shaquille Harrison) had been on the group every week in the past.
They wouldn’t be sufficient in opposition to Robin Lopez, who led Orlando with 20 factors. The Nets had no solutions for the 7-foot Lopez — their tallest participant was the 6-foot-9 Griffin and subsequent up was the 6-foot-7 Edwards.
Nonetheless, the largest absence on an evening of absences was the Nets’ 3-point taking pictures, as they went 9-of-46 (20 p.c) from deep.