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Morrow's Start Subtracted, Nets Shooting Suffers

December 14th, 2010

NEWARK, N.J.In an ugly affair that saw the Nets shoot 34.1percent from the field, the Philadelphia 76ers came away with a 82-77 win at the Prudential Center. Brook Lopez led the Nets with 16 points. For more, read Jake Appleman's notebook on Click Here

Morrow's Start Subtracted, Nets Shooting Suffers
As had happened for each of 25 games this season, Anthony Morrow was announced as the Nets starting shooting guard. But by the opening tip of Tuesdays game against the Sixers, he had been un-announced, replaced by Stephen Graham after suffering a hamstring pull during a pregame stretch.

Morrow said he then ducked into the back, ran around a bit, jumped around a bit and felt good enough to attempt entering the game. Just 33 seconds later, his night ended, as he crumpled to the ground attempting to put a dribble move on Sixers forward Elton Brand. Hauled off to the locker room, Morrow watched the rest of the game from the locker room, unable to assist his teammates break out of a game-long shooting funk as they dropped an eighth straight game, 82-77.

You try to stay positive and dont want to think that its a bad sign for the rest of the night, said coach Avery Johnson. Usually, the bad sign is when somebody screws up the National Anthem, so Im glad that went well.

The gallows humor was half-hearted Johnson found few positives to draw from the defeat, in which the Nets shot only .308 on three-pointers and .341 overall. They did outrebound the Sixers, 51-36, and draw 39 points from their reserves while Phillys totaled 10. The rebounding performance was spurred by Kris Humphries and Derrick Favors, each of whom totaled 13.

Point guard Devin Harris (14 points, six assists) called a players-only meeting after the game, attempting to remind his teammates that theyve proven they can win these games, and its time to actually earn a victory. Brook Lopez (16 points, five rebounds) said Harris and Morrow raised valid points about the teams energy, particularly on offense.

Its just frustrating because I know we can do it, Harris said. I talked about how weve had this formula all season long: we feel like at some point in the game, were going to go down 10, and we have it in our heads that we can always come back against some of these teams, and thats not the case. We need to jump on some of these teams and really put them back on their heels. Its like were walking into a fight and were catching the first few punches before we even know whats going on, and its happening every single game. We cant fight like that. We have to throw some punches and really come out swinging.

Derrick's Soaring Swat
Rookie forward Derrick Favors played well for a second straight game off the bench, producing a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double in 27 minutes. It was a stark contrast to 2010 No. 2 pick Evan Turner, selected one ahead of Favors, who went scoreless (0-3 FGs) with six rebounds in 15 minutes as a sub.

Though the 6-foot-10 Favors wasnt slated to guard Turner, a 6-foot-7 swingman, he did create one highlight-reel matchup moment in the second quarter. With the shot clock about to expire, Turner launched a jumper only to have it turned back by Favors, who burst over on help defense and forced a 24-second violation.

I was just doing my job out there, Favors said. I didnt know who it was. I just jumped, and blocked it. I needed to step up. Other players were holding me accountable, because they expect me to come off the bench and provide energy for em. Ive got to go out there and block shots and get rebounds. I took that upon myself to go out there and do it.

Thursdays game against the Wizards offers Favors a chance to take on the other prior pick in this years draft, No. 1 overall selection John Wall. The rookie forward refused to bite on the anticipatory action. Favors is averaging 6.7 points and 5.6 rebounds; Turner is at 6.6 points and 4.6 rebounds; Wall is at 16.7 points, 8.9 assists and 2.3 steals.

Got to treat it like another game, Favors said. I cant get excited because hes John Wall. Ive got to try and come out with a win, because we need one.

NETS NOTES Kris Hupmhries pulled down 10-plus rebounds for the 11th time this season...Stephen Graham finished his first start as a Net with six points and three steals in 33 minutes...Avery Johnson visited rookie Damion James at home, chatting about the process involved in the forward's recovery from foot surgery and offering a pair of books to keep busy reading: "(Damion) is doing good. Hes in pretty good spirits.

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