- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN New York Writer
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NEW YORK -- One less coach on the bench.
Same horrific play in the third quarter.
Same boos from upset paying customers.
Same. Old. Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets were outscored 31-15 in the third and frequently booed by the home crowd.
The boos would continue. They were deserved.
The players. Their coach. Their fans. Everyone looked miserable. Everyone.
WHAT IT MEANS: In the standings? Well, the Nets (5-13) are fine, actually. They are still just two games behind the Toronto Raptors (6-10) in the Atlantic Division. That's not a joke.
In reality? They're a mess. An absolute mess. They've lost 11 of their past 14 games. They are now 0-6 against top-10 teams in terms of pace. They were outworked on the glass, losing the rebounding battle, 56-37. And those dreaded thirds. Oh, those dreaded thirds. This time, the Nets went 4-for-15 from the field and allowed the Nuggets to shoot 52.2 percent in the frame. The Nets dropped to 0-12 when trailing after three quarters. They trailed by as many as 28 overall, 24 heading into the fourth. Their energy? Their effort? Lacking in both departments.
So, no, nothing has really changed.
NEUTRALIZED: Brook Lopez had 10 points early. Then the Nuggets began double-teaming him. He finished with 12 points. At least Joe Johnson had 22 points. Six Nuggets finished in double-figures scoring.
INJURY REPORT: The Nets were without Paul Pierce, Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry. Alan Anderson started for Pierce, while Tyshawn Taylor started for Williams. Mirza Teletovic sprained his left hand on a drive to the basket early in the second quarter. X-rays were negative, and he returned to the game in the third.
UP NEXT: Practice Wednesday and then Thursday's massive showdown for city supremacy -- or, rather, the most highly-anticipated game between two awful NBA teams in city history -- with the New York Knicks. It's not going to be a fun time for whoever loses that game. Not. Fun. At. All.
NEW YORK -- One less coach on the bench. Same horrific play in the third quarter. Same boos from upset paying customers. Same. Old. Brooklyn Nets.