Nets Lose Fourth Quarter Lead and Fall in OT to Phoenix, 108-100

BROOKLYN – If the Brooklyn Nets do not make the playoffs this season, there will be no shortage of losses they can point to as the one that did them in.

None was more damaging than Friday night’s 108-100 overtime loss to the Phoenix Suns in Barclays Center. The Nets led by 15 points with less than six minutes left in the fourth quarter and didn’t finish the job.

The Suns closed the fourth quarter on a stunning 16-1 run, which tied the score at 92-92 and forced overtime. Jarrett Jack, who won games against the Clippers and Warriors with 17-foot jumpers from the top of the circle, missed a similar shot.

But it never should have come to that. The Nets didn’t make a field goal in the final five minutes and 45 seconds of regulation, blowing a 91-76 lead.

The Nets fell back to 10 games under .500 at 25-35. Two of the teams they trail in the standings for the final playoff spot – the Charlotte Hornets (27-33) and Indiana Pacers (27-34) – won. The Miami Heat (27-34) lost.

But the Nets need not look at what the competition is doing. They only need to look in the mirror.

KEY STRETCH I: When Eric Bledsoe hit a 20-foot jumper with 7:15 left in the third quarter, the Suns had a 62-55 lead. Bojan Bogdanovic made a loud and clear statement that he intends to reclaim the starting shooting guard spot.

He drained a 3 from the right corner with 2:15 left giving the Nets a 69-67 lead. On the ensuing possession he showed great poise, waiting for the Suns’ transition defense to clear before burying a three-pointer from the top of the key for a 72-67 lead that forced Phoenix Coach Jeff Hornacek to call a timeout. Bogdanovic added another 3 in the 25-7 run that gave the Nets an 80-69 lead entering the fourth.

KEY STRETCH II: The Suns’ 16-1 surge over the final 5:45 turned a 91-76 Nets lead into a 92-92 tie score and OT.

KEY PLAY: Jarrett Jack had the same shot he hit to beat the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors earlier this season – a top of the circle jumper. This one didn’t drop as time in regulation expired.

KEY STAT: Cory Jefferson posted the first double-double of his career. The rookie from Baylor, and the last player picked in the draft, had 12 points and 13 rebounds in less than 16 minutes of play.

NETS GAINS: As part of the franchise’s Pride Night festivities remembering the team’s storied past, the Nets honored Hall of Fame coach Lou Carnesecca. Best known for winning 526 games and leading St. John’s to the Final Four, Carnesecca coached the Nets for three seasons. He led them to the ABA Finals in 1972.

TALK: Lionel Hollins on the Nets blowing a 91-76 lead: “We want to make the playoffs but you have to beat teams on your home court. You have to close out games on your home court.”

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