Mavericks 115, Nets 98: Brooklyn's Eight-Game Win Streak Halted by Dallas

Brooklyn’s eight-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday night, as a shorthanded Nets squad faded after halftime in a 115-98 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at Barclays Center.

The Nets put up 64 first-half points and trailed by just four points at halftime, but managed just 18 points in the third quarter as Dallas opened up a double-digit lead.

“First half, 20 points off turnovers, second half felt like we ran out of gas, didn’t have enough answers at either end,” said Nets head coach Steve Nash. “It’s tough. We, missing some guys, and then Tyler (Johnson) unfortunately had a terrible migraine, and just made us shorter and shorter off the bench; less options, less cohesion, less continuity, and Dallas played well. They made shots when it counted, made plays when it counted, and they deserved it.”

The Nets were without Kyrie Irving, listed as out due to injury recovery following the shoulder surgery that shortened his 2019-20 season, while Kevin Durant missed his seventh straight game due to a hamstring strain that will keep him out through the All-Star break, and Johnson’s migraine made him a late scratch. Jeff Green did return after missing the last two games due to a shoulder contusion.

James Harden led the Nets (22-13) with 29 points, plus seven rebounds and six assists. Green and Bruce Brown had 12 points each.

It was nine turnovers that led to those 20 Dallas points in the first half. The Mavericks made seven of their first nine shots in jumping out to a 21-10 lead midway through the first quarter. The Nets answered with a 10-0 run, with Harden scoring eight of the points, as Brooklyn forced the Mavericks into six consecutive missed shots. But Dallas followed with a 3-point spree, and closed the quarter with a 14-2 run to take a 38-26 lead into the second quarter.

The Nets cut into that lead by making six of their first nine shots in the second quarter — 4-of-7 from 3-point range — and Landry Shamet’s three-point play had Brooklyn within 49-45. After falling behind 62-52, the Nets got consecutive 3-pointers from Shamet and Harden, and Harden’s two free throws made it a 62-60 game before Dallas took a 68-64 lead into halftime.

As the Nets missed eight of their nine 3-point attempts in the third quarter, the Mavericks reeled off a 17-4 run that extended their lead to 15 points, and they were up 94-82 going into the fourth quarter. After DeAndre Jordan got the first bucket of the fourth quarter with a rebound tip-in, Dallas scored 12 straight points to go up 106-84 with 7:37 remaining.

“We had some careless turnovers for sure that led to run-out layups,” said Nash. “That hurts. We’re only down I think four at the half and gave them 20 points off turnovers. That crushed us. But they do pack the paint. They make it difficult. We’re missing a few shooters, and maybe that added to how they could clog the paint. We also didn’t make some open looks that we had, so add it all up and we just didn’t have it tonight.”