The .500 mark has been dangling in front of the Brooklyn Nets like a low-hanging fruit for weeks now.
It’s still dangling.
If the Nets continue to play as they did Wednesday night in the Moda Center in a 124-80 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, they won’t reach .500 this season with stilts and an extension ladder.
The Nets had a great opportunity to close to within one game of .500 against a Portland TrailBlazers team that was without All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge and was playing the second of back-to-back games.
Instead of reaching for the gusto, the Nets played their worst game of the season, falling behind by 24 points at halftime en route to a 124-80 loss. It tied the third- worst loss in franchise history.
“On a long trip you may have a game like this,’’ said coach Jason Kidd. “You don’t want to but it happens, so have to put this one behind, get ready for Denver."
Now it is the Nets (26-29) that will have to suck it up. They play at Denver Thursday night, the fifth game of a six-game road trip.
The Nets still have a chance to post a winning record. If they can lobotomize their brains of this dreadful performance, they have winnable matchups in Denver Thursday night and in Milwaukee on Saturday night.
That would bring them back to Barclays Center for their first game since Feb. 12 at one game under .500.
This was the third chance that the Nets had in February to get to within one game of the break-even mark and they haven’t been able to capitalize. Meanwhile, other teams in the Eastern Conference – Charlotte and Washington – are starting to play better ball.
The season is down to 27 games and the Nets need to show some sign of urgency. They were outrebounded, 53-29.
Deron Williams led the Nets with 12 points and three assists. Joe Johnson had 11 points. The Nets were 4-of-22 on 3s.
“We didn’t make shots and we kind of felt sorry for ourselves,’’ said Kidd. “It carried over the to defensive end. We didn’t get stops.’’
The Trail Blazers (40-18) had seven players in double figures.