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Brook takes blame for Nets' loss

2/6/2013
Despite scoring 30 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, Brook Lopez assumed the blame for Tuesday's loss. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

NEW YORK -- Brook Lopez had one of his best lines as a Brooklyn Net on Tuesday night: 30 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks in 40 minutes.

And yet, it was Lopez himself who accepted the blame for the Nets' 92-83 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

“I just feel like those last 2 1/2 minutes were as bad as I’ve played on the court on both ends all season,” said Lopez, who went 0-for-2 from the field and had two defensive miscues -- failing to properly defend a pair of pick-and-rolls -- during that stretch.

“I feel like the responsibility is on myself. I made poor decisions offensively, didn’t finish well, and defensively, I didn’t defend the pick-and-roll well. I let Antwan Jamison get to the basket easily. Then let [Earl Clark] get up a pick-and-pop jumper.

“Just dumb plays on my part. Just really bad decisions.”

The Nets (28-20) took an 83-82 lead on Lopez’s final field goal of the night -- an old-fashioned three-point play -- with 2:33 remaining. But the Lakers (23-26), who were without both Dwight Howard (shoulder) and Metta World Peace (suspension), closed the game on a 10-0 run to snap Brooklyn’s 17-game winning streak against sub-.500 opponents (at time played).

During L.A.’s decisive run, Lopez missed a 6-foot hook shot with 2:01 left and a 9-foot turnaround jumper with 1:24 remaining. Jamison’s driving finger-roll off a blown coverage by Lopez put the Lakers in front to stay, 84-83, with 2:22 left. And Clark delivered the dagger, a wide-open 18-footer -- after the 24-year-old center failed to blitz him -- to make it 88-83 L.A. with 1:11 left.

“I’m not encouraged by anything I saw tonight,” Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said when asked about Lopez’s performance.

It was a tough end to what was otherwise a brilliant performance.

Lopez scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, engaging in a back-and-forth duel with eventual hero Kobe Bryant. He recorded his 10th double-double of the season, team-leading 22nd 20-plus point game and second 30-point outing.

But it all went for naught. And, as a result, the Nets, who shot just 34.8 percent and had 16 turnovers, have now lost 10 straight to the Lakers.

Brooklyn’s $190 million backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson (who left the locker room quickly before he could be interviewed) combined to go 9-for-28, but Lopez wasn’t about to blame them for this loss.

“I can’t put that on anyone else,” Lopez said. “Like I said, I was very poor at the end of the game.”