The Brooklyn Nets’ first quarter couldn’t have gone much better as Kevin Garnett shook off his season-long funk to lead them with 12 points during a 40 point quarter, but as good as things started out they couldn’t have ended much worse as they lost at home to the Portland Trail Blazers 108-98 on Monday night.
The Nets dominated early as they shot 73.7 percent in the first quarter and got 12 points from Garnett and 10 from Shaun Livingston and took a 40-31 lead into the second quarter and a 63-56 lead into the half. Things turned ugly in the third quarter though as they shot just 3-of-18 from the floor and were outscored by LaMarcus Aldridge and the Blazers 27-12.
Livingston was the only Net that kept his intensity up from the first half as KG 1-for-9 stretch in the second and third quarters and no Nets scored more than two points in the third. Even Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson had a terrible third as they each shot 0-for-3 from the floor, had zero points, and just one rebound. So far this season, the way the third quarter goes is the way the game goes as they are now 0-7 when they are outscored in the third frame.
The Nets still had a chance to comeback in the fourth as they were only down 83-75 headed into the final frame, but things didn’t get better for them. It was almost like they wore themselves out playing such a high energy game early on and for the oldest team in the NBA that should be a real concern.
They finished the game shooting just 35 percent from the floor, 25 percent from behind the arc, were out rebounded 45-37, had just 11 assists and were dominated in the paint by a team that entered the game last in points-in-the-paint defense (missing Brook Lopez much?). They played a sloppy game with no energy after the first quarter which, unfortunately, has been the calling card of the 2013-14 Nets so far.