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D-Will loses grip in Nets' loss to Mavs

3/1/2013
Nets point guard Deron Williams has turned the ball over 25 times since the All-Star break. Debby Wong/USA TODAY Sports

Deron Williams had a Rick Ankiel kind of evening on the court.

“It started with me. I think it was kind of those snowball effects. I was throwing the ball everywhere,” said Williams who committed seven of the Brooklyn Nets’ 20 turnovers in their 98-90 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night at Barclays Center. “It’s one of those things where you see a guy making some bad passes and you start thinking about it. I know I was thinking about it.”

Williams has been solid for the Nets since the All-Star break, averaging 23.0 points on 45 percent shooting. But turnovers have continued to be an issue for the 28-year-old point guard. Over that six-game span, he’s turned it over 25 times.

“I think I had maybe five in the first half, so I came out and you just think about not wanting to turn it over, so you pass the ball late sometimes or hold onto it another second because you’re not wanting to turn it over and then you’re making a bad pass,” Williams said. “I think that’s what we all started doing toward the end.”

Joe Johnson, who returned to the lineup following a three-game absence due to a sore left heel, had four turnovers in 29 minutes.

“For the most part, we were just making passes and throwing it straight to the defense,” Johnson said, referring to himself and D-Will. “It’s unacceptable for both of us considering the fact that we’re the primary ball handlers. We’ve gotta do a better job with that.”

The Nets (34-25) took a 49-48 lead into the second half, but were outscored 29-14 in the third quarter. According to ESPN Stats & Information, they have been outscored by 10 or more points in the third 13 times this season, and are 5-8 in those games.

The Nets went 5-for-17 from the field in the period (29.4 percent) and had four turnovers.

They fell to 19-3 against sub-.500 teams (at time of tipoff), 20-11 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo and have lost three straight games at home. The Nets dropped to three games behind the New York Knicks in the Atlantic Division standings.

“Nobody had it going in the third quarter, including myself,” Williams said. “I wish I would’ve been more aggressive but I just wasn’t.”

Williams may be playing better of late, but he’s concerned more about the team’s results than his own. The Nets trailed by as many as 20 in the fourth quarter and were booed by their fans. They got within four late, but couldn't get any closer.

“We’re not winning. We’ve lost three straight at home. That’s what I’m most concerned with. We keep talking about protecting home court and we haven’t. That’s the thing that’s mostly alarming to me,” he said.